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HOW TO SOFTEN STIFF LEATHER JACKET

Leather wardrobes are nothing new when it comes to the clothing industry. Man has used leather to create clothes, belts, shoes and other fashion related stuff for years now. There is a good chance that you also own some leather related stuff too. One of the most commonly used leather articles are leather jackets which are a common choice for many people especially in the winter season. But just like with other products created from naturally acquired materials, leather products also tend to degrade and wear out with time. One of the most commonly encountered problems is the stiffening of leather jackets over time. Sometimes freshly prepared leather jackets (especially prepared from hard leather) are also quite stiff. But there are ways one use to get rid of the stiffness of your leather jackets and soften them without compromising their quality. This article will go over a few methods you can use to soften your stiff leather jacket.

Leather types and their stiffness

Leather types

Before we do a deep dive into the various tricks you can use to soften your leather jacket, it is worthwhile to know that the many different kinds of leather used and their varying levels of stiffness. Contrary to the popular belief, leather is derived from multiple sources rather than one. While cowhide does serve as the main source of leather, it is also derived from other animals like goats, pigs, lambs, buffalos and deer. Let’s have a look at each of these leather types:

  • Cowhide

The most common type of leather you will encounter is the one derived from cows. If you have ever seen leather utilized in making of furniture, then that leather comes from cows. It is the strongest and toughest type of leather compared to all other types. This heavyweight of this leather is the reason it is mainly used for making furniture and not used in the fashion industry.

  • Deerskin leather

Another commonly used leather is the one derived from the skin of deer. When compared to cowhide, deerskin leather is much softer. Due to its unique particle structure that allows air to be trapped between its particles, it gives a far softer texture. Don’t be fooled by its softness though as deerskin leather is still very highly durable. It is also abrasion resistant. It can be worn both in winter (for warmth) and summer season (for coolness).

  • Lambskin leather

Lambskin leather is the softest type of leather out there. Its softness and smooth texture is the reason why it’s majorly used in fashion industry. Most of the leather jackets are made out of lambskin leather. But due to its softness, it is also more subject to wear and tear than other leather types.

Why leather jackets becomes stiff?

The following are some of the major reasons why your leather jacket might become stiff:

  • The most obvious reason is, of course, that your leather jacket has gotten way too old. Well taking good care of your jacket will ensure that it lasts for a longer time, the eventual wear and tear will eventually catch up one day.
  • Stretching your jacket too much will also cause it to lose its softness. Too much stretching extends the fabric and damages the texture which causes it to lose its softness over time.
  • Store your jackets in an environment as suggested by the provider. Storing your jacket in either too much moisture or too much dryness can damage it and make it lose its softness.
  • If you want to dry your jacket, use a dry washcloth. Using a hot dryer is just asking to destroy the texture of your leather jacket.

How to soften your leather jacket

HOW TO SOFTEN YOUR LEATHER JACKET

With all that said, let’s finally take a look at various methods and tricks you can use to soften your stiff leather jacket. Let’s begin:

  • The Alcohol and Vaseline formula

Believe it or not alcohol can actually help you in losing the stiffness of your leather jacket. The way to do this is to apply alcohol on your leather jacket by using a spray bottle. The alcohol has no problem in penetrating deep into the fibers of your jacket and get rid of that stiffness. After the alcohol dries a bit, apply Vaseline (preferably with a leather cloth) on the sprayed part. Now leave the jacket overnight and check for results in the morning.

  • Use leather conditioner

Sometimes the best solution is the most obvious one. Leather conditioners exist for a reason and that reason is to help you maintain your jackets. The polymers and emollients used in these conditioners are excellent for reducing the stiffness of your jacket. Most of the conditioners are water based and have the right amount of moisture required for conditioning your jacket. It is compulsory that you condition your jacket once every month or two to ensure its longevity. Conditioners also help in maintaining the shine of your jackets.

  • Mink Oil

Mink oil has been used to treat leather products for a long time now. Mink oil pretty much acts as a natural conditioner for your leather jacket. It is full of unsaturated fatty acids that penetrate deep into the fibers of your jacket and helps it lose the stiffness. Always make sure to apply mink oil with help of a leather cloth or sponge. Direct sue can leave behind stain marks which is not preferable. Apply at least 2 layers and leave it for absorption for at least 2 days.

  • Coconut oil

Coconut oil is best applied when the leather product been heated for a while. In case of your leather jacket, expose your jacket to sunlight for at least 10 minutes before applying the oil. Be aware that using coconut oil can your jacket’s shade a bit darker which may or may not be to your liking. So apply the oil to a small patch first to see the results.

  • Olive oil

Another oil you can sue for this purpose is the olive oil. It has a mixture of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids that can penetrate deep into the leather for lubrication and softening purposes. It also prevents cracking and peeling of your jackets. Use a leather cloth or sponge to apply the oil.

Conclusion

By using the above methods, you can get rid of the stiffening problem of your leather jackets. On general, make sure to condition your jacket every few months to avoid stiffness, cracking and other problems.

 

 

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