You finally got that leather jacket you’ve been dreaming of for so long but it is not hugging your body like you imagined it would?
You should know that when leather is new, even when it is a soft kind of fabric like shearling or sheepskin, it feels a bit stiff, bulky, and not quite comfy. Within time, though, the leather will get a new cozier feel, and this is mainly due to use.
Nevertheless, if you don’t want to wait years to feel your leather jacket hugging you in a cozy embrace, there are ways to tame it.
Here we give you 5 tips to rush the feeling of old leather that makes these garments so special and a life-long passion for their owners:
1. Find out what kind of leather you’re dealing with
You don’t tame all leathers in the same way. Some are very soft and would not endure well-intended abuse.
It is not the same to tame very strong leathers like cowhide or goatskin than to work with a soft lavish fabric like shearling. Any marks and scratches leather gets, leather keeps; so, make sure your leather jacket is tough enough to be tamed like a wild horse.
2. Go slow
Remember that whatever you do to leather can’t be reversed. If possible, take a look at an old leather jacket that has been used till its last breath and notice where it is worn out the most.
It will normally be the collar, the pockets, the elbows, and under the sleeves, because of the level friction and rubbing these areas are exposed to.
In due course, the leather will give in on its own; so, whatever you do, try not to over do it.
3. Dance in the rain
Water softens leather, allowing you to stretch and wrinkle it at very precise places. Although some people will recommend you put your leather jacket in the washing machine and dryer, do not do it, because the leather will shrink too much.
The best way is to get it wet by wearing it under a light rain until it is fully damp. Once this happens, and until it dries on you, do some jumping jacks and bend your arms in several ways to create wrinkles in the right spots.
If you’re in the middle of summer and there’s no rain to be expected, spray the jacket with water, but be careful not to soak it. Wear it while it dries, and it will mold to your figure.
4. Abuse the leather a bit
Yes, mistreat your leather garment, but in well-intended way. Use steel wool to scratch the fabric in the areas where normal wear happens.
You can also fold the jacket into a ball, tie it up with a string and throw it around some. The more you hurl it around the more it softens and the more it seizes your body shape.
5. Wear your jacket as much as possible
This is probably the best way to tame any leather jacket: just wear it, and wear it, and wear it. The more you wear it, the more visible your story will show on it, and the more intimate it will get.
Wendy Jones is a freelance writer in the Pacific Northwest who loves her sheepskin jacket.