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Machine washing and drying a leather jacket.

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  • michael_kard
    Senior Member
    • Oct 2010
    • 2152

    So what happened to them? I presume the rubber got considerably darker or something? Washing them will ruin them for sure.
    ENDYMA / Archival fashion & Consignment
    Helmut Lang 1986-2005 | Ann Demeulemeester | Raf Simons | Burberry Prorsum | and more...


    • mrbeuys
      Senior Member
      • May 2008
      • 2313

      Originally posted by michael_kard View Post
      So what happened to them? I presume the rubber got considerably darker or something? Washing them will ruin them for sure.
      I washed them ( no patience ) and they came out ok. Not ruined but not a whole lot cleaner tbh.
      Hi. I like your necklace. - It's actually a rape whistle, but the whistle part fell off.


      • MetroBulotDodo
        Senior Member
        • Oct 2010
        • 1312

        Originally posted by hamletpowpowpow View Post
        I'm really impressed w/ how Dji's julius turned out...I'm tempted to try and track down that french stuff...but on the other hand, Saphir has a pretty amazing reputation when it comes to high-quality leather care...
        Just had a little exchange with HamletPPP re: Saphir products. He can report his experience with a leather jacket, but I'll share my experience conditioning a pair of shoes.

        I bought several Saphir MDO products to try -- and the Invulner waterproofing spray is still on back order. The standout so far was the Renovateur (general cleaning and conditioning). In short, it's magic. Not unbelievable late-night infomercial magic, but magic on the order of "I-may-hoard-this product." (I took photos, but I think I need a macro-lens for you to see the full effect.)

        I started on a small project as a test case: a pair of Hope Stockholm beige pumps that get a lot of wear, even in the winter. There were quite a number of water stains, and the once matte shine was rather uneven. The shoes just looked beat-up.

        There are no directions, just some graphics, on the small (stingy?) jar. I was a touch nervous, but once I looked closer at the graphic and saw that the product was shown being used on an ultra-expensive Hermes Kelly bag, I didn't bother testing on a small patch. I spread it on generously (I realize now, maybe too generously given its cost.)

        The results: not all the stains came out, but the original matte lustre of the finish was restored perfectly. I've never used anything close in my years of taking care of my own shoes and handbags. The real difference is in the feel of the leather post-treatment - the shoes felt new.

        I've now used their suede/nabuck cleaner on several suede/nabuck shoes and bags I thought were beyond repair. While none of the things look store-fresh, they can, without a doubt return into rotation. I've always been drawn to the feel of nabuck, but the feeling of helplessness/clueless-ness I had about their upkeep did stop a few, but hardly all, purchases. I feel now that I can go whole hog, as I desire.


        The downside of the MDO Renovateur is the cost: $22 for 75 ml (2.5 oz.) But if you've spent $2k - or more - on a leather jacket, why would you use a lesser product? (Full disclosure, until now I've been using stuff I buy from my cobbler and testing less expensive stuff like Honey Conditioner and Lexol.) Saphir also has conditioners and cleaners for nabuck/suede/textile, exotic leathers, and cordovan in their product lineup.

        Last edited by MetroBulotDodo; 01-12-2012, 12:21 AM. Reason: added link
        "To articulate what is past does not mean to recognize 'how it really was.'
        It means to take control of a memory, as it flashes in a moment of danger."

        -Walter Benjamin. Thesis VI, Theses on the Philosophy of History
        My rarities and quotidian garments for sale thread. My tumblr and eBay page.


        • bruised
          Junior Member
          • Feb 2011
          • 2

          schott horse hide perfecto, boiled (and blistered)

          got a good deal on a schoot horse hide perfecto for 200$

          was really stiff, kinda shiny, smooth and a bit too big, but i was actually gonna wear it riding my motorcycle so no biggie.

          finally got around to wash it after coming across this page.

          first i hot soaked it as much as i could in the bath tub with the hotest water possible then threw it in the spin cycle to drain then machine dried as much as i could. still didn't change much.

          then decided i would boil the jacket in a big pot on the stove top. i ment to leave it on low for a while but i had it set to medium heat at first but than forgot about it. actually left it on a medium simmer for about 2 hours OOPS.

          when i took it out, the leather was actually blistered.... was a little mad at myself at first but then just threw it in the spin cycle to drain than machine dry again, then air dried in front of a fan for a day for completed drying.

          the blistering wasn't that bad, and actually pretty cool IMO, fit is down at least .5 to a full size and fits way better. i wish i had better before pics and measured.

          but here is before:

          and after:

          close ups of blistering:

          now i should do a nice conditioning. will mink oil work?


