- Storing Leather the Right Way
- Moisturizing and Conditioning
- Gently Cleaning Away Dirt
- Waterproofing for Protection
- Extra Care and Maintenance Tips
- To Sum It All Up
Nothing elevates an outfit quite like a classic leather jacket. The right leather jacket becomes a comfortable companion that gets better with age. But without proper care, leather can crack, dry out, or become stained. If you want your leather jacket to last for years, some simple maintenance is required.
Follow these handy leather jacket care tips to keep yours looking slick, feeling supple, and wearing like new.
Storing Leather the Right Way
Improper storage can distort leather. Avoid folding leather jackets, which causes unsightly creases, as well as hanging them with regular coat hangers, which can stretch the shoulder seams.
Instead, store leather jackets on wide, padded hangers to maintain the shape. If hanging multiple jackets, keep them spaced apart on the closet rod.
Leather shouldn't be stored in direct sunlight, which can cause fading and drying. Keep jackets in a closet or use a garment bag for additional protection.
Moisturizing and Conditioning
Just like your own skin, leather needs regular moisturizing and conditioning to stay supple and prevent drying out. Every three months, use a specially formulated leather conditioner to nourish and hydrate the material. For jackets you wear frequently, bump up the conditioning to every 4-6 weeks.
When it's time to condition, start by removing any dirt or debris with a quick cleaning. Make sure the leather surface is dry first. Then, apply a thin, even layer of leather conditioner using a soft, clean cloth. Massage the conditioner into the leather using gentle, circular motions. Focus on the most handled areas like sleeves, lapels, and seams.
Resist the urge to aggressively scrub or soak the leather - a light touch prevents over-saturation. Use your fingertips to softly work the conditioner into the grain. Buff away any excess with a clean section of cloth. You want a fine protective layer without leaving behind an oily residue.
For leather that feels crackly or extra parched, try applying conditioner before bed and letting it soak in overnight. The extended conditioning time allows the oils and emollients to fully rehydrate the deeper layers. In the morning, buff off any remaining balm. But be wary of over-conditioning which can weaken fibers over time.
Leather conditioner ingredients vary, but look for natural moisturizers like beeswax, coconut oil, lanolin wax, or mink oil. Avoid silicone-based conditioners which leave a plastic-like coating. With the right conditioner and regular application, your leather will feel buttery soft and develop a flexible finish that lasts.
Gently Cleaning Away Dirt
Between conditionings, use a soft cloth to remove dust and dirt from leather. Avoid using water or harsh cleaners which can strip leather's essential oils.
For more thorough cleaning, mix a mild soap with warm water and use a sponge to lightly wash the jacket. Rinse with a damp cloth then let air dry.
For stubborn spots and stains, dip a soft cloth in distilled white vinegar for an all-natural cleaning solution. Test on an inconspicuous area first.
Waterproofing for Protection
While leather holds up well in light rain and snow, frequent wet weather can cause damage. Regularly applying a waterproofing spray adds an extra layer of weather resistance.
When spraying leather, do quick back-and-forth motions across the exterior rather than saturating in one spot. Let the waterproofing fully dry for at least one hour before wearing.
Reapply waterproofing every two to three months for optimal protection. Avoid over-application which leaves residue on the leather over time.
Extra Care and Maintenance Tips
Keep these additional pointers in mind for your leather jacket:
- Bring jackets to a leather professional annually for deep cleaning and conditioning.
- Stuff sleeves with acid-free tissue paper when storing to retain shape and prevent creasing.
- Wipe up spills immediately with an absorbent cloth to prevent stains.
- Keep away from direct heat which can dry out and crack leather.
With proper storage methods, consistent conditioning, and light cleaning, your favorite leather jacket will develop character and patina for years of stylish wear. Follow these care instructions and your leather will last so long it becomes vintage.
To Sum It All Up
Caring for leather jackets doesn't require much time or effort, but those small habits make a big difference. Use quality hangers, keep out of sunlight, condition every three months, clean gently, and protect from water.
Make leather jacket care a routine, and your jacket will only get better with age. Plus, you'll avoid unsightly cracking and damage. Implement these simple tips so you can break out your jacket season after season. Your wardrobe (and wallet) will thank you!