Leather jackets typically have a lifespan of 20 years and could even be longer. However, this can only happen if your jacket is taken care of properly. Even if you regularly condition your jacket and have it cleaned in the most gentle way possible, if your leather jacket is not stored correctly, it will lower its lifespan. Here’s how to correctly store your leather jacket in any situation.
Storage conditions are everything. Just because it’s in your closet doesn’t mean it’s completely safe from being damaged. You don’t need strict environmental control like you’re trying to keep an exotic pet alive, but you do need to keep in mind a few things to prevent your jacket from getting moldy or drying out.
As leather is a natural product, mold will find its way to the leather one way or another if ventilation is low and humidity is high.
There are four factors when it comes to preventing mold growth. Ventilation, humidity, temperature, and light. Air circulation prevents mold from forming by constantly introducing fresh air and not letting the air sit still for too long which can accumulate moisture on your leather jacket’s surface, creating the right environment for mold to grow.
Leather jackets should be ideally stored at room temperature. Storing in relatively warm or cold environments isn’t a big deal for leather, though, but room temperature is the ideal temperature for mold to grow. This may be conflicting with the ideal storage temperatures of a leather jacket, but if it is well-ventilated, then there will be no issues with mold.
At low enough temperatures, like below 40°F, mold cannot grow regardless of ventilation or humidity.
Humidity is another important thing for leather, it should be at around 40-50% humidity level, but without proper ventilation, this humidity can accumulate on the leather and become mold growing conditions. If the humidity is high in your storage location, you can get cheap dehumidifiers that you can put inside the closet to maintain a good humidity level.
This is another conflicting part about storing leather. If leather is stored in bright conditions, like under light bulbs or under direct sunlight, your leather will dry out and stiffen. This will make your leather jacket uncomfortable.
Leather should be stored in dark conditions, but mold also grows in dark conditions and dies when under light exposure. Ventilation will be your key once again. Airing out your jacket for a few hours every few days will be enough to prevent that mold from forming.
Long-term storage for leather jackets
If you are planning to store your jacket for a long time, you must keep in mind that you won’t be storing it away forever. At some point, you’re going to take it out and the last thing you want to find is your leather jacket damaged badly due to bad storing techniques. Here are some things to keep in mind when storing your leather jacket for a long time:
Use a wide wooden hanger
Leather jackets and leather coats need to be stored using only a wide wooden hanger. This is because leather has a tendency to droop downwards when the shoulders are not properly supported. To avoid having a distorted-looking leather jacket, make sure to use padded hangers made out of wood. Also, avoid wire hangers as they are too thin and will not support the full weight of your leather jacket.
Use acid-free papers
When storing your leather jacket, whether for short or long term, we recommend you use acid-free papers to wrap it. The acid-free papers will create a barrier for your leather jacket while protecting it from dirt, moisture, and dust. You can also stuff the insides of your leather garments and pockets with this type of paper to prevent the insides from acquiring excess moisture. The paper will also protect your jacket and other clothes from rubbing color onto each other.
As much as possible, we recommend that you hang your leather jackets when storing them. Otherwise, it will cause creases on the material and may cause it to peel over time. However, if you don’t have a closet big enough for it, you can opt for a storage container. Just make sure that it is a breathable container such as a fabric bag or wooden trunk.
Please do not use a plastic container for storing your leather jacket as it does not allow the leather material to breathe, which means it will most likely develop mildew and eventually, rot.
Consider professional storing
You can always check with your local dry cleaners to see if they offer professional storage for your prized leather items. This ensures that your leather jacket will be handled professionally and with extreme care by people who know what they’re doing.
How to store a leather jacket
Storing your leather jacket requires you to pay attention to many factors that might ruin the leather material. This involves the basic storage conditions we mentioned above as well as making sure that your storage space is cleaned before using it.
If you’re planning to store your leather garment for a few days, weeks, or months, the most important thing you should consider is the weather condition since it will affect the temperature, humidity, light level, and ventilation of your entire room.
Things you will need:
- Soft cloth
- Lukewarm water
- Leather conditioner
- Detergent or mild soap
- Acid-free paper
- Wide wooden hanger
- Breathable fabric bag
- Non-plastic storage container
- Clean the closet or storage container to make sure it is dust-free and doesn’t have any mold growing inside.
- Wipe off the debris and dust from your leather jacket using a soft cloth and lukewarm water. Do this in circular motions.
- Apply leather conditioner to your leather garment using a clean dry cloth. This will prevent the material from cracking and will keep it moisturized while in storage.
- If your leather coat has a minor stain, you can clean it off using lukewarm water and detergent or mild soap. Use another soft cloth for this.
- Once you are done thoroughly cleaning it, you can start stuffing the insides and pockets of your leather item with acid-free paper.
- Whether you are hanging or folding it, it’s best to use a breathable fabric bag to maintain its suppleness and act as a barrier against damaging elements. You can also use a bigger acid-free paper to wrap it all around your leather jacket.
- Using a wide wooden hanger, slip your leather jacket on carefully while making sure there are no creases and the entire weight of the garment is properly supported.
- If you’re storing your jacket in a non-plastic container, go for the ones with the biggest storage capacity so you can simply lay your jacket flat inside instead of folding it.
- Refer back to the section above about the basic storing conditions to make sure your leather item is stored properly.
Tips and extra information:
- For added protection, you can go for a wide wooden hanger that is padded at the shoulders to make it extra sturdy.
- Make sure there is enough space between the base and the lid of the storage container for enough airflow.
- Regularly check on it every few weeks or days and inspect for mold growth. You may forget about it, but if you do remember it, check-up
How to travel with a leather jacket
Packing your things can be quite tedious when you want to travel. Knowing what to do with a leather jacket may even be another problem for you. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you know what you can and cannot do with a leather jacket to ensure it is safe as you travel.
Avoid vacuum bags
Cramming in as many clothes as you can in your luggage can be done by using vacuum bags. However, this is not very ideal for leather as it can exaggerate and create deep folds and creases in the leather. The excessive vacuum force could even crack the leather.
Wear your leather jacket
Wearing your leather jacket will make you not have to worry about storing it at all. You won’t have to fold it either, which can create creases in the leather, making it very difficult to wear confidently outside.
Folding your leather jacket properly
If you really have to store it in your bag, then the least you can do is fold it properly to avoid too many creases in the leather. You cannot avoid the major creases as you will still fold them, but folding them properly can prevent unnecessary creases.
To fold it properly, fold the shoulders to the back of the jacket and lay the sleeves aligned with the jacket. Still from the back, fold the jacket in half from bottom to top.
To get the most life out of your leather jacket, it is very important to store it properly. Improper storage can lead to mold eating it up and letting your jacket smell bad or even cause it to dry out and crack.
Make sure to condition your leather jacket before stowing it away for a long time as you might not get to condition it again for another year. We hope that this article has helped you figure out how to store your leather jacket easier and will lengthen the life of your leather jacket.
Can you roll up your sleeves on a leather jacket?
You can roll up the sleeves of your leather jacket, but similarly to folding it, it can lead to creases and may cause the leather material to crack and peel. If you really want to roll the sleeves up, then make sure to regularly condition your leather jacket to avoid it from cracking.