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Subject: Meltonian shoe cream

Meltonian shoe cream

From: Jacqueline Millard <jmillard>
Date: Monday, March 9, 1998
Marlan Green <mgreen [at] sewanee__edu> writes

>... He mentions the use of Meltonian
>Shoe Cream as dye for scuffed leather and faded bookcloth.

This brings back memories. Meltonian was a standard way of making
shoes last longer when I was a kid, there are several other products
around that do the same job.  The product does stain leather but
also stained anything else it came in physical contact with ie.
socks, hands etc.  The results could be very patchy with the stain
being strongly absorbed onto worn and abraded surfaces and not at
all if any residual polish remained on the leather. It also left a
powdery residue if not correctly polished off. I would be very
cautious about using this in any conservation situation.

As for the solvents mentioned,

>... The solvents mentioned include Naphtha (lighter fluid),
>lacquer thinner, acetone (finger nail polish remover), and toluene.

Apart from  generally advising against using solvents without
appropriate experience and adequate ventilation I would never
recommend these proprietary mixtures as you can rarely second guess
how they will react. Nail polish remover for instance is rarely
acetone these days and usually contains all manner of dyes, oils and
other solvents depending on the selling point of that particular
brand--natural, moisturising etc.

    **** Moderator's comments: A few people have written in asking
    about Meltonian. The company is part of Sara Lee. See:

Jackie Millard
Art Gallery of Western Australia

                  Conservation DistList Instance 11:76
                 Distributed: Wednesday, March 11, 1998
                       Message Id: cdl-11-76-009
Received on Monday, 9 March, 1998

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