Join Date: Dec 2011
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Still believe it's temperature, not moisture, that softens the leather. Steam is better, because it slightly penetrates as opposed to hot air, which touches just the surface. If it was moisture that did the trick, it'd be enough just to spray the leather (steam iron jets really small amount) & wait.
As to dried & cracked leather - agreed.
I'm searching 'colourlock' manufacturer's page for some help on that case.
Steam is good because it rapidly moisturises the leather then evaporates quickly as the leather goes back to its normal shape, hence why it's used by custom seat manufacturers. Moisture is essential for any leather products, hence why we polish our shoes with products that feed the leather moisture. Heat can aid with softening of leather, but without moisture or conditioner the leather will dry out and crack in time.
I've spent many an happy hour (not) cleaning and conditioning bike leathers and they've rewarded me with long life and good service. Had I not bothered they would've been hard as nails and uncompliant and uncomfortable to wear.
Currently in Davegayle's garage:
2011 Grand Scenic III 1.5dci EDC Bose Edition & 2007 Megane 1.5dci Expression Sports Tourer