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Cleaning and care of leather clothing

Leather - the oldest clothing material

Along with fur and wool, leather is one of the oldest clothing materials in the world.

Thousands of years ago, it was already valued for its natural properties:

Leather is tough, relatively waterproof, supple and breathable.

Even today, the natural material is not only a popular fashion classic, but also has the reputation of being particularly durable and resistant.

In fact, leather clothing convinces not only with its characteristic look and feel, but also with one thing in particular: durability.

Cleaning leather clothing

Whether it's a leather jacket, leather trousers, a leather shirt or a leather skirt - a garment made of high-quality leather can definitely last for several decades.

Worn frequently, leather clothing adapts perfectly to your figure and fits comfortably like a second skin.

However, in order to maintain the typical material properties of leather, such as suppleness and durability, it requires careful care.

To enjoy your new garment for as long as possible, you should pay attention to the correct cleaning and care of leather clothing.

We have summarised the most important information for you below.

First things first: leather should not be put in the washing machine!

Even though leather is considered indestructible, it might not survive a washing cycle in the machine. Why?

Leather is not a textile, but the skin of an animal and therefore an organic natural material.

Just as you would not subject your own skin to the spin cycle and chemical mace, you should not do the same with your leather clothing.

What could happen when washing leather jackets, trousers and the like in the washing machine?

The seams in the leather could become so warped that the fit of your garment changes dramatically and, in the worst case, you can no longer wear it.

The water could rinse out natural leather grease, tannins and pigments and make the leather hard and brittle.

In addition, chemical substances in detergents attack the top protective layer of the leather, which can reduce the durability of your garment by many years.

Depending on the colour treatment of the leather, it could also lead to unwanted washing out, which would impair the appearance of your favourite piece.

Once damage has occurred, it is often impossible to repair it, so care should be taken when washing leather.

The good news is that in most cases, extensive cleaning of leather is not necessary!

Find out what you can do instead to keep your leather clothing clean and well cared for.

Leather impregnation - simple prevention of soiling

We recommend that you impregnate your leather clothing before wearing it for the first time.

Treatment with an impregnating spray is child's play and effectively protects your leather clothing from the elements.

Use a colourless leather impregnation spray and spray your garment thoroughly on all sides - preferably outdoors.

Impregnation gives the leather water-repellent properties, which greatly reduces the risk of stains.

It is particularly useful to impregnate sensitive suede leather, such as suede and nubuck.

Moisture and stains no longer penetrate the pores of the leather so quickly, protecting your garment from moisture and dirt.

But smooth leather, such as lamb nappa or cowhide, also benefits from impregnation:

Protected from wind and weather, which would make it hard and brittle in the long run, it remains hard-wearing and supple thanks to impregnation.

The resulting "protective layer" supports the natural barrier function of leather and also makes it easier to remove stains later.

You should impregnate your leather garment once or twice a year, depending on its use.

Air leather regularly

Whether it's a night of dancing, a barbecue or a campfire - often it's just a matter of getting an unpleasant smell out of your leather jacket, leather trousers and the like.

In such a case, it is usually enough to let leather clothing air out well.

After a few hours in the fresh air, your favourite item will smell like new.

Removing light soiling from leather by hand

To remove light soiling, you can clean your leather garments easily and gently by hand.

Superficial dirt on smooth leather can often be removed with a damp cloth (without soap) without leaving any residue thanks to the impregnation.

The cleaning of suede and suede leather may be more difficult.

Wet stains in suede should, if possible, be dabbed out of the leather with a handkerchief immediately after they appear.

For cleaning suede clothing such as suede jackets, nubuck trousers or suede shirts, there are also tools such as the suede brush and the leather eraser.

Already dry stains on suede, for example, can be easily removed with a suitable leather brush.

Make sure that the bristles of the leather brush are not too hard. You should also avoid scrubbing too hard when brushing out the stains.

For removing heavier stains from suede, we recommend using a leather eraser (often available as a so-called "dirt eraser" in drugstores).

Dirt can be easily rubbed off with this slightly grainy cleaning rubber.

A leather eraser is also used to dull areas of suede that have become shiny.

These are often pocket openings, collars and arm ends.

After treatment with a leather eraser, we recommend removing the abrasion with a brush and - depending on the treated area - refreshing the impregnation.

Washing the lining of leather trousers by hand

Since leather is naturally breathable and moisture-absorbent, you will fortunately rarely get sweaty in leather trousers.

If you do feel the need to wash your leather trousers, it is sufficient to clean the inner lining - the part that is in direct contact with your body.

The lining can usually be pulled out of the leather trousers, either completely or partially, so that you can wash it carefully by hand.

To do this, place the trousers in the sink and carefully rinse the inner lining without getting the leather wet.

Make sure you only use lukewarm water and mild detergent.

Allow the wet lining to dry outside the trousers and only put it back inside the trousers when it is completely dry.

Tip: Even with tight skirts and dresses, the lining can often be pulled out or away from the leather so that it can be washed by hand.