How to iron leather jackets

So, the question “How to iron leather jackets without damaging the leather” is asked from time to time by some of the Martin Key customers. A jacket made from leather, is for sure very durable in many ways, but leather is a stylish material that can be susceptible to wrinkling if used intensively or not stored properly. It is for sure a natural thought to iron leather jackets with wrinkles, because that is what you normally would do to remove wrinkles from your other clothing and garments. But to iron leather jackets can be a terrible idea that can cause severe damage to your leather jacket even if you use low heat. We at Martin Key always recommend preventing the wrinkles from ever turning up on your leather jacket by proper use and storage. However, if your leather jacket did get wrinkles, we of course still want to share the commonly known advice available for how to get the wrinkles out from a leather jacket.

Please keep in mind, even though we’ve had occasional success with these methods, we cannot take any responsibility or be liable in any way for this advice being safe treatment of the leather that your jacket has been made from. With that said we fully understand that at least trying still might be better than a permanent retirement for your leather jacket due to extensive wrinkles. 

Experts might say that getting wrinkles out of leather can easily be done, however, you really need to know how to properly handle the material. Typically, the advice from people who have been successful with iron leather jackets is to first relax the wrinkles using low heat and very small amounts of steam from the iron, this can help you keep your leather looking crisp without damaging the material. The advice given is typically often to use low heat and to have a protective fabric in between the iron and your leather jacket. The fabric should in such cases preferably be 100% cotton. But at the end of the day, if the strategy is to remove the wrinkles using an iron, a certain level of heat will be necessary for it to have any effect on the wrinkles. If you have too low heat on the iron, you will most likely manage without damaging the leather but on the other hand you might not get the wrinkles out either. 

Therefore, a first try instead of ironing the leather jacket can be to start with gently pulling the leather. A first step of the process to remove the wrinkles is to hang your leather jacket on a hanger with wide shoulders. You want to hang it sturdy to make sure it can handle the force necessary to remove wrinkles. Remember to pull gently using your hands to try to relax the wrinkles. Alternate the pulling from top to bottom and from both sides. Make sure not to hold a pull for too long, avoid longer pulls than 3-5 seconds at time and let the leather rest in between the pulling. If the pulling method didn’t remove wrinkles an alternative to ironing your leather jacket on low heat can be to steam it with a steamer. This method is often a successful way to remove the wrinkles however the risk of damaging the leather is still there if not done extremely carefully. Gently steaming the leather jacket together with the horizontal force from letting the jacket hang sometimes does the work.

You can also try to steam the leather from both the outside and the inside, if possible, without damping the leather jacket too much. If you steam the leather too much it might shrink so any efforts to remove wrinkles from your leather jacket with steam must be done as carefully as if you try to iron your leather jacket. So, the reply to “How to iron leather” is typically “if you really have to, extremely carefully”, wear it and store it with the respect a key item deserves.