Historic Flight Cap Restoration

Our customers have some really neat projects that are worth highlighting.

We received the following customer inquiry in April 2017:

This circa 1949 flight cap was worn by Gary Cooper in the Warner Brothers movie “Task Force” although still quite pliable, is flaky and brittle. I'd like to stabilize the leather without altering the appearance. What would you suggest?

flight cap before frontflight cap before sideflight cap before top

The interior is just the rougher side of the same piece of leather and appears to be in good condition.

Warner Bros label 1Warner Bros label 2

This was our recommendation:

To prevent the leather from deteriorating further (flaking/peeling), we recommend applying Klucel G Leather Stabilizer to the entire area.   To help maintain the shape, keep it on the head form, but put plastic between the head form and the flight cap (so it doesn’t soak in and stick to the form).  To avoid darkening the leather, be sure to apply a thin coat of Klucel G with a small paint brush,

The Klucel G will add some stiffness, so when it is dry (1-2 days) apply a thin coat of Restoration Leather Conditioner with a soft cloth.  This is a gentle conditioner formulated for use on Klucel G treated leather.  Let this dry overnight and if the leather needs it, another coat can be applied (2 coats should be enough).

After the outside has been treated, also apply a thin application of Restoration Leather Conditioner to the underside.  The ink has been dried for so long that it will most like by fine, but to make sure the label stays intact, avoid this area.

Customer Follow up, July 2023:

Gary Cooper's flight cap turned out very nice... and has remained stable since it was treated. 

Thank you for helping to preserve a piece of Hollywood history.

flight cap after backflight cap after sideflight cap after topTask Force promotional poster