Lambskin Leather Care
Lambskin leather is beyond beautiful. It is as soft as leather can come and will make you feel as if you have a luxurious second skin. While it is beautiful and can make you feel wonderful, it is also more difficult to take care of because it is so fragile. Luckily, with a few simple lambskin leather care tips, you can have your lamb and wear it too!
We’ve been getting a lot of questions about lambskin leather jackets recently, so I decided to dust off the old lambskin leather blog and give it a proper update. Happy Holidays, people.
The Real Deal
What makes lambskin leather so great? In short, lambskin is to cowhide what your buffed up musculature is next to a beefy grizzly bear’s. Okay, so, at first, this sounds kinda bad, right? Grizzly bears are huge, terrifying overlords of the wilderness, and absolutely no one in their right mind is going to mess with them, maybe unless you are a viking. Next to those ungodly killing machines, most people who are not a viking look kinda, well, puny.
Well there’s a reason we’re at the top of the food chain, aficionado, and it ain’t got nothing to do with some prodigic ability to wrestle a bear to the ground mano-a-mano. What we lack in muscle, we make up for in adaptability and intellect. That’s what lambskin is all about. Lambskin leather is a flexible breed with a long memory. Oh, and I should also probably mention – you won’t find any leather that’s softer and more heavenly to the touch.
Lambskin leather, as opposed to cowhide, has very light weight, a buttery texture, fine grainy aesthetic, and a flexible, draping quality that’s very form-fitting. In fact, lambskin leather has the useful characteristic of remembering shapes that wear it, meaning that the more you wear your lambskin leather jacket, the more it will grow on you, literally. Lambskin remembers your distinctive slopes and curves, almost molding to your body as you give it mileage. Boasting a gentle touch and almost weightless wear, this leather even excels in colder weather and climate, possessing strong insulating prowess despite its thin diameter. For this reason, lambskin leather excels at making quality apparel and textiles. Cowhide, on the other hand, is best for leather not designed to be worn, such as satchels and briefcases.
One thing to look out for is that because softness is such a distinctive trait for lambskin leather, it is more conveniently converted into suede and nubuck leathers, which require different treatments and upkeep than more traditional leathers would. You can read a little about these leather types in our blog “Identify Leather Types: Leather Cuts.”
So how should I go about treating and caring for my lambskin leather?
Before you Wear your Lambskin Leather
Lambskin is more porous than most leathers, and this means it’s going to need more protection. This can be a problem, because the more protection you give lambskin, the more likely you are to interfere with its soft qualities. Although conventional lambskin is often an indoor leather, lambskin jacket owners more frequently run into this problem. While there is no perfect solution to this dilemma, a compromise between protection and preservation of texture can be achieved.
Leather jackets have protection, but they are not waterproof. If leather were waterproofed, it could not breathe, which would greatly decrease its natural lifespan. Instead, a layer of finish gives leather’s pores minimal exposure to the elements. This means that while your jacket will not absorb rain and snow as quickly as other leathers, they can still be vulnerable to the elements if they are not given protection beforehand. This is why Chamberlain’s Water Protectant is an important preventative treatment. Water Protectant creates a natural barrier inside leather’s pores that repel moisture, while preserving the leather’s natural breathing process.
It is important to test any leather protector you plan to use in a discreet area first, to observe its effects. Wait an hour for your test spot to dry, and if the effects are agreeable to you, plunge ahead without fear (but a little moderation)! Apply your conditioner gently, and only give as much as naturally absorbs into your leather at a time. This can minimalize any changes that occur in your leather after you’ve conditioned it.
Cleaning your Lambskin Leather
If you haven’t cleaned your lambskin in a while, it might be good to do that before giving it a leather protector. Chamberlain’s Straight Cleaner is ideal for this, but make sure that you test it first, like your leather conditioner, before going all in, and remember to treat gently. Clean your leather thoroughly, and afterward, condition. You might use Water Protectant as before, or if your leather does not need heavy protection from the elements, you might try a lighter conditioner, like Chamberlain’s Leather Care Liniment, that preserves your leather’s texture far more naturally.
It is best to deep clean your leather at least twice a year, and condition it between 3-4 times a year, depending on the amount of use it gets and the climate it is exposed to. You will need to develop your own leather care routine for your own unique leather, so don’t be afraid to experiment and get to know your leather’s own needs through trial and error. Just approach gently, and remember: you can always add more, but you can’t add less!
Storing your Lambskin Leather
A large part of caring for your lambskin leather is how it is stored. You can buy the most expensive lambskin jacket in the world and it will look lustrous in its first few years, but if you don’t keep it in proper care, time and adversity can corrode its natural beauty. For good lambskin leather care, you can:
• Use a padded hanger to retain a lambskin leather jacket’s shape.
• Do not cover lambskin leather in plastic as this will cause it to dry out.
• Do not store lambskin leather in direct sunlight.
• Store your lambskin in a cool, dry place, not hot and moist.
Hope this helps, leather aficionado. Now go out there and don that lambskin with all the pride, and not a single worry. The way it was meant to be.