          • digital_d
            • Nov 2006
            • 45

            I wonder if washing the Julius leather turns out poorly because the ones experimented on were vegetable-tanned?

            Per Wiki:
            Vegetable-tanned leather is tanned using tannin and other ingredients found in vegetable matter, such as tree bark prepared in bark mills, and other such sources. It is supple and brown in color, with the exact shade depending on the mix of chemicals and the color of the skin. It is the only form of leather suitable for use in leather carving or stamping. Vegetable-tanned leather is not stable in water; it tends to discolor, and if left to soak and then dry it will shrink and become less supple and harder. In hot water, it will shrink drastically and partly gelatinize, becoming rigid and eventually brittle.

            Julius Jello Leather...Yum.


            • seb
              • Feb 2007
              • 95

              i really like the perfecto leather after the wash. looks beautiful and the fit is much better!


              • Lane
                Senior Member
                • Aug 2010
                • 988

                love the rumpled look of the CCP fencing.
                Last edited by Lane; 03-07-2012, 08:16 PM.


                • Joker
                  Senior Member
                  • Oct 2011
                  • 115

                  My friend done for his CCP fencing, the size gone one size smaller. But I'm not sure the condition will happen on the other leather. Coz, I think Kalb leather is much more easy to get the shrink...


                  • bonejelly
                    Senior Member
                    • Jul 2008
                    • 255

                    Did a full-on, quick and dirty attempt at this to shrink a Rick Owens lamb leather jacket.

                    Gentle, hot water wash in the machine (top loader even!), flipped inside out with the zipper zipped all the way up.

                    Wrung out the excess water and then threw it in the dryer for awhile (wasn't totally dry when I took it out, but left it for a day or so to air dry the rest of the way through).

                    The result, as already documented in this thread was an (almost) one size down shrinkage. The leather was a buttery soft/thin SS weight lamb, which stiffened up slightly after the dry but retained most of the original sheen/wasn't completely matte.

                    One issue in the shrinkage was the lining, which now extends past the back of the jacket, and is also slightly noticeable in the sleeves. Through the torso of the jacket pocket lining bunches up and is somewhat annoying.

                    Overall I'm really pleased with the result, and know I will get more wear out of the piece not that its a bit smaller all around (though I do expect things to stretch out a bit with wear).


                    • BBSCCP
                      Senior Member
                      • Feb 2010
                      • 352

                      ^donĀ“t forget to nourish the leather after wash.


                      • cowsareforeating
                        Senior Member
                        • Jan 2011
                        • 1032

                        ^ shortening the lining should be an easy fix at any alteration or tailoring place..


                        • comedyzen
                          Senior Member
                          • May 2009
                          • 279

                          Oh Me Oh My, sooooo, was washing the cotton lining of my leather jacket (mild soap and cold water, hand washed). Noticed the leather got wet but that didn't phase me at all since I have washed a bunch of leathers now. Hung it on a chair to dry but when I checked on the jacket a few hours later, I was jolted when I saw.......

                          Of course I cursed God and commenced the stages of grief. But I didn't want to go down this quick without a little fight and Googled my situation and learned that this is called "salt blow" which is a white, chalky stain created from the salt and oil of the leather. But this can be cured with some leather products.

                          So I placed an order for mink oil and am waiting for it to arrive hoping it will save my beloved leather.

                          TO BE CONTINUED........
                          Last edited by comedyzen; 10-13-2012, 11:58 PM.


                          • blowdown
                            Senior Member
                            • Feb 2011
                            • 194


                            argh fuck id go crazy!!! hope everything turns out well...


                            • cowsareforeating
                              Senior Member
                              • Jan 2011
                              • 1032

                              that actually looks kind of cool imo. like a monochrome cold dye using chemoreactive dye particles that react to smoke or some shit that lumen et umbra would explore


                              • yipjam
                                Junior Member
                                • Sep 2012
                                • 10

                                Really like that perfecto post-wash.