New Year, New Leather: How To Make Yours Last

New Year, New Leather: How To Make Yours Last

Christmas has just passed, and a bunch of new jackets have become members of the family. Here at BODA SKINS, we live by the fact that your leather jacket is a second skin. Your style is designed to be yours forever, to be the jacket that you can turn to, no matter what occasion. It’s true that we have been around the block over the last decade or so; we have experimented, honed into our craft and have created a collection of styles that are now the best we have ever done.

So, we want to make sure that you’re prepared in making sure that your jacket is consistently pristine. Your jacket deserves to be perfect forever, and of course, it’s bound to be, but there’s never anything wrong with a bit of TLC. Even the finest of engines need some fresh oil once in a while. With this being said, we have compiled a detailed list of do’s and don’ts to give your leather jacket the love it deserves. 

First of all, you need to be clear about what type of leather you are dealing with. If your jacket is suede or nubuck, it is recommended that you take it to a specialist cleaner. Luckily for you, on the BODA SKINS website, you can see what leather your jacket is made of by clicking on the ‘Product Story’ tab on the right hand side of your style. But, despite what you may read on the internet, a leather jacket should never be totally immersed in water or placed in a washing machine. Regular conditioning and wiping with a damp cloth will prevent a build-up of dirt and grease, while storing your jacket in dry conditions will prevent mould.

To remove dirt, grease or light staining, we recommend that you use a damp cloth with soapy water. Blot rather than rub and avoid over-wetting your leather. Once cleaned, dry the leather naturally, but don’t allow it to remain damp for long. Polyester or cotton linings can be cleaned using the same method, but silk or rayon should be cleaned by a specialist. Cornstarch or baking powder can be used to assist in the removal of stains, but other suggestions you may see on the internet – such as nail varnish remover – should be seriously avoided. Seriously. 

Now that we have covered the basics of cleaning your leather at home, we wanted to jump into some of the frequently asked questions that we get on a regular basis.  

Will my leather jacket shrink if I put it in the dryer?

In short, yes it will. We have seen numerous instructions on the internet on how to use a dryer for your leather jacket, and we advise please, don’t follow them. If you put your jacket in a dryer, it will not only shrink it, but it will also dry out all of the natural oils and cause it to shrivel and crack.

Can I iron my leather jacket?

Again, there is plenty of guidance on the internet that recommends you to use a low iron in order to remove wrinkles from the jacket. This practice is as likely to ruin your jacket as it is to also remove the dreaded wrinkles. The safer, and more practical way to avoid wrinkles in the first place is by keeping your leather on an appropriate clothes hanger when you’re not wearing it.

How do you polish a leather jacket?

UV lights damage leather just as much as it damages our skin, just like prolonged exposure to sunlight will dull the shine of a leather jacket. And of course, we understand the idea of applying a shoe polish to restore the shine of your jacket sounds like a quick and easy one, but in order to keep your jacket at the highest standard forever, we recommend that you avoid that idea. Shoe polish will clog the surface of your leather jacket, causing the leather to dry out and possibly discolour. Use a specialist leather balsam to restore your jacket’s shine.

How do I soften a leather jacket?

Please, do not attempt to soften your leather jacket by putting it in the washing machine. Through doing this, you will irreparably damage the leather and almost certainly shrink the jacket. Your jacket will soften naturally over time, but you can also assist the process by using a leather conditioner that has high lanolin content.

What do I do if the leather jacket attracts mould?

Mould and mildew can both appear on leather which is stored in damp or humid conditions. When looking for mould, it has a green or back, slimy appearance, whereas mildew is white, grey or yellow and is fluffy and powdery. Neither of them is something that you want on your jacket, and when dealing with them, we recommend that you wear a face mask and gloves to prevent any potential health problems. 

When cleaning it, be sure to use a damp cloth soaked in a strong solution of vinegar to remove the mould, then leave it to dry naturally. In order to prevent mould in the first place, make sure you store your jacker in dry conditions with good air circulation. Never store your jacket wrapped in plastic.

What do I do if my leather jacket goes stiff?

It’s a known fact that the more your jacket is worn, the more supple it will become. However, if the natural oils in the leather are allowed to dry out, the leather will lose its elasticity. In order to prevent this, we recommend applying a leather conditioner to your jacket at least once a year, or more frequently if it is regularly exposed to sun and rain.

How do I save my jacket if it smells like smoke?

Leather is a natural, permeable material and consequently, it will absorb smells. Since the ban on smoking in bars and restaurants some years ago, the likelihood of your jacket getting contaminated is far less. Although, standing near a bonfire may still present a problem. In order to avoid the smell from sticking, be sure to mix equal parts of water and vinegar and apply with a damp sponge - this should remove the smell of smoke from your leather jacket. But, after, ensure that you condition the leather.

My leather jacket is too tight, what do I do?

Naturally, your leather jacket will stretch and mould to the shape of your body as you wear it in. The extent to which you wear it will do so, depending on the type of leather and its thickness. All in all, the best solution for this would be to ensure that you buy a leather jacket that is a comfortable fit from the outset.

Can a leather jacket be folded?

Yes, a leather jacket can be folded, however it is best avoided if possible because keeping a leather jacket folded for long periods will cause creases. But, we do understand that sometimes you have to do so, then if this is the case, try to do so with the minimum of folds and where possible, make the line of the fold follow a seam.