HOW LONG DO LEATHER JACKETS LAST
FIRST THING FIRST, WHAT EXACTLY IS A LEATHER?
In simpler terms, leather is a form of fabric obtained from animals such as Goat, pigs, Cows, sheep, Buffalo, and some exotic animals such as Alligators, bears, Elk, Moose, and wallabies. During the chemical treatment of skins, leather is formed through complicated processes such as curing the skin by applying numerous chemicals such as vegetable tannins and chromium sulfate to prevent organic decay and breakdown.
PARTS OF LEATHER
A leather might look simple at a glance. However, it is made from complex layers that give elasticity and durability, ensuring insulation and protection to the wearer.
Parts of leathers are listed below,
- Grain & Corium Junction
Knowing the internals of leather is highly important since it will allow you better acknowledge the quality of leather, which is discussed below.
NOW HOW LONG DO THEY ACTUALLY LAST?
Genuine leather can easily withstand years of wear and tear and, if kept properly, can last a lifetime. However, a couple of factors certainly define the age expectancy of the jacket's material and how you can prolong it.
LEATHER, REAL OR FAKE?
What you may be seeing when buying a stylish overcoat from a reputable brand might not be made from a leather fabric after all.
Leather comprises several types, and there are instances where you might be dealing with a jacket made from artificial or Faux Materials.
However, before we dive into what's real and what's not, let's look at types of leather.
There are four notable Quality types of leather jackets.
- Full Grain Leather
- Top Grain Leather
- Genuine Leather
- Bonded Leather
1. FULL GRAIN LEATHER
The most refined form of leather is the outermost layer of animal skin, where most of the fine fibers are present and is without a doubt the most durable quality of leather. Full Grain leather is formed when there is no sanding or buffing done on the animal skin, except for shaving of excess hair. Moreover, since it doesn't have any special treatment done to it as a form of polishing, you may notice patina patterns forming over time which may give an exotic look, increasing the price of the leather since it belongs to the rich and top tier quality. Most of these types of leather are often used in footwear, car seats, and furniture, where ruggedness and durability are usually required the most. However, some reputable brands manufacture sports-oriented leather bomber jackets out of this caliber of animal skin. The best part is that Full Grain leather caliber has phenomenal water resistance quality as a bonus, which, unlike other quality types, usually doesn't.
2. TOP GRAIN LEATHER
This sort of leather falls in the second category due to its lesser integrity ratio due to constant refinement and polishing processes to remove any scraps, blemishes, or irregularities. Furthermore, they look finer and shinier physically. These sorts of fabric aren't as more challenging as the first quality type. Top Grain leather is often used in upholstery, Jackets, gloves, and luggage. Although, when investing in them, you would be getting aesthetically pleasing outfits, on the other hand, you would also be losing on strong points and some water protection features. So invest wisely!
3. GENUINE LEATHER
Not the best but not the worst either, Genuine leather is the one you would often see in the market nowadays. It has a bare minimum appealing quality and is nowhere near as more challenging or more robust as the top grain or complete grain leather types. Genuine leather is also termed as corrected leather in parts of the world since it has a "Corrected" appearance by going through intensive sanding and buffing treatment as well as dying to give a preferred appearance for commercial use.
Manufacturers use genuine leather quality to produce items like belts, fashion bags, and some basic footwear.
4. BONDED LEATHER
You can term this type the bottom of the barrel since it mostly comprises artificial compounds such as polyurethane or latex so that it can be used for manufacturing purposes for an item. Jackets made from these materials are often regarded as fake or even replicas and barely have any "Leather" in them. They have the lowest durability and would barely last a year since they are prone to degradability and wear and tear.
TYPE OF ANIMAL HIDE
The information mentioned above was simply the quality of leather available in the world. The real difference comes from the type of hiding you might be getting from a certain animal.
Since each animal has its own Hide quality, it is important to know which one is suitable for you.
1. BULLS HIDE
These are the most rugged type of animal hide due to the fact that they have a large amount of male hormone present in them, which is known as testosterone.
2. PIG HIDE
Pig Hide is often used for clothing and has a considerable amount of strength and rigidity. They aren't as commonly used for commercial purposes as compared to other animal hides.
3. GOAT SKIN
These are the second most common type of animal hide used for leather for manufacturing goods such as boots, jackets, and saddles. They are considerably dense with decent strength points.
4. SHEEP SKIN
Sheepskin is incredibly soft and is naturally regarded as the top contender for luxury items and cold weather attire, providing comfort to its owner as well as insulation properties.
HOW LONG DO LEATHER JACKETS LAST
Now that you know the ins and outs of leather quality and animal hide and how it is made, let's address the elephant in the room.
The life expectancy of a leather jacket depends on, How you use it and maintain it afterwards and whether or not the jacket has been made from actual high-grade leather quality rather than Faux material.
There are instances where a leather biker jacket made from top grain leather lasts about 7-9 years easily with ease.
However, it would be best if you also kept in mind that maintenance and aftercare are equally important because no matter which material it is made from, at the end of the day, not storing it in the proper place or temperature can have a drastic effect on its degrading factor.
THINGS TO DO TO PROLONG LEATHER JACKET LIFE
Here are a couple of things you might want to do that might be helpful in the long run since securing your investment is the key!
1. DON'T FOLD THEM UP
It's your leather jacket, not your t-shirt, which means folding or bending will strain its fabric and produce creases that won't mend on their own due to rigidity or lack of elasticity usually found in leather jackets.
Use coat hangers or jacket hangers to store them when you are certain you won't be using them for a very long time to keep the jacket in its straight posture to prevent forming of deformities or any irregularity due to stretching.
2. TEMPERATURE IS THE KEY
No matter how durable an item is, not storing it at an appropriate temperature can drastically impact its quality and may hinder its integrity, causing it to break down at abnormal levels reducing its life expectancy.
Although this breakdown is not apparent and sudden, you might see your leather jacket expire before you would expect it to happen, especially if kept in a humid region where moisture is abundant.
3. USE PROTECTANT OR ESSENTIAL OILS
Leather in its original state requires routine maintenance and lubrication in order to remain supple and flexibly. Otherwise, you notice some cracks appearing over time, especially where most of the creases are.
Use natural oils or special spray protectors designed to protect the leather and fragrance as an added bonus so that you look stylish and fresh in your league.
4. DO NOT PLACE IT UNDER SUN
You read that right! Sun is the arch nemesis of leather, which means placing it under the sun's flaming heat will expose it to unwanted radiation and ruin its core material for the worse, rendering it almost useless and expired.
And that's the last thing you would want for your precious attire, so keep your leather-based wardrobe (such as jackets) away from the sun or at least don't keep them under the sun for long periods of time if you want them to dry naturally.
5. CONDITION IT
Just like every other fabric, leather jackets also require tons of love in the form of proper conditioning in order to stay in top-notch form.
Conditioning also ensures natural fragrance and smoothness stay for longer periods of time; otherwise, your leather jackets would feel frail and dull in a matter of months due to a lack of luster and glow.
Wearing luxurious leather jackets looks incredibly good and gorgeous, especially if it belongs to the highest quality and retains their glow through and through. However, not every leather jacket has the tendency to have such attributes and last as long as you would expect.
In such cases, if you had any confusion, I hope my article mentioned above has given a precise on which one would be best suited for you and how long leather jackets last.
If you still have any queries left, feel free to comment below. I would be happy to help you out!