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Neatsfoot oil is a yellow oil rendered and purified from the shin
bones and feet (but not the hooves) of cattle. "Neat" in the oil's
name comes from an old name for cattle. Today, many consider the
best quality neatsfoot oil to be that which comes from the legs of
calves, with no other oils added. Neatsfoot oil is used as a
conditioning, softening and preservative agent for leather. In the
18th century, it was also used medicinally as a topical application
for dry scaly skin conditions. "Prime neatsfoot oil" or "neatsfoot
oil compound" are terms used for a blend of pure neatsfoot oil and
non-animal oils, generally mineral or other petroleum-based oils.
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