This is probably our most frequently asked question. Leather is a very unique and wonderful type of fabric. It can be difficult to maintain given that at one time it was part of a living thing. However with minor maintenance and care it can last decades. There is one very important fact to remember when thinking about leather care; leather is porous. This means that anything it touches, it wants to soak up. Whether it’s water, motor oil, human oil, paint, you name it. The best thing you can do to care for your jacket (besides cleaning it) is to condition it. Most leather jackets don’t need conditioner as frequently as, say, boots, or other goods that take lots of abuse like a bag. But if you like you can buy some off Amazon with good reviews just make sure it won’t stain your leather first by using it on a small patch of the interior first. We recommend once every two years. We also recommend purchasing what is called ‘saddle soap’. This is a specially formulated soap that will not ruin the leather’s natural oils and dry it out like almost any other soap on the market. It’s a very gentle product that has oils in it.
The steps you should take to condition your jacket will vary based on which saddle soap you use, and which conditioner but basically we recommend these steps:
Wipe down your jacket with a wet, clean rag. Get rid of all the obvious dirt and any contaminants on the surface.
Dry the jacket.
Use the saddle soap’s instructions to clean your jacket. Often this involves finding a damp clean rag and rubbing the soap into it, then rubbing the rag all over the jacket.
Let the jacket dry(or whatever the instructions say on the saddle soap).
Use your preferred leather conditioner on the jacket, make sure to spot test it first so you know what effect it will have on your leather’s color.
Enjoy! Repeat once every 2 years on average. We don’t recommend overdoing it however, this can saturate the jacket and make it flimsy and prone to scratching.
It’s fairly important to store your leather jacket in a safe manner. The reason for this is because leather creases and however you store it, it will want to retain that shape. However if it comes down to it and you have to fold it to travel or otherwise, it won’t damage the leather, it just may take a few days to a week for the creases to work their way out.
We always recommend using a coat hanger every time you hang up your jacket. This will keep it’s silhouette mostly intact and allow creases to be smoothed by gravity over time. If you use a normal thin wire hanger, it will crease in odd places and when you go to wear it, those creases will be fairly obvious to anyone looking at it.
Some people ask us why we don’t use cedar hangers or recommend them. While cedar has great bug-repellent properties, and it smells great, we aren’t so sure that everyone wants their leather jacket to smell like a cedar closet! Leather is slightly permeable and this smell can linger for days. Use our hanger. If you’ve lost one of our hangers, send us $30 and we’ll ship it out to you as soon as possible. Or go buy any jacket hanger from a store, they’ll be much cheaper! Just make sure it’s a nice thick jacket version.
When storing a jacket for any lengthy period of time, be sensible. Don’t put it in your basement where humidity and bugs can get to it. Leather is organic and as a result will decay over time given the right conditions. Mold can even grow on leather’s porous surface given enough humidity! Store it in a closet with relatively low humidity and room temperature on a nice hanger, or fold it very carefully (find a guide on youtube for proper folding etiquette to reduce weird creases).
If you love your jacket, you’ll wear it. Getting it dirty is a natural consequence of life. Don’t worry too much about it. Dirt, food stains etc. can come out very easily. Things such as oil and paint that can be absorbed may need a professional touch to not damage the leather itself when you have to use more stringent cleaners. But for most daily problems, follow our guide:
To clean, just grab a slightly damp cloth with water and gently wipe it down for minor dirt. Then dry quickly with a paper towel. If you have more serious dirt or oil or food stains buy some saddle soap(special soap designed for leather) and follow the directions. Usually after saddle soap it recommends using conditioner as the soap can slightly dry out the leather.
It’s EXTREMELY important that you do not use regular soap on your leather jacket. Regular soap will wick away all of the natural oils and protective chemicals that are used in the tanning process. This will leave the jacket dry, brittle, and prone to cracking.
