Leather jackets can be some of our most prized possessions. It makes sense then to ensure that they’re kept in the best condition possible. One situation I came across while wearing my leather jacket was whether I could wear it in the rain.
I got caught in the middle of a deadly (exaggerating) storm that could’ve soaked anyone and anything through, and guess what – I was wearing my leather jacket. I did what I could to save it, like patting it down with paper towel and putting it near a heat source.
I took a look at what I really should’ve done, but all was not lost.
For those who want a quick answer, yes, you can wear a leather jacket in the rain. I did it myself and it turned out fine. It can even be used for wearing in your jacket. I’m not sure whether in the long run rain can be good for your jacket, but if you’re a rebel who believes rain is the demon, then by all means wear it with pride.
My jacket turned out to still be in great shape, but there are some things you should know the next time you get caught in the rain or think about going out with your leather jacket in wet conditions.
Make it Rain…By Waterproofing
Leather jackets should be treated and waterproofed if you plan to use them multiple times in wet conditions. I had no trouble wiping mine off after a heavy day of rain, but in essence it’d be best practice to waterproof your jacket, especially if it’s a designer leather jacket. If you take out your jacket in the rain without treating it, it might be susceptible to permanent water spots and stains. Your leather jacket might also lose flexibility or even crack and wear out faster than usual (which, anyway, is a very long time as I mentioned in a past post on cheap leather jackets.
You might already know that a leather jacket serves as an amazing windbreaker, but you might also be surprised that a leather jacket may be naturally water-resistant. Some jackets have waterproofing compounds added during hide treatment. This may have been what saved my black leather jacket during the mind-blowing (again, exaggerated) storm I was in, but it’s always good to have a backup plan with additional waterproofing.
One product that comes to mind is a water-resistant “leather lotion” you can add to your leather jacket. There’s many out there you can research and try out for yourself, but I’ve found Leather Honey Leather Conditioner to have the best reviews. One thing is for sure – they will protect your jacket from any potential damaging effect from moisture. Once the lotion is applied, it’ll create a shield (not literally, come on) around your leather jacket to guard against the elements.
Stay Away from Heat!
One thing I did wrong was put my leather jacket near a heat source. It came out ok, but who knew that heat can shrink naturally-made leather? I know, I wasn’t thinking. And you might have done the same if you got caught in the same predicament.
But if you were lucky enough to come across this page, then you know it’s best not to do this. Leather can shrink when wet, especially with a heat source drying the material out faster than letting natural air do its work.
You should also get into the habit of drying your leather jacket consistently whenever mother nature decides to make it rain on your most prized possession. The longer the jacket is wet, the greater the risk of damage. Wipe your jacket dry as soon as you return home or come back to a place that’s dry. And no, that doesn’t mean a sauna.
Like I mentioned before, getting your jacket wet shouldn’t cause any major issues. It’s when the jacket is really wet and stays wet for a long period of time that will cause damage. Essentially, the moisture ends up in the jacket’s pores and can form mold and mildew. Once that happens, good luck fixing it.
You could skip out on all of this by wearing a faux leather jacket, which gives better protection from moisture. Based on the fact that the material is synthetic, it’ll hold up better against the rain. What I sometimes do is wear a faux leather jacket on the worst of days and a genuine leather jacket on the days where it counts. But hey, it’s your choice! Sometimes genuine leather is just too good not to wear on all days!
What Happens if You’re Caught in the Rain and What to Do About It
If it turns out you’re in the middle of a downpour in the worst condition, and you don’t take care of your leather jacket immediately, you may notice a few changes. Most of it will be the look and feel of the leather. Your jacket may feel stiffer and drier because the oils that naturally lubricate the leather will weaken. If you’re really unlucky, you might even see some white spots or streaks caused by raindrops.
Most of the time people care about their things, so if you do go back home with a wet jacket, the first thing to do is to let it dry. How? Let it dry NATURALLY – without heat. You may think about tossing it in the dryer, but remember what I said about heat source? It might do you more harm than good.
Lightly dab off any water from the surface of the jacket with a clean and dry towel. Do not wipe the water off the jacket as you run the risk of rubbing the water into the material. Then set it aside on a clean surface.
I’ve seen others recommend hanging up the leather jacket until it’s fully dry, but I’m a little averse to it, mainly because it may cause stretches to the corners to which the edges of the hangar touch the jacket, especially if it’s wet. What you can do though is hang it on a wide-padded hangar, or even place balled newspaper in the sleeves and jacket to help it hold its shape and absorb water during drying.
Protect Your Leather Jacket
Whether you’ve decided to take precautions before heading out into mother nature’s tears, or were already caught in a wet situation and took matters to dry your leather jacket, you should protect it from any future chance of damage:
– Keep your leather jacket in a cool and dry place like a coat closet
– Hang your leather jacket on a padded hanger to hold its shape when you’re not wearing it
– Use additional or other waterproofing products to protect your leather jacket. Rub-on oils and acrylic copolymer sprays are great water repellents that can be worked onto the leather to minimize water damage.
As a recap, you learned that you can in fact wear a leather jacket in the rain. It just takes a little bit of knowledge and precaution to make sure your jacket is protected from the elements such as waterproofing products or simply avoiding heavy rain. And the next time you’re caught in a rainy day with your leather jacket, you’ll know how to bring it back to life!
How do you protect your leather jacket? Leave a note below!