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Wash your jacket before and after pic

navetsea

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5,861
Location
East Java
I start since i happen to have washed and documented.
Duz4dOP.jpg

Blue cowhide pre and post first wash
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Brown smooth cowhide
Brand new > no wash > 1st wash > 2nd wash

Please contribute your pre and post wash comparison for denim, other textiles, and leather before and after a wash or rained on, lets us see how the character would change
 
Messages
15,572
Location
East Central Indiana
I'd be worried about shrinkage and even uneven shrinking. I've sprayed new jackets with a water bottle and worn until dry to help break in but never soaked them. I'm hesitant since I wore a leather jacket and rode in rain on a long motorcycle trip then the sun came out to dry my jacket. Arriving home I noticed that one sleeve had shrunk up an inch or so shorter than the other.
HD
 

navetsea

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5,861
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East Java
the problem is not the soaking HD, it is the drying, you mention sun drying during your ride, if the sun is stronger on one side then the creases there is baked dry and more fixed than the other side that is more wind dried, so when you compare the two the one that has been facing the sun hold its creases more and appear shorter, I only guess here but if you would wet them again and let them both air dried they will comeback equal in length.
 

Seb Lucas

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7,573
Location
Australia
I've been putting leather jackets in my washing machine with a little detergent for years. Too many now to count. Takes the shine off; loosens them up. Never had any shrinkage. No photos.

My theory around shrinkage is if the leather has been stretched at some point before it was cut into a pattern it may snap back after getting wet. I am not sure that this happens often. It hasn't happened to me or anyone I know who washes their jackets. I'm waiting.
 

roadking04

Practically Family
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913
Location
The Rock 'n Roll Capital
I didn't think to take a few pics. I have a Vanson model E. I tried the water bottle, that did absolutely nothing. I tried holding it under the shower, that did absolutely nothing. Water just beaded off. The Vanson "hide" almost appears rubbery to me. Finally I said screw it. I put it in the washer and ran it a full cycle with COLD water. Then I took the 25 pound jacket and threw it in the dryer. I left it in the dryer for about an hour on air dry only. NO HEAT. Then I wore it the rest of the day. Hardly phased the Vanson. Absolutely NO DAMAGE or SHRINKAGE at all.

I wouldn't hesitate with a Vanson, Langlitz, or Schott. I don't have experience with the other makers. I think a true MC worthy jacket would easily survive a cold water wash and air dry.
 

Will Zach

Call Me a Cab
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2,695
Location
Northeast USA
I decided I was not going to wear some guy's 50 years worth of sweat when I recently bought a vintage HD Sportster Cafe Racer (pretty stiff steerhide). I threw it in the washer on warm, with detergent. Dried it lying flat, was still stiff but now smelled good. Two coats of Lexol conditioner, still stiff. One coat of Obenaufs Leather Oil - big difference. The jacket literally sucked the oil in in front of my eyes - must have been dried out by the wash. The worn spots got darker, overall the black finish on the jacket became darker and deeper but not shiny, and the leather is now supple. Very, very happy. No pics.
 
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Imuricecreamman

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1,355
I washed 2 of the vintage leather jackets I bought and they don't seem to have had any ill effects. Treated them to some leather cream afterwards since they seemed to have been stored for a long time. Now they smell great and the fit seem Exactly the same. This pic is after wash and dry and leather cream treatment.
Screenshot_20190606_072509_com.android.gallery3d.jpg
 

navetsea

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5,861
Location
East Java
i did machine washed my other jackets, only the blue one I hand washed, perhaps the denim washing routine I picked up recently made me do it, but I think it is also milder to the jacket.

I dry brush the leather first, and then spray the jacket, unless your jacket is aniline or naked this don't do much soak, so I turn the jacket inside out and spray from the lining, and I mix soft detergent with a bucket of water and pour in antiseptic too ( i use dettol antiseptic ), and then i dip my brush in it and brush the lining briskly, spray again to rinse off suds and foam, turn the jacket leather out again spray again the last time, and hang it in a wide shoulder hanger to drip for a moment, clean up the mess in the bathroom, and then wear the jacket over old tshirt until dry naturally or sped up with fan.
 

