Jackets-Leather & Suede
Leather and suede garments are a chic addition to any wardrobe. While they can seem to be a little too expensive, but with the right care these garments can prove to be lifelong investments. Each type of leather may require different care. Follow the garment manufacturer's directions that come with your new jacket.No matter what the kind and quality of leather, the four steps - cleaning, conditioning, polishing and protecting - will allow you to keep your garments safe and beautiful all along. Preserving the beauty and longevity of your leather and suede garments is not as difficult as it seems. Just follow some simple rules and revel in the ravishing finish of your garments for a long time to come. Take a look!.
Do not allow the garment to come in direct contact with excessive perspiration and body oils, since it can stain or damage the material. You can ensure this by wearing a cotton shirt or tank top beneath your leather jacket.
In case the garment gets wet, air dry them, without exposing them to dry heat, since it can result in cracks all over the fabric. Also, store the garments in a cool and ventilated area. Do not keep them in a plastic bag, as this can result in damage caused by mildew or heat.
Cleaning Leather and Suede Garments
It is highly advisable to have your leather and suede garments professionally cleaned. Prior to cleaning, do inform your cleaner about any wash care information that came along with the garment and point out any new or old stains. Ensure that matching pieces are all cleaned at the same time for consistency in colour and sheen.
Variations among sections of a garment
Leather garments are constructed with skins taken from various parts of the animal or even several different animals. While the manufacturer attempts to match the skins as uniformly as possible, even the best matching may still create a product that has some variance in texture, weight, and colour. Note that the cleaning of the same may accentuate these variances, and hence be prepared to receive the garment in a slightly different look and feel, than expected.
Since a garment is constructed from skins obtained from different parts of an animal or animals, colourfastness may vary. Moreover, some leather dyes may also not be resistant to dry cleaning fluids. Luckily though, spray dyeing, performed by the dry cleaner, can rectify a considerable amount of colour loss. However, some changes are almost unavoidable, particularly when processing hand painted suede vests and hence must be ignored at best.
Loss of oils
Oils are used during the tanning process to keep the leather supple. Dry cleaning may rob the garment of some of these oils, reducing suppleness and leaving the garment look a vaguely withered look. Though, special additives are used by cleaner to restore it, but a slight change may still be sensed in some cases.
Scar tissue and vein marks
Scar tissue and imperfections are often filled by tanners prior to dyeing during the manufacturing process. Some of these fillers may be removed during cleaning, causing these imperfections to reappear.
Skins on some parts of the animal are naturally wrinkled. These wrinkles are smoothened out during the manufacturing process. However, cleaning may accentuate wrinkling by relaxing the leather, though this change is usually unnoticeable.
Texture and shading changes
Sometimes a smoother skin is combined with a coarser textured skin during the manufacturing process. Textural differences may become more apparent with cleaning due to varying levels of fat liquor and additive absorption. Some areas may become darker than others. Please note that this is a natural phenomenon which is beyond the cleaner's control
With time, some amount of shrinkage will occur as the skins relax. The rate of shrinkage can be accelerated by cleaning, which however, can dissipate with regular wear. Although, there is a slight chance that overstretched skins by the manufacturer may relax permanently.
Damage to thin skins
Some skins are extremely thin and fragile, making them inappropriate for apparel. Dry cleaning can further aggravate these features, and hence one should be prepared to accept any such damage pertaining to manufacturing defects.
Shading from adhesives
The glue used to attach seams, hems and trim may not be resistant to cleaning solvents and hence may seep into the leather, in certain cases. The seepage may subsequently lead to discolouration resulting in shaded patches.
With time, the dyes in leather and suede garments can oxidize when exposed to light and atmospheric gases. Although some areas may be able to retain their original colour, while others may become more dishevelled after cleaning. Unfortunately, this problem cannot be easily corrected by the cleaner.
Imitation leathers and suedes
Imitation leathers and suedes are produced in such a variety of ways that it may sometimes prove difficult to distinguish it from the real thing. Vinyl or urethane based films may be used to coat the material while others may be made to look like suede. Coatings and imitations may be vulnerable to a host of problems, such as self-sticking, blistering, puckering, or stiffening of the fabric.