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Woman wearing leather jacket

Labor of Love: How to Take Care of Your Precious Leather Jacket

There’s an air of cool that comes with wearing a leather jacket or belt. Maybe it’s the slick look it gives in contrast with your jeans and shirt. It could be the primal nature of the material, too. After all, the first clothes that ancient people ever wore were made from animal hide. While leather may be one of the most durable clothing materials known to man, it’s susceptible to cracks and stains if you don’t give it regular maintenance. Show your cooler-than-life coat some TLC with these tips.

Regular Cleaning

If you’ve been used to cruising the Danville streets with your leather jacket for a few months now, it might have stains that can cause damage if left unchecked. Start by using a clean, damp cloth to wipe away dirt from its surface. Use a dollop of leather cleaner and wipe in a circular motion for tougher stains. Next, check the inside for soiling. If you can’t wash off the spots, give it a gentle handwash. However, this may not be applicable for suede and nubuck leather. It’s better to drop them off at your local laundry shop. Start by emptying the jacket pockets and turning it inside out. Prepare a tub of lukewarm water and add a drop or two of gentle liquid detergent. Submerge the coat completely and gently move it around. Use a soft brush to get rid of the stains. Once you’re done, leave it in the tub for eight to ten minutes. Lift the jacket up from the water and lightly squeeze it. Empty the tub and fill it with clean water, rinse the coat. Empty the tub again and repeat the rinsing process until the water runs clear. Hang it up outside, but don’t put it under direct sunlight. You may have to wait a few days to a week for it to completely dry. A small price to pay for high fashion.

Some General Repairs

If you got your jacket as a hand-me-down, there’s a good chance that it has scratches and scuffs. Some people think these add personality, while others think the scratches ruin the slick look of the item. If you’re one of the latter, you can remedy these marks by simply filling them in with a marker or leather dye. If you find that your coat has dried out, reinvigorate it by using a leather conditioner. Put a dime-sized amount on a soft cloth and gently rub it on the leather. Make sure to cover every part of the jacket. Once you’re done, you’ll be surprised at how moisturized and smooth your coat looks.

Protection and Storage

Leather jacket in a mannequin at a store Now that your jacket is clean and shiny, it’s time to shield it against the elements. Spritz some leather protector on your coat and rub it in with a soft cloth. Once you’ve covered every spot, you’re ready to get your cool on again. If you need to store it for the summer, however, hang it up and keep it in a cold dry place. If your closet has a lightbulb, store your coat somewhere else, as heat can cause it to shrink. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to wear it again after two months. Good quality leather jackets are expensive investments. And even if you inherited yours, the memories attached to it are priceless. Take care of your coat by giving it regular cleaning and conditioning. The process may be tiring and the wait can be quite long, but taking care of leather is a labor of love.
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