Dav

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Somerset, England
I should have something to add here having washed two sheepskins and an A-2 recently, unfortunately and strangleyi did take any decent pictures.
Here's the BK Dubow and the ELC Irvin after their trip to the washer. There's not much to report really, a bit more grain has popped, they look a bit more worn but not much else, oh apart from the Dubow is now a lot more fragrant, which was the point of the exercise for me.
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Gamma68

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1,896
Location
Detroit, MI
There's an alternative to the washing machine: hand wash/soak in the tub. I'd recommend this method if you have concerns about possibly harming a vintage or fragile piece.

That's what I did with a very dirty and stiff Bates racing shirt from 1968.

Before pics:

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Because it's unlined and somewhat fragile, I opted to soak in the tub in cold water with a little Woolite dark. After rinsing in plain cold water, I allowed it to air dry outside.

Notice the sickly yellow water. Lots of dirt came out.

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It looks kick-ass in these immediate post-wash photos because it's still a little damp.

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It needed a few conditioner applications afterwards. It's now softer and more pliable and has a nice leather scent. Conditioning brought back some lighter areas without removing patina. Here is the final result:

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Ernest P Shackleton

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1,187
Location
Midwest
When I wash leather, I always use a hair dryer when I recondition it. That little bit of heat makes a world of difference in how much conditioner it sucks deep down into the leather structures and stitch holes. Makes reconditioning a much quicker process as well. You can use an oven too if you can figure out how much to leave the door open and not exceed maybe 100-110°. That's not a scientific number, but an estimate to just enough see the leather reacting quicker and more readily to the conditioner. You'll know when you get there. The leather isn't hot to touch, but it is relatively warm.
 

Gamma68

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1,896
Location
Detroit, MI
When I wash leather, I always use a hair dryer when I recondition it. That little bit of heat makes a world of difference in how much conditioner it sucks deep down into the leather structures and stitch holes. Makes reconditioning a much quicker process as well. You can use an oven too if you can figure out how much to leave the door open and not exceed maybe 100-110°. That's not a scientific number, but an estimate to just enough see the leather reacting quicker and more readily to the conditioner. You'll know when you get there. The leather isn't hot to touch, but it is relatively warm.
Heat does make a difference. I sometimes condition a jacket in the sun (safer than an oven, easier than using a hair dryer).
 

navetsea

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5,861
Location
East Java
if you want to quickly set in new creases, wear the jacket after washing for few days or a week before conditioning, conditioning will make it soft and difficult to hold any new creases. But vice versa i manage to partly erase unwanted back crease (from sleeping with the jacket to break in) by make the leather wet, put on mink oil and iron it over a towel. I learned my lesson if you want to wear a new jacket to sleep to break in, zip up the jacket, it will reduce the chance of unwanted unsighty back creases from the jacket randomly folding under you and you sleep on it for hours.
 

Captain Sensible

A-List Customer
Messages
438
Location
Scotland
I got around a full size of shrinkage by washing an old Lesco CR in the bathtub. The downside was the stitching disintegrated around the collar; I was able to do a decent job of stitching it back together so a good result in the end.
 

Captain Sensible

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438
Location
Scotland
I dried it flat on a metal clothes horse/rack with a towel underneath until it was dry enough to hang and wear every now and again to form/keep the shape.
 

ElMasChangon

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12
Location
Ohio
I dried it flat on a metal clothes horse/rack with a towel underneath until it was dry enough to hang and wear every now and again to form/keep the shape.

Copy that. I was thinking you maybe put it in the dryer. Did you use any soap or detergent?

I'm thinking about trying to shrink my Brooks cafe racer jacket to be a bit more snug. One full size would be great!
 

Captain Sensible

A-List Customer
Messages
438
Location
Scotland
I used Lexol liquid leather soap. I've washed a Brooks racer before, you should take great care with the stitching and lining as the agitation and weight of the water can be too much for it to stand, as was also the case above for the stitching I repaired. I ended up having to replace the full lining of the Brooks, no real regrets though as its a much better jacket for it.

A nice man on here called @Carlos840 shared his process with me, he also has a couple of posts around it including this one;

#89
 
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