No matter how many fashion trends come and go away, a leather jacket is a constant. Leather jackets have an endless appeal that outdos fashion trends and seasons. They are not just a mere piece of clothing; they are a statement, a wardrobe staple with a rich history.
A leather jacket can last a decade if it is well cared after. To ensure your leather jacket ages gracefully and remains a quintessential staple in your wardrobe for years to come, it’s important to know how to take care of it properly.
In this guide, we will explore the art of caring for and cleaning your leather jacket, maintaining its suppleness and longevity.
Understand Your Leather
Before we begin with the care routine, it’s important to understand the type of leather your jacket is made from. Leather is made from different animal skins and hides that have been treated for human use. These include cowhide, lambskin, suede, and more. Each hide has unique features and requires specific care.
It is the most common animal hide used for leather. Around 65% of the world’s leather is made with cowhide because it’s cheap, common in the market and easily treated. Known for its durability and beautiful appearance, cowhide leather is sturdy and can endure various weather conditions. It’s an excellent choice for biker jackets and classic chic styles.
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Lambskin leather is known for its softness, suppleness, and fine-grained texture. It has a smooth and lavish look, for which it is often used by high-end fashion brands like Chanel and Ralph Lauren. Since it is super soft and silky in texture, it requires extra maintenance to prevent scratches and susceptible damage.
Suede leather comes from the inner fleshy layer of the animal hide, typically made from lambskin. It is a soft and velvety leather, thus used for high-end leather products. However, it is a high-maintenance leather which is more prone to getting stained and moist and requires extensive care.
Now that we have got a rough idea about the different types and textures of leather jackets, it’s pretty clear how to deal with them. Here is how you can keep your leather jacket clean on a regular basis.
Dust Removal: Leather jackets should be wiped down regularly with a soft, dry cloth to remove dust and prevent build-ups. Properly clean the seams, pockets, and creases where dirt tends to accumulate the most.
Stain Removal: For minor stains, use a leather-specific cleaner or a mixture of mild soap and water. Apply the solution with a damp cloth and gently remove the stain. Don’t go harsh on rubbing, as it can damage the leather.
Conditioning and Moisturizing
Leather is a natural material that can dry out and lose its luster over time. To maintain its suppleness and prevent cracks and tears you should have a leather conditioner and protect it from extreme weather conditions.
Leather Conditioner: Just like the human body, leather also needs conditioning. Invest in a leather conditioner that best suits your jacket’s type. Apply it sparingly, following the product’s instructions. Conditioning keeps the leather hydrated and prevents it from brittling.
And if you don’t have any conditioner, you can create one at home by mixing baby soap, lukewarm water, and vinegar. Dip a microfiber in the prepared solution and gently dab over the leather surface.
Avoid Extreme Temperatures: Leather can be sensitive to extreme heat or cold. Store your jacket in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight or heaters, to prevent it from drying out or fading.
Proper storage is essential to prevent your leather jacket from losing its shape, and color and developing creases.
Hanger vs. Folding: Use a padded hanger to keep the jacket’s shape intact. Avoid hanging it on a hook, as this can cause shoulder dimples. If folding is necessary, pad the creases with tissue paper.
Breathable Cover: Use a breathable garment bag or cover to protect your jacket from dust and moisture. Plastic covers can trap moisture and promote mildew growth.
Leather is not naturally waterproof, so it’s necessary to protect your jacket from rain and moisture.
Water Repellent Spray: Apply a leather-specific water-repellent spray to create a barrier against moisture. Make a habit of reapplying it periodically, especially before the wet seasons like rain.
Drying Wet Leather: If your jacket gets wet, don’t wring it ever. Let it air dry naturally at room temperature. Do not throw it under direct sunlight or use direct heat sources like hair dryers or radiators, as they can cause the leather to crack or wrinkle.
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Regular maintenance is very basic and superficial, consider professional leather cleaning and restoration services for deeper cleaning and repairs. They can help with tasks like reconditioning, stain removal, and zipper or lining repairs.
Dealing with Scratches
Leather jackets are prone to getting scratched pretty easily. However, you can fix scratches or at least reduce their appearance with DIY remedies, leather binders, conditioners, and other tested products.
Repair Kits: Buy a leather repair kit with color-matching options. Follow the kit’s instructions to fix minor scuffs and scratches.
Patina Development: Embrace the natural aging process of leather. Over time, minor scratches blend into the leather’s patina, revamping the jacket’s appearance.
Taking care of your leather jacket is more than just keeping it looking good. With proper maintenance, your leather jacket can become a cherished part of your wardrobe. Whether you have a classic biker jacket or a high-fashion peacoat, the art of leather jacket care will ensure that it remains a symbol of timeless style. So, treat your leather jacket with care, and look exceptionally good every time you carry it.