After any sort of cleaning, use a conditioner designed for leather jackets. It’s always important to spot test your jacket’s leather with the conditioner first, and allow it to dry, to see the full effect of the conditioner. Some conditioners can lighten/darken your leather or leave it greasy. Find a spot on your jacket (such as a strip of leather on the inside) that no one will see, and rub in a little to see it’s effects. If it looks fine, follow the instructions on the bottle for the areas you cleaned.
We get asked all the time if it’s OK for leather jackets to get wet. I’ve worn my jackets for years with absolutely no negative consequences from getting wet. With that in mind, don’t over do it. Mild rain is perfectly OK. Just try to wipe it off quickly afterwards. If it does get wet it will soften a little, but should return to normal quickly once it’s dry. During this soft period it can be damaged more easily so be careful.
We’ve seen some crazy ideas out there, such as people putting their jackets in the washer, or soaking them in a bathtub. Please, don’t do anything like this. Any attempt to shorten the amount of time it takes to wear in your jacket is going to end with an inferior result. This is like taking a dremel to a pair of jeans to give it ‘that worn in look’. Just don’t do it.
Please check our replacement/reimbursement policy here: https://independencebrothers.com/pages/returns-and-exchanges
Other leather jacket companies also bring high-quality, custom-made products to market, but at two to three times the price of our jackets. These companies typically use much thicker leather. These materials are often sourced from, and the jackets produced in, the company’s home country. All of this adds a lot to the cost of their products. We source our leather and manufacturing services from the leather capital of North America, Leon Mexico. We don’t use filler materials or extra thick layers of leather. This allows our jackets to be fitted, lightweight, fashionable, and, most importantly for the consumer, low-cost.
We have asked our customers to create review threads on popular fashion forums such as SuperFuture, StyleForum, and Reddit’s r/MaleFashionAdvice. We will also be selling on third-party websites in the near future and will link to those pages as well.
Check out our reviews here!
As an independent operation, we have shaped our business to save money for our customers. In most of the fashion industry, a brand will buy a jacket from a factory and then sell it at 2x the cost to a retailer. The retailer will then mark up that price by another 2.5x. We don’t use middle-men: no retailers take a cut and no online stores take a commission. We don't currently have a marketing budget, which sometimes can drive a product's price up by 20-30%. We source our leather and manufacturing services from carefully and personally vetted tanneries and factories in Leon, Mexico. All of this reduces the cost to the consumer without sacrificing the quality of our product. I know for a fact that certain high fashion retailers sell jackets at around $1200, that cost them the exact same amount at the factory as our jackets.
Ask us! We’ve helped many customers who were new to buying a leather jacket. We often recommend first choosing the style you want and then sticking with the basics. Too many added features and breaks from the traditional style can make a jacket look overbearing; after a few months, you may grow tired of the hyper-unique look and that’s the last thing we want. In fashion, like in most things, simplicity is often best.
Measuring is a very straightforward and easy process. We will ask for standard things like height and weight. We will also send you a PDF outlining exactly how to take your own measurements. We’ll work with you personally via e-mail to ensure that you will be completely satisfied with the fit when you receive your jacket.
The whole process takes about a month and a half for each jacket. Once we receive payment, it takes roughly 3-4 days to get your measurements and correspond with you about what will fit you best. When we are sure you’ll be satisfied with the fit, we will send out the instructions, design, and measurements to our shop manager. From there, production of the jacket can take roughly 4-5 weeks. Once production is complete, we will take 2-3 days to perform our quality audit and pack it up to ensure you get exactly what you ordered. Once we’re satisfied that the product matches your custom order, it will take up to about a week to ship it anywhere in the world.
We do not advise anyone wear our leather jackets for any sort of protective reason, including riding a motorcycle or other vehicle. Our jackets are primarily made for fashion uses - this means they're comfortable, supple, and lightweight. However those same qualities make them less than ideal for protection from accidents or damage. While our leather is full grain and certainly tough for daily activities, you wouldn't want to slide on asphault going 60 mph wearing one of these. Please find a company that makes specifically protected motorcycle gear, typically with armor built in or synethetic materials, and thick, stiff leather.