Can Leather Jackets Get Wet? – Weathering the Storm

Leather jackets are a timeless wardrobe staple, known for their durability, style, and versatility.

Imagine strolling through the city streets on a crisp autumn day, wearing your favorite leather jacket. Suddenly, dark clouds gather overhead, and raindrops begin to fall. 

Panic sets in as you wonder, can your beloved leather jacket withstand the downpour, or is it destined to be ruined? 

In this blog, we delve into the world of leather jackets and uncover the truth about their relationship with water.

Can Leather Jackets Get Wet Infographic


Can Leather Jackets Get Wet?

The short answer? Yes, leather jackets can indeed get wet. But, as with many things in life, the devil is in the details.

When leather comes into contact with moisture, it can absorb water, causing it to become stiff and lose its original shape.

Prolonged exposure to water can lead to discoloration, mold growth, and an unpleasant odor.

However, while leather is susceptible to water damage, it’s not necessarily irreparable. With proper care and maintenance, you can mitigate the effects of moisture on your leather jacket.

Source: GET ANSWERS w/ Scarlett

Types of Leather Jackets and How They React When They Get Wet

There are several types of leather jackets, each with its unique characteristics and qualities. Here are some common types of leather jackets and how they typically respond to moisture:

  1. Cowhide Leather Jackets: When cowhide leather jackets get wet, they can stiffen and lose some of their flexibility. It is crucial to let them air dry naturally away from direct heat sources and avoid wringing or twisting the leather, as this can damage its structure.
  2. Lambskin Leather Jackets: When lambskin leather jackets get wet, they can become waterlogged and lose softness. It is essential to gently pat the leather with a clean, dry cloth to remove excess moisture and let it air dry away from direct sunlight or heat.
  3. Nubuck Leather Jackets: Nubuck leather is similar to suede but has a finer texture and is more durable. When nubuck leather gets wet, it can darken in color and develop water stains identical to suede.
  4. Synthetic Leather Jackets: Synthetic leather, also known as, faux or vegan leather, is made from artificial materials such as polyurethane. Synthetic leather jackets are typically more water-resistant than genuine leather jackets and may not absorb moisture as readily.
  5. Suede leather jackets: Suede leather jackets have a velvety texture and a luxurious appearance. When suede leather jackets get wet, they can become stained and develop water spots.

What to Do When Your Leather Jackets Get Wet?

If your leather jacket gets wet, it’s essential to take immediate action to minimize damage and preserve its appearance. Here’s what you should do:

  • Pat Dry: Use a clean, absorbent cloth to gently pat the surface of the jacket and soak up as much moisture as possible.
  • Air Dry: Hang your jacket in a well-ventilated area away from direct heat or sunlight. Avoid using a hairdryer, heater, or any other source of high heat, as this can cause the leather to become stiff and prone to cracking.
  • Shape Restoration: If your jacket has lost shape due to water exposure, gently reshape it while it is still damp. Use your hands to smooth out wrinkles or creases, and reshape the collar, cuffs, and hem as needed.
  • Conditioning: Once the jacket is completely dry, apply a leather conditioner to restore moisture and suppleness to the leather. Choose a conditioner specifically designed for your type of leather.
  • Waterproofing Treatment: To help protect your leather jacket from future water damage, consider applying a waterproofing treatment after it has been cleaned and conditioned. Choose a waterproofing spray or wax specifically designed for leather.

Tips for Protecting Leather Jackets from Getting Wet

Protecting a leather jacket from getting wet is important to maintain its appearance and prolong its lifespan. Here are some tips to help safeguard your leather jacket from moisture:

  • Apply a high-quality waterproofing spray specifically designed for leather jackets. Spray a thin, even layer over the entire surface of the jacket and allow it to dry completely before wearing it in wet conditions.
  • When not in use, store your leather jacket in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture. Use a breathable garment bag or cover to protect the jacket from dust and humidity.
  • If you know you will be in a wet or rainy environment, consider wearing a different jacket or carrying an umbrella to shield your leather jacket from prolonged exposure to rain. Leather is a natural material that can absorb moisture and may become damaged if exposed to water for an extended time.
  • If your leather jacket does get wet, it is essential to dry it properly to prevent damage. Gently pat the leather with a clean, dry cloth to absorb excess moisture. 
  • Use a leather conditioner or cream to replenish the natural oils in the leather and maintain its flexibility. Conditioning also helps to restore any lost moisture from exposure to water and prevents the leather from drying out and becoming brittle.
  • If your leather jacket gets stained with water spots or other liquids, clean the affected area promptly using a damp cloth and mild soap. 

How to Care for Wet Leather Jackets?

Caring for a wet leather jacket is crucial to prevent damage and maintain its quality. Here are some steps to effectively care for a wet leather jacket:

1. Act Quickly

As soon as your leather jacket gets wet, gently shake off any excess water and use a clean, dry cloth to blot the moisture.

Do not rub the leather, as this can cause damage to the material.

2. Hang To Dry

Hang the wet leather jacket on a padded hanger in a well-ventilated area away from direct heat and sunlight.

Avoid using heat sources such as hairdryers or radiators, as they can cause the leather to dry out and become stiff.

3. Allow Natural Drying

Allow the jacket to air dry naturally. Do not attempt to speed up the drying process with artificial heat, as this can damage the leather. 

4. Re-shape As Needed

While the leather jacket is drying, gently reshape it to prevent any wrinkles or creases from setting in.

Smooth out the leather with your hands to help restore its original shape.

5. Store Properly

Once the leather jacket is dry and conditioned, store it in a cool, dry place away from moisture and direct sunlight.

Use a breathable garment bag or cover to protect the jacket from dust and humidity.


In conclusion, yes, leather jackets can get wet, but with proper care and maintenance, you can protect your investment.

Remember to take precautions when wearing your jacket in wet conditions, and always follow the recommended care instructions to ensure your leather jacket stays in top condition.

A well-cared-for leather jacket will only get better with age, developing a unique patina that adds to its charm and character.

So, don’t let a little rain dampen your leather jacket’s style – embrace the weather and rock your favorite piece with confidence!

Source: Steel Horse Leather

Resources Consulted


James Chiles

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