How Do I Age a Leather Jacket?

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Aging a leather jacket is something that you need to do in a very specific way. Find out how to properly age a leather jacket with help from a third generation owner of Arrow Leathercare in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Leather & Fabric Care
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Bruce Gershon from Arrow Leathercare. Today, we're going to talk about how to age a leather jacket. The easiest answer would be, simply, wear it a lot. There are a lot of variables, and it will help to know what type of leather you have. So, I will illustrate some different types of leather and explain those. Whatever we say here, and you attempt to do on your leather garment, it's going to be at your own risk, because you can actually ruin a garment fairly easily. What I have here is a jacket I'm going to use for demonstration. It's a semi-aniline, it's a natural lamb leather, little bit of a painted finish, mostly to level the color. I've got a full aniline piece. I've got a natural piece with a waxy top finish. Got a piece of lamb with a pigment dye, kind of an antique finish. Another piece of lamb with just a painted finish. This is a nubuck piece cowhide. This is the natural grain of the leather buffed off. And then, a sueded piece which is the flesh side of the animal skin. And, we can do different processes on all these. How do I know this is a full aniline? Well, the easiest method to test that is to take some moisture and put it on the leather in a unexposed area. And, you can see it'll darken the leather, the moisture is soaking in, so there's no top finish. To distress this piece is going to have - you're going to have to do some different processes than you would certainly on a piece that has a painted top finish, because really what you're limited here to, unless you want to do a lot of abrasion on it, would be to get it dirty, burnished, stained. On a piece like this that has this waxy finish, like something that you would maybe try to burnish with wax or something like that, you can do a lot of things with it. And, it abrades very easily, it even scratches. So, this would be a great type of skin to age and use. This, again, the lamb with a painted top finish on it that's a little antiqued is actually made to look a little older, and you can do a lot with it. You could abrade it. This is a piece of sandpaper, 213 Imperial grit on a piece of emery paper, and you can see it'll take some finish off very easily. Would be a real good tool to use. This is a scouring pad, and it, like, to demonstrate on this semi-aniline garment, you could take the edge of the collar and abrade it. You can use your imagination, pick certain areas of the garment that would naturally abrade, like an elbow, and abrade it like this and take some finish off. Very easy ways to do that. On a piece like this nubuck piece, you might want to use, like, some wax to change the look of it or just get it real dirty, maybe even some - depends on what degree you want to go to - little grease or dirt and, you know, put it in certain areas of the garment. So, just a lot of different ideas, and you use your imagination, and have some fun with it. So, that's all I have for you today. My name is Bruce Gershon, thanks for watching.


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