Can You Wear Leather in the Rain? – Exploring Leather’s Rain Resistance

Rainy days evoke different emotions in people – some find solace in the pitter-patter of raindrops, while others dread the dripping inconvenience it brings.

However, for fashion enthusiasts, rainy weather can pose a dilemma, especially when it comes to leather attire.

Leather is renowned for its durability, elegance, and timeless appeal, but its vulnerability to moisture raises the question: can you wear leather in the rain? 

Let’s delve into the heart of the matter and explore whether leather can withstand the downpour or if it is a fashion disaster waiting to happen.

Can You Wear Leather in the Rain Infographic


Can You Wear Leather in the Rain?

Yes, you can wear leather in the rain.

Leather, particularly high-quality varieties like full-grain and top-grain, possesses natural water-resistant properties. This resilience is due to the dense fibers and natural oils present in the material.

However, it’s essential to note that while leather can withstand light rain and drizzle, prolonged exposure to heavy downpours or soaking conditions may still cause damage.

Therefore, when wearing leather in the rain, it’s advisable to take precautions such as applying waterproofing treatments and promptly drying any wet spots to prevent long-term harm. 

Source: Find Answers w/ Jack Adams YT Channel

What Precautions Should You Take When Wearing Leather Products in the Rain?

Wearing leather products in the rain requires some precautions to prevent damage and maintain their quality:

  1. Waterproofing: Treat your leather items with a waterproofing spray or conditioner specifically designed for leather. This creates a protective barrier that repels water and helps prevent stains.
  2. Avoid Prolonged Exposure: While leather can withstand some moisture, prolonged exposure to rain can damage it. If possible, try to avoid being in heavy rain for extended periods.
  3. Use an Umbrella or Raincoat: Whenever possible, use an umbrella or wear a raincoat to, provide additional protection for yourself and your leather items, from direct exposure to rainwater.
  4. Watch Out for Color Transfer: Be cautious when wearing light-colored leather items in the rain, as rainwater can sometimes cause color transfer from darker clothing or accessories. Consider wearing darker colors or using protective covers.
  5. Avoid Friction: Try to minimize friction and rubbing between your leather items and other surfaces when they are wet, as this can cause damage to the leather’s surface or finish

Types of Leather and How They React to The Rain

Leather, with its rich texture and timeless appeal, exudes elegance and timeless appeal.

However, its reaction to rain varies depending on the type of leather and its inherent characteristics.

  1. Full-Gain Leather: Full-grain leather is the highest quality, featuring the entire grain surface with imperfections intact. It’s naturally water-resistant due to its dense and tightly packed fibers. Full-grain leather typically repels water, with droplets forming on the surface.
  2. Top-Grain Leather: Top-grain leather is similar to full-grain but undergoes slight processing to remove imperfections. While still relatively water-resistant, top-grain leather may not be as resilient as full-grain.
  3. Patent Leather: Patent leather features a glossy finish achieved through a special coating process. While the glossy surface initially repels water to some extent, prolonged exposure to rain can cause water spots and damage the finish over time.
  4. Suede Leather: Suede leather is made from the inner layer of the hide, resulting in a soft and velvety texture. It is highly absorbent and prone to water damage.
  5. Nubuck Leather: Nubuck leather is similar to suede but is buffed to create a finer texture and greater durability. While more resilient than suede, nubuck leather is still susceptible to water damage.

What to Do When Your Leather Product Gets Wet In The Rain?

If your leather product gets wet in the rain, it’s important to take immediate steps to prevent damage. Here’s what you can do:

  • Blot the Leather: Use a clean, dry cloth to, gently blot away as much water as possible. Do not rub or scrub the leather as it can damage the material.
  • Air Dry: Allow the leather item to air dry naturally in a well-ventilated area away from direct heat sources like radiators or sunlight. Heat can cause the leather to dry out and crack.
  • Shape the Item: While the leather is damp, reshape the item to its original form. This is particularly important for items like bags or shoes to prevent them from losing shape as they dry.
  • Stuff with Paper: To help absorb moisture from the inside, you can stuff the item with plain white paper. This will also help the item maintain its shape as it dries.
  • Condition the Leather: Once the item is dry, apply a leather conditioner to help restore moisture and keep the leather soft and supple.
  • Buff and Polish: After the leather is completely dry and conditioned, you can buff it gently with a soft cloth to restore its shine.

Source: Steel Horse Leather YT Channel

How to Take Care of Leather Products?

Taking care of leather products is essential to ensure they remain in excellent condition and maintain their beauty and durability over time. Here are some tips on how to properly care for leather items:

1. Regular Cleaning

  • Use a soft, damp cloth to, gently wipe away surface dirt and dust from the leather.
  • For stubborn stains, use a mild leather cleaner specifically formulated for the type of leather you have.
  • Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, they can damage the leather’s finish.

2. Conditioning

  • Apply a leather conditioner periodically to replenish the natural oils in the leather and keep it soft and supple.
  • Use a conditioner that matches the type of leather you have.
  • Apply the conditioner evenly in small, circular motions, and allow it to absorb into the leather before buffing off any excess.

3. Protection from Moisture

  • Avoid exposing leather products to excessive moisture, it can cause water stains, mold, and mildew.
  • If leather gets wet, blot it gently with a clean, dry cloth and allow it to air dry naturally, away from direct heat sources.
  • Consider applying a waterproofing spray or wax designed for leather to provide additional protection against moisture.

4. Storage

  • Store leather items in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, which can cause fading and drying out.
  • Use breathable storage bags or covers to protect leather goods from dust and humidity while allowing air circulation.
  • Avoid storing leather items in plastic bags or containers, as they can trap moisture and promote mold growth.

5. Preventing Creases and Wrinkles

  • Avoid overstuffing leather bags or jackets, this can cause creases and distortion.
  • When not in use, stuff bags with tissue paper or a soft cloth to help them retain their shape.
  • Hang leather jackets on wide, padded hangers to prevent creases and maintain structure.

6. Professional Care

  • For stubborn stains or extensive damage, consider consulting a professional leather cleaner or repair specialist.
  • Professional cleaning and conditioning can help restore the appearance and integrity of leather items that have been heavily soiled or damaged.


While wearing leather in the rain can be a stylish choice, it’s important to use common sense and consider the conditions you’ll be facing.

If you’re expecting heavy rain or prolonged exposure to moisture, it may be best to opt for a more weather-resistant material like a waterproof jacket or boots.

With the right precautions and styling tips, you can confidently rock your favorite leather pieces no matter what the weather forecast says.

So go ahead, embrace the rain, and let your leather shine!

Resources Consulted

James Chiles

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