How to weather a leather jacket ??

IFA

Sr Member
Hello guys. Sorry if this have already been discussed here but I recently bought a Wolverine Leather Jacket (still waiting for it currently..) and I'm afraid that it will have an "as first built by" look when it will come :)
Also, I would like to know how to make a leather jacket weathered or older than it is ?

Many thanks for your help.
 
This is a loaded question as there are many routes to meet the required 'weatered' look. Because of levels of weathering to outright destroyed. What level are you looking for? The csreen worn X1 jacket that's been sanded and the seams falling apart, complete with missing left stripe?

Just a few examples offf the top of my head:
There's the wash and wear method (either worn in the shower and wear til dry to achieve that well-worn for years look). Or you could use Isopropyl Alcohol(70%/90%) and rub off the shiny topcoat. Or you could go to the extreme with fine grit sandpaper and beat it up that way, or a safer route that is if you have the means, to media blast your jacket.

Or just do what Indy does....be dragged behind a tank and call it a day.

There is the longer safer way or the quicker more destructive and permanent way to achieve you weathering goals. If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask, as I'm sure there will be others to give there $.2 :)
 
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This is a loaded question as there are many routes to meet the required 'weatered' look. Because of levels of weathering to outright destroyed. What level are you looking for? The csreen worn X1 jacket that's been sanded and the seams falling apart, complete with missing left stripe?

Just a few examples offf the top of my head:
There's the wash and wear method (either worn in the shower and wear til dry to achieve that well-worn for years look). Or you could use Isopropyl Alcohol(70%/90%) and rub off the shiny topcoat. Or you could go to the extreme with fine grit sandpaper and beat it up that way, or a safer route that is if you have the means, to media blast your jacket.

Or just do what Indy does....be dragged behind a tank and call it a day.

There is the longer safer way or the quicker more destructive and permanent way to achieve you weathering goals. If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask, as I'm sure there will be others to give there $.2 :)

Excellent Superdrool...I think that I have now plenty of solutions :)
In fact, I don't want a destroyed look...just and old-weathered jacket and not a "new" one !!!
I had thought about the shower idea...and could melt it with the sandpaper solution...will see.
Many thanks for your great help.
 
No problem. As for the weight of a jacket, not sure that applies, but the type of hide( fashion leather like goat and lamb is soft and pliable and horse and comp weight cow is tougher), whether or not theres a topcoat, and how it's tanned( veg or chrome, as veg is much easier) come into play on using these techniques.

-Tony
 
For my Wested Indy jacket, I put through a cycle in the wash, which took the shine out of the leather. You just have to be careful that the leather doesn't shrink too much.

After it air-dried, I took some sandpaper to it and used some isopropyl alcohol in some areas.

Be sure to practice whatever you're going to do in a spot that will not be seen while you're wearing the jacket. That way you don't have to worry about it showing if you don't like the result.

Sean
 
The guys over at the Indygear forums should be able to provide you with far more detailed info. Those guys are VERY knowledgeable about how to age a leather jacket. Far better than the old "run over it with your motorcycle a few times" method. ;)

Light sanding is, indeed, an option, although, honestly, a lot of this depends on the hide in question. I have an old Wested lambskin jacket and it's...pretty easily distressed, really. It's "Fashion" leather so the grain is much much finer, and it's really barely a surfacing before you get to the rougher leather. Simply carrying around a backpack when I was in law school left me with rub marks on my shoulder and my back where it hit. Reaching for this or that gradually wore at some of the sleeves as they'd rub against stuff.

By contrast, a thicker hide like goat or cow or horse will take a much tougher beating and you might be able to sand it lightly.


Generally, I'd say "how do you age it? Wear it!" but if you want predistressed, the Indygear guys will know the best ways to artificially distress your jacket.
 
Tony, in another thread you explain that you used a shoe brush, slightly loaded with polish to achieve the dirty suede stripes...do you mean that you used some "waxing" on the stripes ?

Then, you went under the shower with that, correct ?

Thanks,
Fred
 
I took a shower to wet it and had it mold to my shoulders and elbows. I did use Kiwi black shoe polish on a buffing brush, but I used a little bit at a time and built up to the distressing level I wanted to achieve. You can stop by the filmjacket.com forum as we share plenty of leather care and distressing knowledge over there as well. If you're not a member you can lurk around and see how you like it. It's a much smaller family atmosphere.

As for the washing machine, you have to keep in mind that not only will the leather shrink, but stitching seams and liner may come loose and damaged in the tumbling action. So there is a risk in any action you take, it's the amount of risk that needs the be assessed.
 
What if I have a lambskin that is too big on me by a couple sizes? Basically I'm a medium and it's a 46 (XL?)

How much could I get it to shrink if I got it wet and wore it until dry?
 
Went ahead and took the plunge yesterday knowing the risks and thought I'd share the results.

The thinner leather cracked in a few places. Not a big deal as it was a $5 jacket and I'm using it for my EFNY outfit. It did shrink about half a size. The shoulders and arms fit much better now. The only problem is the middle is still built for someone with a beer gut.

I then rubbed the whole thing down with the mink oil I use for my boots to condition and darken the thing.

Pretty happy with it.
 
Just noticed your questions and comments Sigma. I would've replied with maybe up to one size shrinkage, but it seems you only got it to half a size. There's not much you can do yourself at this point, but to bring it to a tailor and ask what are they are able to do for you. Not many out in town will handle tailoring jackets due to the extensive work and time it takes to handle the liner and zippers. So you may be at a stopping point.

-Tony
 
For my Wested Indy jacket, I put through a cycle in the wash, which took the shine out of the leather. You just have to be careful that the leather doesn't shrink too much.

Wow. Did you really put a Wested jacket in the washing machine? Did it shrink? What else happened to it? Anything undesirable? Do you remember if you washed it in hot or cold?

I am thinking about trying this with a jacket I have that is a little big.

Anyone think it would shrink just from a soaking and hanging it up to dry?
 
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I used rubbing alcohol to take the shine out of a jacket I bought. If your goal is simply to get rid of the shine, that might be the safest route to take.
 
2 things: Be careful when using sandpaper. Do NOT sand over ANY stitches. This will cut through them, and/or weaken them. You'll be walking down the street one day, and your sleeve will fall off.

The other thing, I wouldn't suggest mink oil, because over time, it may get rancid, and start to smell.
Mike
 
I know someone who only wears leather jackets, as do his sons. When they buy new jackets, they tie it up in a ball, put in on a rope, and drive a couple miles with it dragging behind their truck. True story.
 
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