Caring for leather shoes and jackets

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A man wearing a black leather jacket and leather shoes. Image from http://famousoutfits.com/collections/black-leather-jacket/

Just like an expensive watch, high quality leather items e.g. shoes and jackets are investment pieces. This means that they require special care and attention that accounts for the price you initially paid for them. We had given some general tips on how to take care of your leather items here so check it out. Below we give you tips on how to properly take care of your investments for years to come.

A man wearing a black leather jacket and leather shoes. Image from http://famousoutfits.com/collections/black-leather-jacket/
A man wearing a black leather jacket and leather shoes. Image from http://famousoutfits.com/collections/black-leather-jacket/

Different types of leather require different types of care:

For full grain leathers: Remove dirt with dry cloth to remove any dried-in dirt and dust. Use a damp cloth with warm water and wipe again then allow it to dry naturally. Use high quality cream polish that matches the shoe color then buff for that perfect shine.

Oiled and beeswax leathers: Use a damp cloth to remove the dirt and dust then apply a leather protector or restorer which is composed of oils and other non-water soluble compounds like lanolin to help guard against water damage to the leather.

Patent leathers: Use a soft damp cloth and a drop of mild soap. A patent leather cleaner contains silicone that will return its initial high gloss.

Suede leathers: Care should be taken especially while brushing. Use a soft brush made specifically for suede products. Never use a wire brush or polish on suede then follow up with a silicone spray for water and stain resistance.

  • Every so often, give your shoes a day off. Air them out and let them breathe, this dries out moisture so that the leather lasts longer. Insert a cedar shoe tree to draw out inner moisture and to allow the leather to reshape as well.
  • Always allow shoes to dry at room temperature. Heat exposure causes the leather to peel away and become brittle. It can also harm the adhesives.
  • Do not store shoes in boxes especially for long periods of time. Humidity can eventually cause the growth of mildew on your shoes. Keep them on a shoe rack instead, away from direct sunlight.
  • When your shoes get wet stuff them with newspapers; keep them away from direct heat and allow them to dry naturally. Replace the newspapers periodically as they get saturated. To keep your shoes from drying out, every few months apply a specialty moisturizing conditioner or buff in a dab of petroleum jelly.

Leather jackets
A leather jacket is a must have item in your wardrobe. Whether its colored leather or classic black, leather jackets are a throw-on-and-go essential that everyone should have. It however requires special care. You can’t just throw it in the washing machine or soak it overnight and hope for the best. Here are some quick tips on taking care of your jackets.

  • Spend time waterproofing your jacket to protect it from water damage. In a season such as this with abrupt rains, it is very important to do this to make sure the jacket doesn’t get damaged from too much water exposure.
  • Let water dry naturally. Hang your jacket somewhere light and airy and allow it to dry.
  • Apply a leather conditioner. This keeps the leather soft and supple and keeps it from drying and cracking. Before applying, do a spot test to ensure the conditioner doesn’t remove any dye from your jacket. Just like human skin, too much oil can clog the jackets pores and eventually affect its color.
  • Learn how to remove wrinkles. Storing the jacket on a cloths hanger should prevent major wrinkles. Alternatively, set your iron to the lowest heat register (rayon), lace the leather under a cloth and iron quickly and briefly.

If this article was of interest check out Accessories: How to look after your watch.

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