March 19, 2022 5 min read

A leather jacket is the penultimate style statement. You just cannot go wrong with it. The softness, combined with the smooth and flowing texture of well-maintained leather can make your jacket shine naturally. However, when you live out loud, your adventurous lifestyle and rough usage can cause some creasing and frizz on your jacket. Frizzes and creasing can impact your leather jacket in a two-fold manner. Firstly, it can affect the quality and strength of the jacket in the long run, impacting the durability and quality of the leather. Secondly, it can make your jacket stiff and rough. Let us now understand that there can be several reasons to justify the loss of softness/ smoothness of your leather jacket over time. There are certain conditions to keep in mind to ascertain the longer life and smooth texture of your leather jacket.

How soft are new leather jackets?

Imagine you spot a brand new leather jacket at the showroom downtown. You are in absolute awe of it. You buy it but it's not exactly comfortable. It's stiffer than you expected. This can happen more often than you'd think. The softness of a new jacket depends on the source of the hide its leather is made from.

Does the grade of the leather matter?

There are essentially 5 grades of leather. All of these have their unique composition and characteristics. It is, however, pertinent to note, that any type of leather may deteriorate with time, but learning about the various grades of leather may help you pick a better, more durable jacket. Let's begin with the undeniable. It is undebatable that full-grain leather is the best, most premium grade leather out there. The specialty of this type of leather is that it has not been sanded or buffed. This helps the leather retain its natural personality. Full-grain leather is usually the strongest grade leather, crafted from the thick, original hide. Next up, we have top-grain grade leather. The name "top-grain leather" refers to the portion of the hide used to make it, which has a stain repellent finishing and has a pebbled pattern post finishing. It is thinner than full-grain leather due to the sanding done to remove any imperfections. It's not the most widely used leather.

Then there is suede grade leather. The major disadvantage of suede leather is its porous and absorbent qualities. The reason for this absorbent quality is the very crafting process of this type of leather. Suede leather is derived from the split leather that has been left over after the removal of the rawhide. It may not be the best choice for a rainy day, but it is available more reasonably than premium full-grain leather. One of the most popular choices is nubuck leather. It is the first choice for several people who prefer light grade and durable leather. Additionally, the leather has a luxurious texture that gives it a unique finish. It is crafted from top-grain leather that is sanded or buffed.

A good understanding of leather grades will help you in picking the right leather jacket. Our pick would be full-grain leather jackets. They last longer than any other leather type and their said imperfections make them even more special.

What are the best storage options to ensure the softness of your leather jacket?

The practical storage method of a leather jacket will directly determine the quality and longevity of your jacket. The softness of leather jackets can be damaged by excess exposure to moisture or humid conditions. They can also get damaged by lack of humidity as a certain amount of room temperature is essential to maintain the texture of your jacket. Too much humidity will harden the leather, and so will lack moisture. It is essential to read the label of your jacket to understand the storage requirements.

How important is it to pick the right size for your leather jacket?

Very important. Leather jackets shine differently when their smooth texture is maintained. As opposed to the popular notion, wearing smaller-sized jackets make them stiffer, not softer. The fiber in the leather will stretch, thereby causing stiffness and ruining its otherwise supple nature. Similarly, wearing an oversized jacket is no good either. Leather comes out smooth when stretched appropriately. Get yourself a properly sized leather jacket and let your body work the magic.

Is it advisable to tumble dry your leather jacket?

Never. Buying a high-grade leather jacket can cost you a considerable amount of money. It is, therefore, important to look after it properly. One important point of consideration, as such, is to always avoid tumble drying. The safest method of drying a leather jacket is to put it in a cool dry place, with about 50% humidity to allow it to air dry. Once dried, it can be stored in the closet. Tumble drying and ironing can ruin your leather jacket irreparably.

How old is too old for a leather jacket? 

Leather ages eventually, as does everything. A leather jacket of top-grade, if maintained well, can maintain the softness for the better part of the decade. However, after a certain point, the leather does age and cannot maintain its smooth, calm texture. One must always remember that leather jackets can age gracefully if maintained properly. But, when the time comes, it's best to get rid of them.

Here are some tricks to soften your leather jacket... 

Apply oil or lubricants on the leather jacket

Leather can dry up and stiffen due to lack of moisture. A few natural lubricants or some types of oil can serve the purpose of lubricating the leather and softening it too. As per many experts, the best suggestion would be the application of mink oil. It is just the right texture and not the heaviest oil out there. It lasts longer and is thin enough to percolate through the various layers of leather fiber. However, coconut oil and castor oil can serve as effective alternatives. The cheaper and much more viable method of lubricating the jacket is with oil, rather than other leather lubricants. However, it is recommended to use a leather conditioner at least about once a year, for better-combined results.

Apply leather conditioner 

We're stating the obvious here but leather conditioners are essential for the maintenance of leather products. They can help maintain the texture, shine, and smoothness of the jacket. Application of a top-quality conditioner about twice a year can help nourish your jacket. The method is simple. Clean your jacket, and remove any dust or dirt stuck to it. Then pour the recommended amount of the leather conditioner and rub the same on the jacket with the help of a leather sponge or cloth. The results will speak for themselves.

 Lightly misting or spraying water on your leather jacket

Water is a natural resource and can enrich and nourish humans, animals, plants, and almost everything on this planet. Leather is no exception. A light misting of your leather jacket will prevent any form of creasing and lining while keeping your jacket smooth and in good shape and texture. Do not overspray it though. Gently spray or mist some water on the creased/frizzled area and leave it overnight.

Wear it regularly

Here's the secret. The simplest way to keep your leather jacket soft and supple is to wear it regularly. No tips and tricks. Treat it like a companion that will accompany you wherever you go.