Its indisputable leather jackets have been around for ages. They were invented for utilitarian purposes in the early 20's, but later they became fashion courtesy of Hollywood movies. Nowadays jackets are essentials for many wardrobes. The problem is not buying but the maintaining aspect. This has been a puzzle for many individuals.
So what are you supposed to do?
How to extend your leather jacket's life
Do you want to extend your leather jacket's life? You have to! A high-quality leather jacket is one of the smartest investments in your wardrobe and can serve you for many years. Many people overlook this aspect, hence, increasing the risk of structural damage and fading. Such problems can be avoided with the following tips:
- Condition it- One of the most common causes of leather damage is cracking, this usually happens dues to dehydration. You need a leather conditioning substance to moisturise and protect leather from drying.
- UV-protectant- Beside the leather conditioning product, you need a UV-protectant to shield your leather from the sun's ultraviolet rays.
- Hang it on a padded clothes hanger- Most people toss their jackets on the floor or sofa, this decrease the lifespan of the coat. Use padded clothes hanger because cheap plastic and wire hangers lack the necessary capacity to support a leather jacket.
- Choose the right size- You need the right size but why? A perfect fitting leather jacket lasts longer and offers an appealing look and comfort.
- Read the care label- Most people ignore the care label of their garments and jackets. This is wrong since the label provides you with cleaning and caring insights. Manufacturers include the tag in the jacket collar. Read and follow it.
- Store in the right climate- Which is the right climate for your leather jacket? Don't store the jacket in high humid areas such as basements. The excess moisture will seep through the leather which will promote mildew and mildew. Store your jacket in a climate-controlled area such as a closet.
There are various aspects you need to involve when cleaning the outer of the leather jacket. In your washing, avoid using bleach-based detergents or ammonia. This is because they facilitate excessive drying which leads to cracks or may damage the finishing. Also, don't use too much water because it can stain the leather.
In case of spills on the leather, immediately clean them with a soft cloth. It must be noted that the leather material is so porous, hence absorbs liquids which form the stain. The sooner, the better.
When cleaning, use a solution of warm water and dish soap. Dip a soft cloth into the solution, wring it out and use it to clean your jacket. In the second cleaning, use the solution of vinegar. Use another soft cloth, dip it in the vinegar solution and then use it to wipe the jacket. Dry your coat with a towel.
If the jacket is a bit dusty or rustic, use a soft brush. It's advisable to carry a small brush when travelling.
How to remove stains
Since good quality leather jackets such as cowhide and lambskin absorb stains easily, you should stain lifting tactics. There are various ways to remove clouds of dust, dirt, and others but washing is not one of them.
What are the tactics?
- Toothpaste- Apply non-gel toothpaste on the stain using your finger. Rub the stained area gently using a soft cloth, until the stain lifts. Don't scratch, scrub or discolour the leather. Use a clean damp cloth to wipe the toothpaste off.
- Nail polish remover- You can get rid of scuffs and ink stains by blotting the affected area with a cotton swab that's dipped in nail polish remover. Blot the area gently until the ink disappears. Wipe the field with a clean piece of cloth then dry it with a towel.
- Baking soda or cornstarch- This can be applied if your jacket has grease or oil stains. Sprinkle cornstarch or baking soda on the area then rub it with a damp cloth. Leave it for some hours or overnight, the cornstarch or soda will absorb the oil or grease.
- Rubbing oil- This is the best way to clean those molds. What are you supposed to do? Mix the rubbing alcohol with water, dip a clean cloth in alcohol and wipe the spot. Wipe clean using the solution of alcohol and water. This removes mildew.
Now that the leather jacket is clean use a leather conditioner to keep it safe from drying out and cracking. This also will make resistant from future stains.
How to fix scratches
Some things such as scratches and scuffs are beyond human control, but there are simple ways to fix them. Don't worry; you can fix them.
- Rub a leather lotion on the scuffed area- Apply the cream in regard to the manufacturer's prescriptions. Don't use lotions that contain wax or silicone because they can dry the leather further.
- If the leather does not respond with leather lotions, heat it. This works well with leathers that don't have pigments. If the leathers have pigments, use a blow-dryer on the affected area as you massage the scuff. When done, apply a leather protector.
- Wet cloth- Clean the affected area using a damp cloth or brush to remove all dust.
- Oil- Put 4-5 drops of oil on the spot and use cotton or a clean, smooth cloth to rub the oil. When the oil dries up, it will darken the affected area.
- Marker- This is another alternative measure for scratches. Find a good one, this means of the same color and apply it on the scratched area.
- Shoe polish- Apply your shoe polish on the affected area. Wait for it to dry, polish it again to make sure no visible lighter areas.
- Dye the leather- After all the above measures and the scuff is clear, dye it. Leather dye is found in various online stores. Follow instructions on the purchased product.
