Caring for your leather items between trips to the cleaners

So let’s say you’ve brought home your leather jacket after cleaning. Thanks to Battiston’s and our leather-care partners, your jacket is looking fantastic. But how do you keep it that way between trips to the cleaners?

Here are some recommendations to keep your leather items looking their best:

Storage:

  • Leathers should be stored in a cool, dry area out of direct light. All three of these features are important. Water is leather’s #1 enemy, and heat is #2. Garments stored in damp basements will attract mold and mildew. Too much light will cause the color of a leather garment to fade or oxidize.
  • Do not store the garment in plastic. This is a good rule of thumb for most garments - dry cleaners like Battiston’s give your items back to you in plastic as a temporary covering for while in transit, but plastic isn’t good for garments long-term. Humidity and moisture can get trapped in the plastic, causing mold and mildew. If you want to cover the garment, look for a breathable garment bag alternative.

Wear:

  • Water repellent. It’s a must. Be sure to ask for it.
  • Whenever possible, wear a scarf along with your leather coat or jacket. It’ll help keep perspiration and body oils from seeping down into the garment. Perspiration stains are unsightly on any garment, but on leathers, they’re also much harder to get out.
  • Don’t apply hair spray or spray perfume while you’re wearing your leather or suede garments. The oils in these products will stain leather.
  • Stickers and tape can also damage the leather finish. Don’t let anybody put a sticker on your leather jacket. Instead, just be ‘Hello My Name Is Guy In Leather Jacket.’ That’s much cooler, more enigmatic. If you do have a sticker placed on your leather garment, don’t remove it yourself - a professional leather cleaner will be able to remove it without damaging the skin.
  • Pins can also damage the fabric. A pinhole is going to be much more apparent on a leather skin than a cloth knit garment.
  • Let’s say that no matter how much you tried to keep your leather out of the elements, you got caught in an unexpected rainstorm or snowstorm. To dry out the garment in a way that’ll be least likely to end up with long-term damage, allow it to air-dry in a well-ventilated area away from any direct heat. Never put leather in a dryer. Suedes have a habit of showing water spots, but those can typically just be brushed away. It’s normal. After your leather or suede has been exposed to water, it’ll be especially important to store away from moisture and humidity, to avoid having mold, mildew or fungus take the opportunity to invade.
  • If you’re in a motorcycle gang, feel free to ignore all of the above advice, since the more distressed you look, the better.

Sources: Professional Leather Cleaners Association, Hudson Services