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Independence Brothers Leather Care Guide

 

1. HOW DO I STORE MY LEATHER JACKET?

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 thick 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.

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).

2. HOW DO I CLEAN MY LEATHER JACKET?

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.

3. SHOULD I USE CONDITIONER ON MY LEATHER JACKET?

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.

4. CAN I WEAR MY LEATHER JACKET IN THE RAIN?

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.