How to Prevent Your Leather Jacket From Cracking

How to Prevent Your Leather Jacket From Cracking

Leather jackets are recognized for their strength and durability. When properly maintained, they can last for many decades while offering a superior level of aesthetics. Regardless of the style, however, leather jackets may crack if neglected. If you neglect to care for your leather jacket, there’s a chance of it cracking. The surface will dry out, resulting in the superficial layer of grain splitting open. How do you prevent your leather jacket from cracking exactly?

Choose Premium Leather

The specific type of leather from which your jacket is made can affect its risk of cracking. Not surprisingly, jackets made of cheap and low-quality leather are more likely to crack than those made of premium and high-quality leather. As a result, you should choose a jacket made of the latter type of leather.

Jackets made of napa leather offer a superior level of protection against cracking. Napa leather receives its namesake from Napa, California where it was originally created. Like all types of leather, it consists of animal hide. With that said, Napa leather has an ultra-fine grain that manifests in the form of a super-smooth finish. Aside from being soft, napa leather is better protected against cracking, as well as other forms of damage, than its counterparts.

Let It Breathe

Allowing your leather jacket to breathe can lower the risk of it cracking. Leather is a porous material, and like all porous materials, it needs to breathe. If you place your leather jacket in a sealed bag, this won’t happen. The sealed bag will prevent it from breathing. When placed inside a sealed bag, moisture vapor in the air won’t be able to reach your leather jacket. Over time, this can lead to cracking and other forms of damage.

You can let your leather jacket breathe simply by keeping it out of sealed bags. Placing your leather jacket in a sealed bag for a few minutes — or even a few hours — probably won’t cause any noticeable damage. Nonetheless, it’s best to err on the side of caution.

If you’re worried that your leather jacket will crack, don’t store it in a sealed bag. Instead, store it in an open space where it can breathe. Your leather jacket is less likely to crack if it’s able to breathe. A well-ventilated space provides ample room for breathing. Moisture vapor will be able to reach your leather jacket, thus hydrating it and protecting it from cracking.

Store in a Dark Area

When choosing a place to store your leather jacket, make sure it’s protected from sunlight. Sun exposure can dry out leather. If sunlight constantly beams down on it, your leather jacket will become drier. Eventually, it may become so dry that it cracks.

Storing your leather jacket inside your car won’t work. Unless your car has tinted windows, it will inevitably be exposed to sunlight. Sunlight is unforgiving in its ability to dry out common materials like leather. It may not happen overnight. If your leather jacket is constantly exposed to sunlight, though, there’s a good chance of it cracking. Fortunately, you can protect your leather jacket from sun-related cracking by storing it in a dark area.

Rather than storing it inside your car, store your leather jacket somewhere inside your home. A coat closet is obviously an excellent place for a leather jacket. It’s dark and ventilated, allowing it to protect your leather jacket from cracking. You can store your leather jacket elsewhere. Just remember to choose a storage area that’s won’t directly expose your leather jacket to sunlight.

Keep Away From Heat

In addition to sunlight, you should keep your leather jacket away from all heat sources. Heat and leather don’t mix. When exposed to heat, leather will become drier. Dryness, of course, is ultimately what causes leather to crack.

Healthy leather is moist. It’s not necessarily saturated, but it contains a moderate amount of moisture within its pores. The presence of this moisture keeps leather supple and soft while simultaneously protecting it from cracking. If your leather jacket is exposed to heat, it will lose some of its moisture, which may lead to it cracking. You can minimize the risk of cracking, however, by keeping your leather jacket away from heat.

Common heat sources that can dry out and damage leather jackets include the following:

  • Fireplace
  • Clothing dryer
  • Air vents
  • Hairdryer
  • Heating blanket

Condition Regularly

There’s no better way to protect your leather jacket from cracking than by conditioning it regularly. Conditioning is a form of maintenance that involves the application of a cream or lotion. There are conditioning creams and lotions that are designed to hydrate leather.

You don’t need to condition your leather jacket every week or even every month. On the contrary, over-conditioning can cause problems of its own. It may saturate your leather jacket with so much moisture that it develops mildew. How often should you condition it? While there’s no universal rule, most experts recommend conditioning leather jackets about once every three months.

Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions

There’s no better way to protect a leather jacket from cracking than by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Manufacturers typically provide instructions on how to clean and maintain their jackets. You can find these instructions on the care tag.

Because care tags are created by manufacturers, it’s a good idea to follow their listed instructions. The care tag should reveal how to clean and maintain your leather jacket. By following these instructions, you can rest assured knowing that you won’t accidentally damage or otherwise harm your leather jacket.

In Conclusion

Leather jackets typically crack as a result of dryness. Leather needs to be moist to maintain its smooth and supple texture. If it dries out, cracking may occur. Whether you have a traditional leather jacket, a leather long coat or any other form of outerwear that’s made of real leather, you can protect it from cracking by following these tips.