Oct 17, 2008, 4:53 PM - Best way to soften up and break in a leather jacket quickly?
I aquired a great leather jacket and am planning to wear it with a costume I'm putting together.
It's VERY sturdy jacket and will take quite awhile for me to break in by normal wear.
I'd like to soften it up as much as I can before Halloween.
All of my other leather jackets have been soft lamb skin so I don't have experience with this type of thing.
Any ideas how to do this quickly?
Oct 17, 2008, 5:21 PM - Re: Best way to soften up and break in a leather jacket quickly?
Depending on the leather, I use mink oil to soften up my leather jackets. It will darken it, so it's best to use on black leather, unless you don't mind brown leather darkening.
As for breaking in....do you mean distressed? I can't imagine a leather jacket not being broken in off the rack.
I once used sand paper to distress a jacket. Just used it around the seams and areas where I knew there would be wear (elbows, shoulder blades etc).
Oct 17, 2008, 5:34 PM - Re: Best way to soften up and break in a leather jacket quickly?
I don't care about distressing/weathering it just yet, but if the mink oil will darken it, I might try it to make it look more "used" at least.
Thanks for the tip.
The leather is thick and tough. It doesn't bend as easily in the joint areas as it will after it's "broken in". I have an ankle length leather trench coat and this jacket is just as heavy if not heavier than that.
Back when I was younger, all of the new leather boots and dress shoes I got tended to be uncomfortable when worn for long periods of time until they were "broken in".
Last edited by Darius Alucard; Oct 17, 2008 at 5:46 PM.
Oct 17, 2008, 5:45 PM - Re: Best way to soften up and break in a leather jacket quickly?
I usually saddle soap and oil my new leather items a few times to help initally soften them. Though I prefer 100% pure neatsfoot oil to mink oil.
Oct 17, 2008, 9:01 PM - Re: Best way to soften up and break in a leather jacket quickly?
is mink oil what they use to soften up or break in a baseball glove?
I can't remember what we used when I was a kid. But whatever that was my dad had, worked pretty good. I do rember it darkened up a bit, but worked in nicely.
Oct 17, 2008, 9:07 PM - Re: Best way to soften up and break in a leather jacket quickly?
**** on it. works a treat on tough leather boots. smells a bit though but your tastes may vary
Oct 17, 2008, 11:52 PM - Re: Best way to soften up and break in a leather jacket quickly?
Anyway, I had a brand new tough Vanson Wolverine X1 which I broke in by doing the following:
1. 30 minutes of dry sandblasting. Especially around the high wear areas. Good luck finding a sandblaster and don't forget to wear a breathing mask.
2. Rubbing alcohol from the chemist - give it a good going over with an old rag, will take out a lot of the colour and shine
3. high grit sandpaper, like 300 or 400 lightly over the high wear areas, like the sleeve cuffs, seams and shoulders.
Oct 18, 2008, 12:51 AM - Re: Best way to soften up and break in a leather jacket quickly?
Wad it up, put it in a pillow case or similar, place in garage, par the car on it. Take car to not crush any buttons or the zipper.
Let sit for a day.
Take out, reposition, re park.
Repeat until soft.
Mink oil will help, or many other leather treatments out there for breaking in leather. Talk to some people at a bog sporting goods store where they deal with kids getting new baseball mitts every year and needed to break them on fast!
The sanding and sandblasting will also help soften it but will also weather it.
I've never heard of the alcohol treatment or the pissing, though it is an animal hide and does have oils in it, like our skin and needs them replenished or it will dry out and crack.
Oct 18, 2008, 11:51 AM - Re: Best way to soften up and break in a leather jacket quickly?
there are all sorts of tips and tricks there.
like putting it in the washer, for example.
Oct 18, 2008, 12:06 PM - Re: Best way to soften up and break in a leather jacket quickly?
Mink oil can turn rancid with time.
This is less aggressive than the washing machine....
Try this if you have a clothes dryer. Zip up all the zips and put the jacket in a pillowcase that you don't want anymore and a few baseballs. Tumble the whole lot in the drier NO HEAT for a couple of hours. Obviously will be pretty noisy!
Or do it the old school way. Zip the jacket up and get a group of kids kick it around a room for a few minutes. Ouch.... I know, but it works!
Oct 18, 2008, 3:24 PM - Re: Best way to soften up and break in a leather jacket quickly?
Aussie Leather Balm.
As a guy who actually makes stuff out of leather, I can tell you it is your friend. It makes leather workable, and it also gives it a lot of character over time. Go buy some.
Oct 18, 2008, 4:49 PM - Re: Best way to soften up and break in a leather jacket quickly?
If you want to distress leather quickly there is no surer way than
boil-washing. Just stick it in the washing machine and set it to a
high long-spin cycle and repeat.
Oct 18, 2008, 6:44 PM - Re: Best way to soften up and break in a leather jacket quickly?
I broke my Indy jacket real quick by using a leather lotion and rolling into a tight ball.
Instead of duin the sandpaper and wire brush route I threw it in the dryer with some tennis balls with the heat off. The noise is anoying but it broke down the shine and gave it a nice look. I heard of others putting in a football or softball but I didn't go that route. I also let mine get wet in the rain and rolled up the sleeves while still on. Now mine has that nice wrinkled look Indy has as well without the need of any acetone or hasrsh chemicals others have done. Not knocking that technique but I personally would hate to ruin a good leather jacket that way.
Oct 19, 2008, 12:22 AM - Re: Best way to soften up and break in a leather jacket quickly?
Thanks for all the tips guys!
I just wanted to reiterate that I'm not looking to make the jacket look one way or another just yet...
I'm just trying to get the leather softer, IE: broken in, so I'll be more comfortable with a fuller range of mobility while wearing it.
From most of the responses I've read, it would seem that without weathering the jacket before or after, most methods I could use to soften it would darken the color significantly.
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