A leather jacket is a style statement that is not only timeless but also a classic expression of your personality. And it asks for a tad bit of care in return.
Leather jackets have gradually evolved from being an integral part of military attire into symbol of fashion and glamour. A beautiful jacket is essential for any wardrobe to be considered complete. Designer leather jackets are a long term investment and it is essential to know how to protect that investment so that it continues to pay dividends for years to come. You see what we did there? Your leather jacket is a true style asset for you and by nature, it will work for you for a very long time. It just needs a bit of attention and TLC which we’ll cover here.
General care for your leather jacket
Firstly, read the care label carefully. Basic instructions are clearly spelled out on how to take care of the jacket. Different leather jackets can have different specifications, so it is imperative that the care label is read thoroughly before putting your jacket through any care measures.
It is important to remember that the jacket should never be completely immersed in water or chucked in a washing machine. A good quality leather jacket – natural and processed with the highest quality standards – does not need rounds of cleaning and laundering. Like denim, leather gets better with time and use.
Avoid ironing your jacket. Ironing your jacket may eliminate any wrinkles but in the process will surely destroy the leather surface as well. Since every piece of leather is unique, the manufacturer makes every effort to bring out the best in the natural material. Hang your leather jacket on a wide, padded hanger and gently nudge it into shape.
Information on the material and type of leather is very helpful. The user should be aware whether the leather is natural (untreated) or coated (treated). You can ask the shop or manufacturer directly about the material. If that isn’t possible, you can assess the texture. Natural leather is supple and soft, while the treated leather feels slightly stiffer. Coated leather is easier to wipe down with a damp cloth and soapy water as it does not change colour unlike the untreated leather whose ‘grain’ (the top layer of the leather surface) may change colour upon contact with water.
How to clean your leather jacket
Dirt and grime are an inevitable result of sporting a leather jacket. The most effective way to remove visible dirt is by properly wiping the leather jacket. This should be done with a damp cloth – soft, cotton ones ideally – as it helps in removing stubborn marks and visible dirt. However, if the stains and marks are still visible, you might have to pull up your sleeves. Not leather ones though.
Commercial leather cleaners are a tried and tested tool in removing the stubborn stains. Although these leather cleaners are safe, it’s advised to perform a spot test before applying on multiple stains. Locate a spot on the inside of your jacket to test. If you’re completely stuck, drop us a line and we’ll see how we can help.
Conditioning and polishing your leather jacket
Since leather is essentially a natural product it is advised to apply leather conditioner occasionally. Conditioners help restore oil to the leather, keeping them supple and smooth. This prevents dryness and cracking as well. The best time to apply conditioner is when the jacket begins to become stiffen or after some time it has not been in use.
Before selecting the ideal conditioner for your jacket, make sure it is suited for the specific leather type. Avoid using petroleum based products such as saddle soap or products which contain wax or silicone as they may harm the jacket material.
Leather polishing is another tool in protecting the shine but its application needs to be done with utmost care. Leather jacket polishes contain a built-in moisturiser to generate a shiny look. The recommended agent is using carnauba wax as it is lightweight and not on the heavier side such as mink oil or neatsfoot oil. The reason for using lightweight wax is, since leather jackets are already heavily treated with oils at the tannery to keep them supple, further moisturising is not required. The application is therefore recommended only when the jacket is being cleaned or treated. Please note that regular use of leather polishing may lead to discolouration, stiffening or clogging the leather surface. The use of polishing should be restricted to special occasions only.
Sealing and proper storage
To prevent your designer leather jacket from wrinkling, it is important that the leather jacket is hung on a padded hanger. The leather should be allowed to breathe in an environment which is dry and devoid of moisture. If the jacket gets damp, place it in a dry space at room temperature and air out the jacket before putting it back in the closet. Also turn out the jacket inside-out to maximise the benefit of airing. And avoid direct heat at all costs as it will damage the leather grain.
To protect the jacket from moisture, you can also use a sealant spray and cover the jacket in a plastic garment cover. The spray will protect against stains as well. It should be applied to all areas where leather is exposed since the surface is highly vulnerable to stains.
It is vital to take care of your new leather jacket with the attention it deserves. Even though effort and consistent routine is required, the rewards are worth the effort. We also recommend visiting a professional cleaner once a year so that any stubborn stains are removed and the life of your prized jacket is extended.