Washing my G-1?

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by pjman, Jan 21, 2018.

  1. pjman

    pjman Familiar Face

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Biloxi
    I've read several threads on here about washing leather jackets to help clean and restore them. Would washing and air drying cause a goatskin or cowhide G-1 to shrink to any degree??
     
  2. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    8,501
    Location:
    SoCal
    I would NOT wash Goat!!!!!!
     
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  3. El Marro

    El Marro Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,659
    Location:
    California
    pjman,
    I have a vintage L.W. Foster G-1 from the 1950's that I washed with no shrinkage or ill effects afterwards. I washed the jacket in the bathtub in lukewarm water using Woolite Dark detergent. I put the jacket in the dryer on gentle cycle with no heat for about 45 minutes and then let it air dry the rest of the way. Once I felt the jacket was completely dry I applied a coat of Pecards and allowed it soak in for a day or so.
    I was very happy with the results, the jacket looks great and I no longer sneeze when I put it on! As long as you stay away from hot water and a hot dryer I think you will be fine.
     
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  4. seres

    seres A-List Customer

    Messages:
    437
    Location:
    Alaska
    From experience, I can say that washing Goat and Horsehide resulted in shrinkage of about 5%. The finish on the Goat was not damaged, but the Horsehide had some finish loss and streaking.

    I would advise against washing this jacket. You can spot clean the liner with no damage, and then wipe the exterior with a sponge or towel dampened in a gentle soap (such as saddle soap) / water mix.
     
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  5. ButteMT61

    ButteMT61

    Messages:
    10,214
    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    I did and regretted it. Goat G-1. It did shrink and get stiffer.
    Just my 2¢, it always ends in this variety of replies:
    Yes
    No
    You'll have to decide...
     
  6. pjman

    pjman Familiar Face

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Biloxi
    Thanks, Butte - you've helped me decide against doing
    Thanks, Mike - I appreciate the advice.
    it.
     
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  7. pjman

    pjman Familiar Face

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Biloxi
    Thanks for your feedback. I think I'll skip the washing machine!
     
  8. pjman

    pjman Familiar Face

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Biloxi
    Thanks, for the information, Marro.
     
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  9. El Marro

    El Marro Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,659
    Location:
    California
    You're welcome pjman!
    It seems that I am definitely in the minority here, perhaps I got lucky washing my G-1 without it shrinking or stiffening up.
    I think seres had a good tip about spot cleaning the liner and the jacket itself without going all in on a full wash.
    Good luck whichever way you choose to proceed!
     
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  10. pjman

    pjman Familiar Face

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Biloxi
    THanks, Marro! The jacket is in pretty good shape for a 1970 issue, so I'll probably just clean the collar with Woolite, the jacket with Lexol and then give it a good coat of Pecard's.
     
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  11. GregGale

    GregGale One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    177
    Can you please define "wash"? There are some threads circulating about the positive effect of having a shower in your jacket then wearing it while it dries. Did the same with my HH A-2, and it got more comfortable - although it appears to be a tad stiffer now.
     
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  12. John Lever

    John Lever One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,603
    Location:
    Southern England
    You don't have to put it in a machine to wash it. A gentle soak and hand wash in warm bathwater is an alternative. Allow to drain, blot with towels and then air dry.
     
  13. galvestonokie

    galvestonokie Familiar Face

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    houston
    i have hand-washed several G-1s in lukewarm water with no ill effects. also, these were air dried. i'm not sure about the washing machine and dryer. end result was that the jackets were cleaner and smelled better.
     
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  14. Gamma68

    Gamma68 One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,863
    Location:
    Detroit, MI
    The distinct scent of any leather jacket is part of its character, in my view. Unless it really stinks like ass, best to just wipe the leather using a mild soap/water mix (I've used liquid Ivory soap). For the collar on my 1968 G-1, I mixed a small amount of Woolite with water in a spray bottle, then sprayed the collar lightly and gently blotted it dry with a clean cotton rag. The mouton collar now smells fresh and the treatment brightened it up considerably.
     
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  15. pjman

    pjman Familiar Face

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Biloxi
    There is a thread on this forum in which someone described in detail how he washes his leather jackets in a front-loading washing machine, the kind without an agitator. He said he does this without damage to the jackets. I would be more worried about shrinkage than damage, but I've decided against cleaning a jacket in this manner.
     
  16. pjman

    pjman Familiar Face

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Biloxi
    This sounds like a less risky alternative - thanks!
     
  17. Alz

    Alz One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    115
    Not goat but I've just washed a 30 years old jacket my brother bought back in the days. The jacket was badly stored for many of these years and had creases on the back. Plus it got soaked by rain filtering from the roof so it had mold spots all over and rust on the buttons. I used the washing machine, gentle run, 30°C, some soap. I let it dry outside several days but away from the sun light. I then changed the buttons and applied a coat of shoe grease, let it dry some hour and then run a air gun all over the jacket. I repeated this step three times. This made the leather soft and "bright" again, as it was straight out of the shop. It all depends on how tick the leather is, a ticker leather retain more tanning liquid and can be washed better. tmp-cam-1310976287.jpg tmp-cam--1534503791.jpg
     
  18. Cooper A-2

    Cooper A-2 Practically Family

    Messages:
    926
    Location:
    France
    Agree 100% with John.
     
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  19. So33

    So33 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    134
    Location:
    Seattle
    I washed a Brill G-1 from mid 60s that I got for free at a rummage sale
    It was spayed by a tom cat pretty pungent
    Used the toploader washing machine with whatever soap that was on it
    Hung drye and came out fresh and clean with no damage as far as I could see
    Not much effort to loose and cool jacket gained
     
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  20. Alz

    Alz One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    115
    The same jacket I washed worn by my friend ( and guitar hero) in a gig we did back in 1990. It looks even better now.
    tmp-cam--1534503791.jpg
    largo-nino.jpg
     
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