Are leather jackets waterproof

Are leather jackets waterproof


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Many people regard leather jacket as an investment, not only because it is classic and stylish, but also because it is durable and versatile. With proper maintenance, an exquisite leather jacket may even last you a life. Since it is so durable, many people may wonder whether the leather jacket is waterproof? Can we wear leather jackets in the rain? Unfortunately, the answer is "No". Some leather jackets are water resistant, but they aren’t waterproof.

Why leather jackets aren’t waterproof? Or, why can’t we wear leather jackets in the rain?


Genuine Leather products are same kind of animal fat as human skin. Take daily life as an example, people who wash their face with water (without using other chemical products) in the morning may feel a slight discomfort or tightness. Then the leather jacket is the same. After the leather jacket is dipped in water, the loose fibers of the leather will bond with each other, making the leather jacket hard, stiff and deformed. In addition, some miscellaneous materials in the leather will penetrate into the surface of the leather jacket, causing the leather jacket to discolor or form mottling. Moreover, the surface of leather jacket may have mildew when it is kept in a damp state for a long time, which can lead to peculiar smell (90% of the peculiar smell of leather jacket is caused by mildew).


If you happen to be in rain while wearing a leather jacket, don't be overly nervous, wipe it with a fine flannel or soft towel in time, and dry it in a cool and ventilated place after wiping it (note that the leather jacket cannot be hung out in the sun).

But be aware that some leather jackets are not even water resistant. Then how to distinguish whether your leather jacket is water-resistant? This mainly depends on the leather type and the craft used. 

Different Types and craftsmanship of Leather


There are many kinds of leather, such as sheepskin, goatskin, cowhide, horse-skin, pigskin, deer skin, crocodile skin, python skin and so on. Take sheepskin as an example. Sheepskin is generally used for high-end fashion clothing because it’s delicate, soft and its excellent texture. But sheepskin doesn’t get a good firmness. The sheepskin with ordinary craftsmanship may breed mold, fungus due to the humidity of the air. And the not-so-soft goatskin is more strength than sheepskin, it’s strong and wear-resistant.

In addition to the difference in leather materials, whether leather jacket is water-resistant and durable depends on the craftsmanship it used.

In terms of leather craftsmanship, it is divided into chrome tanned leather, vegetable tanned leather, and waxy leather. For example, oil wax leather, the texture of this leather is amazing, and looks gorgeous, it also get soft hand feels. The biggest defect is that it is too fragile and not durable, it absorbs water and oil. If it is colored waxy leather, it will discolor after absorbing water. 


Another difference is whether the leather surface is coated or waxed.

Coated leather jackets, when the surface is stained with water or soiled, wipe it with a wet towel, and hang it in a cool and ventilated place to air dry after wiping (not under the sun).

Coated leather-1

(Spray water on coated leather)

Coated leather-2

(Wipe it by towel)

Coated leather-3

(Water can be wiped)

On the other hand, uncoated leather jackets will absorb water, as shown in the pictures below.

uncoated leather-1

(Spray water on uncoated leather)

uncoated leather-2

(Water will be absorbed quickly)

If your jacket is uncoated, and you want it to be waterproof, maybe you can try to wax leather, but be aware that not all leather can be waxed.


No matter what kind of leather your leather jacket is or which craftsmanship it took when it was processed, it’s best not to wear leather jacket in the rain, especially when it is raining heavily. If the water penetrates into the leather, it will cause damage to the leather. But don’t be too worry, an umbrella can solve this problem. As long as the leather jacket is not exposed to rain directly, and dry it in time if it is stained with water, it will not be a big problem.

Without doubt, the leather cannot be washed with water if it gets dirty. For daily cleaning, you can use leather cleaner or check the Leather Care Guide.

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