Why You Need To Waterproof Your Leather Jacket
Leather jackets are highly versatile and are known for protecting wearers from harsh weather. Many people believe that leather jackets are naturally waterproof but this is not true. Water can damage your leather jacket and significantly shorten its lifespan. Fortunately, there are a number of ways that you can protect your leather jackets. Read on to find out how you can get the best out of your leather jackets by waterproofing them.
How Water Damages Leather
The reason why leather is naturally supple and soft is because it contains some natural oils. When leather is exposed to water, these natural oils are removed from it but it is hard to notice until the water evaporates. You will notice that when this happens, your leather jacket is likely to be hard and brittle. In that condition, it is likely to tear if any stress (such as stretching) is applied to it.
Rather than try to fix a damaged jacket, here are some ways you can prevent this problem from happening in the first place.
Silicone sprays introduce a barrier between your leather jacket and water. Silicone is naturally waterproof and tends to repel any water droplets that land on its surface. There are different kinds of silicone sprays so you must be careful to choose the right spray for your leather jacket. For heavy full-grain jackets, the best silicone sprays to use are those oil-based ones. For jackets that are lighter or feature napped leather, water-based silicone sprays work best. Using the oil-based silicone sprays on light leather jackets might lead to discoloration as the oil tends to get absorbed into the pores of the leather.
One of the downsides of silicone sprays is that they leave your jacket feeling slippery. They may also damage your leather jacket over time, especially if overused. You can avoid these problems by switching to an acrylic copolymer. This compound works by creating a barrier that keeps water off the jacket. However, the compound is porous enough so the leather jacket is able to breathe. This way, it does not feel oily or slippery. It also means that there is little danger of discoloration.
Before you start the process of waterproofing your leather jacket, it is important to ensure that your jacket is clean. Waterproofing your jacket without cleaning means that you trap dirt in your jacket and these dust particles might eventually end up damaging your jacket. The best way to go about it is to clean it with a dry soft cloth. Place the jacket on a hanger and spray all around without touching its surface. You also need to work in a well-ventilated room so that you minimize the risk of inhaling droplets from the spray.
Regardless of the leather waterproofing compound that you use, ensure that you allow your leather jacket to completely dry before you wear it. You should also avoid using a blow dryer or any other heat source as this may also damage your leather jacket.