You did it. You found the perfect fitted leather jacket online or at a store. Your days of searching countless outlets or online shops is over. But wait. There’s just one small thing. You noticed your jacket has some wrinkles on the collar! How do you get wrinkles out of a leather jacket?
You start thinking, “This is an outrage! I expect my clothes to be in perfect shape when I buy them!” And you’re right. I say this because those were almost my exact words when it happened to me.
When I bought my Andrew Marc black leather jacket during my travels in San Francisco, I was too dazzled by the awesome deal to notice the collar was creased and wrinkled. It’s bound to happen at some point in your life, especially when stores can only hold so much stock and employees press the leather jackets together to save space.
So do you storm into the company headquarters and demand a refund? Do you write a well thought-out letter in feather pen ink (to show you mean business)? All is not lost. There are a few methods I found that can get wrinkles out of a leather jacket. Here are the top 3 quick and safe tips to use if you find any wrinkles or creases in your leather jacket, along with a few other bonus methods towards the end.
1. The Paperweight – Heavy Books
Those school textbooks of yours finally come in handy as a generous paperweight for your leather jacket’s wrinkles. Say goodbye to fine lines as you lie your jacket on a flat surface and place the weights of education on specific wrinkle areas.
Be sure to put a good amount of weight on the wrinkle, and try to place weight in the specific area. Otherwise, you may end up with more creases from the book itself. Leave the books on the wrinkled area for a few hours and check from time to time on its progress. You may need to leave the books on the area longer, even overnight.
2. It’s Getting Hot in Here – Shower Steam
Ah, the beauty of mother nature (if you count the steam coming from a man-made showerhead. Work with me here). Hang the wrinkled leather jacket in the bathroom on a wide and padded hangar (to avoid additional stretch) and take a hot shower. You can also use a towel rack or door knob to hang your jacket. Just remember not to hang the jacket too close where it can have water splash on it. Leather jackets can sometimes not do too well in water.
The steam coming from the shower will fill the bathroom and soften the jacket so that you can work out the creases after. Once you’re done cleansing yourself of your sins (about 15 minutes), check your jacket for any major condensation (water droplets on the jacket). If it’s not there, you can leave your jacket in the steam a while longer with the bathroom door open, letting the steam go away on its own.
Remember to take the jacket out before the bathroom cools off though, as the jacket will also cool off and your chances of removing the wrinkle will be back to zero. Put it on a flat surface and smooth out the wrinkles with your hands. You can also pull wrinkles gently in the opposite direction.
Let the leather cool on the flat surface before moving or wearing it, and use leather conditioner as a safety measure to avoid your jacket drying out from the shower (much like our skin). What better way to kill two birds with one stone by achieving proper hygiene AND getting wrinkles out of your leather jacket?
3. Iron Leather
An old wives’ trick (I swear I’m not calling my mother old), my mother would tell me the trick to taking wrinkles out of a leather jacket is to iron it. BUT, you must do it the right way.
Put the leather jacket on an ironing board. Gather up a cotton cloth (e.g., towel, pillowcase) or clean, heavy brown paper and place it on the leather jacket wrinkle. The cloth/paper will be in between the jacket and the iron to protect the jacket from overheating and becoming damaged.
Set the iron at a low to medium heat setting and turn off any steam settings (even better, take any water out of the iron to avoid it from leaking or spilling and causing water damage). Gently press the iron lightly and flat on the wrinkled area for a few seconds each. Do not move the iron across the leather as it may cause the leather to burn. Store or hang your leather jacket once you’re done.
These next few methods I would advise going at your own risk, as I feel they’re a little less safe than the ones shown above.
Hair Dryer – Turn your blow dryer up to its highest blow setting (choose the heat setting at your discretion – low heat at a slow pace is usually more manageable than high heat at a fast pace). Hold the dryer about 8 to 10 inches away from the leather. Move the dryer back and forth to avoid burning the leather. Once the leather gets soft, use your hands to smooth out the wrinkle until it disappears.
Pull The Leather – Put your leather jacket on a wide and padded hanger. Make sure the hanger is hung somewhere sturdy as you’ll be pulling on the jacket (e.g., closet beam, coat rack). And no, a nail in your wall or curtain rod is a bad idea for a hanger. They will be more prone to failing when under pressure.
Pull gently in opposite directions at the same time on the leather until the wrinkles relax (e.g., if it’s a vertical wrinkle, grab from both the top and bottom parts of the wrinkle and pull gently in both directions). Alternate pulling from top to bottom and side to side. Do not pull for too long, and avoid pulling for longer than three to five seconds at a time. This may work for small wrinkles more so than larger ones.
Steamer Steam – Use a fabric steamer (e.g., upright or hand steamer) to get your wrinkles out. Set the steamer to a low to medium setting, hang your leather jacket on a wide and padded hanger, and use the steamer to give an even coat of steam over the wrinkled area. Try to get the steam both inside and outside of the wrinkled area, holding the steamer about four to five inches away from the jacket and applying steam for just a few seconds at a time. If the wrinkle still remains after steaming, pull the leather gently to relax it.
Use Alcohol – You can use alcohol to smooth out your jacket’s wrinkle if it is made of finished leather. You can check whether your leather jacket is made of finished leather by lightly scratching the jacket in an unnoticeable place. If the scratch is the same color as the jacket, it is made of finished leather. Finished leather has a protective coating and thus is stiffer in texture. If your jacket is made of suede or unfinished leather, then it’s best to use the shower steam method above.
Test the alcohol on your jacket before using it. Choose an inconspicuous spot and rub some on using a white cloth. If the alcohol does not discolor your jacket, you can continue. Apply a damp, thin layer with your cloth on the leather. Rub the wrinkle out, putting tension on the crease until it disappears. Remove any excess alcohol and let your jacket dry when you’re done. If you have leather conditioner handy, massage a light layer into the leather with another cloth in a circular motion and let it sit overnight.
Wrinkle-Free Leather Jacket
Picking the right leather jacket can be half the battle, as a wrinkle or two can always make you think otherwise. But with these tips you’ll remember that you can bring that jacket’s sharpness back to life!
Being that these are all home remedies, getting wrinkles out of a leather jacket can never be easier. I had the same negative thoughts when I realized my Andrew Marc jacket had a wrinkled collar, but after researching a few methods, I found that getting rid of that wrinkle was the least of my problems (if only I could say the same for some wrinkles on my forehead).
What ways have worked for you to control your leather jacket wrinkles? Leave a comment below!