How to care for leather clothing… Tips to keep leather and suede apparel in the best shape
I recently purchased a classic trench coat in rich dark brown leather on sale at a major department store. The coat sold for thousands, but I was lucky enough to get this top designer leather coat on sale. It may be awhile before I can afford another designer coat like this. What can I do to help my leather coat last for a few good years? (Wilmington, NC)
Good for you, finding a bargain leather coat that is truly stylish and flattering is a fashion find that will last for seasons to come, if you treat your leather garment properly. Scrunching a leather or suede coat in a closet on a flimsy hanger will do nothing to maintain the garment’s shape, but investing in the knowledge of a few leather storage tips will certainly help preserve the style integrity of your new coat.
Heed the following sage advice as suggested by from The Leather Apparel Association to allow your new leather coat to age gracefully with proper care:
- Clean matching garments at the same time since cleaner must use a different method to restore the garment than the original tanning process and this may cause the color and texture of the garment to vary slightly from its original appearance.
- Maintain the leather garment’s shape by always hanging leather clothing on wide or padded hangers.
- Retain the shape of shoes and boots by using cedar shoe trees.
- Use tissue to stuff empty handbags when storing to keep shape.
- Leather becomes dry when stored in plastic or other non-breathable covers.
- Avoid very humid and dry environments as well as direct sunlight.
- Air-dry wet or damp leather away from any direct heat source. Use leather conditioner to restore flexibility, while suede can be brushed with a terry towel to restore its original luster.
- Immediately remove all winter salt deposits from clothing and footwear by sponging with clear water. Air dry naturally and use a leather conditioner.
- Allow wrinkles to naturally hang out. If the garment must be ironed, use the iron’s rayon setting. Create a pressing clothing with heavy brown wrapping paper on the right side of the garment- a quick hand to prevents overheating and shine.
- Pass up spraying perfumes or hair sprays while wearing leather clothing and stay away from wearing pins, or using adhesive badges or tape on the garment.
- Keep hair and body oil away from soiling the leather garment’s collar by wearing a scarf at the neckline.
- In a pinch, hems can be fixed with a tiny amount of rubber cement, but best results, see a leather care professional.
- Always professionally dry clean metallic leather garments to maintain their finish.
- Pre-test at-home cleaning products on an inconspicuous part of the garment before making a visible mistake.
- Professional leather cleaning is always preferred. You can find listings of accredited cleaners at the LAA web site, www.leatherassociation.com.