Vintage leather jackets are both fashionable and versatile winter-wardrobe option. They come in a variety of styles from longer a style that brushes your knees to short bomber styles. These types of jackets need special and extra care that a newer leather jacket does not need. Particularly, you must protect aging jacket from ultraviolet rays or from drying. Your vintage jacket should last forever if you maintain a regular conditioning and cleaning process.
Professional Leather Cleaning:
If you have a very unique or very fragile leather item, or if you do not want to take any odds cleaning it yourself, there are specialized leather cleaners that can do it for you. Many dry cleaners offer cleaning service through which your jacket is sent off to a specialized cleaning company and then returned to dry cleaners. There are chances of slight variations in texture, color, and shape may result, although this process is done by professionals, so be sure to clean matching garments together even only one piece is dirty.
Cleaning at Home:
In most of the cases, only damp cloth or store bought leather cleaner is required, in this way all surface dirt or dust will be removed. Always follow manufacturer’s cleaning instructions when using a cleaner specifically for leather. If your leather jacket is stiff or has been in contact with water or perspiration, you may need a more significant method to wash it.
While hand washing your leather jacket treat or remove any stains on the leather before washing it. Use a gentle cleanser like baby shampoo or soap flakes to make warm soapy water, then rub the specific area of your leather jacket with a soft cloth to produce lather. With a clean cloth wipe any excess lather. Rinse your jacket thoroughly either by wiping several times with a damp cloth or by running through warm water. To remove excess water pats your jacket with a clean towel. Allow your jacket to dry flat in a warm place out of direct sunlight away from fire, stove or heater.
Washing Leather in a Washing Machine:
Some people argue that custom leather jackets can be washed in a washing machine when set on very gentle delicate or wool setting with cool or warm water. When you are washing a vintage jacket this method may not be worth a risk. Do not use any detergent meant for washing cloth if you are using this method, you can use soap flakes. Do not use unnecessary soap; use enough that make water slippery, too much soap will make leather stiff and dry.
Conditioning Vintage Leather:
Conditioning leather replaces the tanning oils that are worn-out over time through heat, wear, and moisture. Reconditioning leather jacket after every 6-9 months will guarantee that it never becomes cracked, stiff or dry. Always use conditioners that are specially made for leather. There are many products available in the market for this task, so always read the label before using leather conditioner to be sure that particular product is suitable for your vintage jacket or not. Do not use conditioners that contain silicone or waxes, they do not allow leather to breathe.
Things to Remember:
Always use soft cloth free from lint when conditioning your leather jacket; microfibers cloths are ideal for this job. Before applying conditioner to leather always damp the cloth with water so that not too much conditioner applied to your jacket. Never apply conditioner directly on to your leather jacket always apply the cloth first. Always apply conditioner by gently rubbing it until the entire surface has been covered. Allow the first coat of conditioner to penetrate completely before applying another coat. Some gentle applications of conditioner are preferred over deep soaking of conditioner.
Things to Avoid:
The leather is not indestructible even though it is very durable. Improper cleaning or care can dry or crack the leather skin, finishes or remove color, or make it too stiff to wear. Keeping leather away from humidity, chemicals and heat are keys make your leather jacket long lasting. The leather is a skin, so take care of it like you take care of your skin.