This is where we tell you not to throw an investment grade jacket on a pile of clothes – or worse, the floor – after wearing it. Your new jacket deserves proper care, and luckily, it’s pretty easy to deliver. We asked David Mesquita, Co-Owner and Vice-President of Leather Spa, how to give your jacket the best possible life.
An ounce of prevention
âLeather is like our skin, we put on a moisturizer in winter because our skin dries out. It’s the same with leather jackets. As you wear it, rubbing against stuff, the skin’s natural oils will wear away, âMesquita says.
Before wearing a new leather jacket for the first time, spray your jacket with water and stain repellent, especially if it is suede. Then, at least once a season, you’ll want to condition your jacket to keep the leather from drying out. âIf it’s something you wear a lot, you may need to do some conditioning in the middle of the season instead of waiting until the end,â he added. âA good rule of thumb is that you can still look at the jacket and start to see some discoloration. It could be a sign of dryness and you should apply moisturizer.
But beware: this may darken the color of your jacket. If you are not sure how much to use or if you are nervous about the application, ask a professional.
Give it some space
There is nothing wrong with storing your jacket in the back of your closet during the off-season. But you want to make sure it has room to breathe and hang naturally. Do not store it in an overcrowded closet or store it folded under heavy coats and sweaters. Crease and crease marks cannot be ironed on leather as they can with other fabrics. So you want to avoid undue pressure for long periods of time. To keep your jacket on the next level, consider keeping a box of baking soda or a bag of cedar shavings in your closet.
Never hang your leather jacket on wire or thin hangers. Instead, spend the money on wooden hangers with adequate shoulder support.
âI wouldn’t let it sit on one of those slim hangers for too long, because it stretches the shoulders and leaves that imprint,â Mesquita said. âThe best way to store leather goods is in the fabric garment bag you get when you buy the jacket because it’s breathable. God forbid you have your jacket in a storage unit and there is some type of moisture or humidity trapped in it.
Clean it up quickly
Spilled beer, motorcycle grease, and other types of dirt will occur. But don’t let the stains sit for more than an hour or two, or they’ll need professional cleaning.
âIf you have a stain or mark, you need to treat it immediately before it enters the skin pores and becomes permanent like a tattoo,â says Mesquita. âThe best time for any kind of care is when you come home right before you put it away in your closet. Examine it and if you see a small stain or blemish, rub it right before it becomes permanent. Or use a little spot cleaner, then scrub it off right away.
Know when to go pro
For something more intense than a spilled beer or a stain of dirt, head straight to a pro. Trying to fix something without the proper training could just lead to more problems. Put simply, âif it’s a jacket you’ve spent a lot of money on, you better take it to a professional,â Mesquita says.
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