How to dry a leather jacket
While leather jackets are known for their toughness, the only thing that can ruin their appearance and longevity is soaking water. There are two types of leathers, water based and oil based leathers, and both can use the below procedure.
- Step1- Dry it off
The first step to save your jacket is to dry it. Wipe the water inside out, and then allow the water that's soaked in the material to evaporate on its own. Hang the jacket on the padded hanger in an area where there's sufficient air flow. Do not use a blow dryer in this situation because it will facilitate the leather damage.
- Step 2- Condition
Once the jacket has dried to a point it dampens, rubs it in a leather conditioner solution. Leather conditioner will help to wash away the oils that were drenched in water and restore the main oils, hence, restoring durability, texture, and health of the leather jacket.
- Step 3- protect for later
Apply the conditioner sparingly. This will help to fix the visible patches.
Many people when buying leather jackets are so keen on the inner lining. This is because the internal lining provides comfort and protects the body. There are various types of internal lining; they include:
- Taffeta- This is a beautiful fabric that's plain-woven. It has a lustrous surface. The fabric offers a starched-like stature that maintains the shape of leather jackets. There are two types of this material, piece dyed and yarn dyed. The drawbacks of piece-dyed taffeta include wrinkling easily and difficult to iron.
- 100% cotton- This material is less weighty, and it gives a lustre finish to jackets. The fabric not only reduces wearing strain but also construction details. The material is incredibly soft, and it allows jackets to slip over other clothing such as t-shirts easily and adds warmth. The disadvantages of this lining include shrinking after washing and wrinkles quickly.
- Poly-cotton- This is a combination of polyester and cotton. A lining made of poly-cotton is wrinkle free, secure and long-lasting. Also, the material can be washed more often because of its lesser shrinks. The drawback with this fabric is that it doesn't stay cool like cotton; therefore, it becomes uncomfortable when wearing it for long periods. The other disadvantage the material does not sustain high temperature; one needs to be vigilant when ironing it.
- Fleece- This is a soft lining and it's used to keep the wearer warm with wool without being weighty. The coating dries up quickly, and you can use the machine to wash it. It also provides insulation against cold. The disadvantages of this material include not breathing well, hence, prohibiting sweat from getting out of it. And also it generates lots of static electricity which collects lint, dust and pet hair.
- Wool blend- The fabric is both natural and human-made. Their primary role is to keep the jacket wearer warm. It requires proper maintenance for it to last longer. You should brush it regularly to prevent accumulation of soil and dust.
- Fake fur- It can also be called faux fur o fun fur. The fabric is made from processed polymeric fibers that are cut and dyed to match the leather texture and color. The material is impervious to moths and more comfortable. Its disadvantage is it doesn't allow the wearer's skin to breath.
- Sherpa fabric- This is a thick polyester material that looks similar to sheepskin. It enjoys the convenience of hand or machine washing. Due to its density, heat retention and softness, it's regarded as the best lining fabric for leather jackets. The disadvantage of this material is that straw and dirt sticks to it.
How to maintain the inner lining of the leather jacket
Vinegar and water can help you to deal with your jacket's bad odor. You must know that what works for one jacket will not work for the other. Therefore, conduct spot tests on your jacket.
If the affected area does not fade, discolour or get damaged, you can use an equal amount of water and vinegar in a spray bottle and a clean cloth. This solution is rubbed on the exterior of your jacket. The vinegar's acid will remove the odor gently until it gets off completely.
In regard to the lining, use baking soda. Sprinkle it on the jacket lining. After 24 hours, clean the soda reside using a clean cloth if the odor exists to repeat the process.
Removing dirt and other foreign particles
You must be cautious when cleaning the leather jacket linings because a slight mistake can damage the fabric. If your jacket's inner's are a bit dirty and dusty, you can use the following methods:
- Water and dryer- Use a wet cloth to clean the stain
- Soft brush- Use the soft brush to rub the affected inner areas gently.
- Blower- You can use the fan to remove any dust and particle from the linings.
How to store your leather jacket
Now that you have known various aspects regarding leather jackets, it's wise to know what you will do to prevent your jacket from getting dirty and cracked. For your jacket to survive, you should do the following:
- Clean the surface- You should clean the jacket using a damp cloth since dirt and dust damage the leather over time. Clean from front to back and from top to bottom.
- Wrap it- Your jacket should be in white cotton bags, sheets or clean fabrics that are breathable. Avoid using plastic materials because they can dry the leather which may cause cracks.
- Humidity- Don't place your jacket in an open room or any source of heat. Put it in a wooden box or closet to save it from high temperatures and humidity.
- Wooden hangers- Use wooden hanger or full padded hanger to maintain the jacket's shape.
For your leather jacket to stay long, you need to take care of it. The above guidelines will save both you and the jacket. Just put the theory into practice.