Neatsfoot oil is pure oil, derived from the hooves and shin bones of cows.
Neatsfoot oil compound is neatsfoot oil mixed with synthetic oil, usually petroleum-based, that helps extend the oil. It is typically less expensive because it is not pure oil.
Pure neatsfoot oil is an outstanding conditioner for your leather. It penetrates the leather and replenishes natural oils to the hide.
Neatsfoot Compound, on the other hand, can actually cause the leather to become drier or brittle. Many leather workers prefer to stick to pure oil when it comes to conditioning.
So what do you use the compound for?
Since it is not pure oil and costs less per ounce, it is recommended to use the neatsfoot compound as an additive to your leather dye. A few drops of dye to a larger amount of compound helps the color glide on rich and smooth and significantly extends the use of your dye. Fiebings recommends 6% Dye, 94% Compound for this mixture.
As dye can dry out your leather, with or without the compound mixture, you should apply a conditioner after the dyeing process. In this case, the pure neatsfoot oil would be perfect and give you a use for both types of neatsfoot products.
And just in case you are wondering, you absolutely can add dye to the pure oil as well, if you’d prefer not to have both neatsfoot oil and compound on hand!
Ready to try some yourself? Order your neatsfoot here!