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3 Ways To Shrink A Leather Jacket [Infographic]

3 Ways To Shrink A Leather Jacket [Infographic]

Authored By Mark Adams 1 Comment(s)

For a biker, finding the perfect leather jacket is like stumbling across the holy grail. The leather is soft and smooth while still thick and durable enough to provide protection; the style matches the design you’ve had in your head for years without ever seeing it manifested. It’s the very jacket you dreamed of when you took a seat on a motorcycle for the first time.

But what a drag it is when you go to put it on and find out that it's just a tad too big. Worse still, it's the only size left. Lucky for you, there are a few ways that you can get that oversized jacket to fit like it was specially made for you. In the infographic below, we detail some DIY shrink-to-fit methods as well as tips for working with a tailor.

shrink leather jacket

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Leather jackets are a fashion staple for bikers. Not only do they look cool, they provide added protection too. But sometimes, that awesome jacket you find on the rack just doesn't fit quite right. Use the tips below to shrink or tailor your jacket so that it fits perfectly.

1) Shrinking Your Jacket in a Bathtub

Place a large plastic container in your tub and fill it with warm water

If you stick your new jacket directly in the tub, the dye will leave a stain. Instead, submerge it in warm water within a plastic container. This will keep it out of the way without damaging your tub's finish. You should also wear gloves to protect your hands from the dye.

Let the jacket soak for 5 to 10 minutes and then rub out the dye

Once the jacket has soaked in the warm water for at least five to 10 minutes, some of the color will have already bled out on its own. To force out more of the dye, rub the surface of the jacket with its sleeve.

Wring out the water

After the jacket has soaked and you have rubbed out most of the dye, remove the jacket from the water and wring it out over the plastic container.

Allow the jacket to dry for At least two days

Lay the jacket flat on a dry towel (be sure to use one that you don't mind getting stained, just in case). While the jacket dries over the next two days, check the moisture of the towel and replace it with a dry one if necessary. Bear in mind that leaving your jacket to dry in heat or sunlight will cause it to shrink much more.

2) Shrinking Your Jacket in the Washing Machine

Wash your jacket in a washing machine

Place the jacket in your washing machine and run it on a regular, cold water cycle without detergent. Do not add any other clothes—the dye will ruin them. After the jacket is washed, run a cleaning cycle to remove any residual dye from the machine.

Wring the excess water out of your jacket

Once the cycle has finished, remove the jacket from the washing machine and wring out any excess water. This will both expedite the drying process and protect the leather from water damage (such as watermarks and mildew). 

Dry the jacket on medium heat

Once you've wrung out the excess water, place the wet jacket in your dryer. Let it run on medium heat, taking it out periodically to check how it fits. If it's still too big, place it back in the dryer until you achieve the desired fit.

3) Getting your Jacket Professionally Tailored

Find a tailor that specializes in leather alterations

If the jacket is still too large after you've tried the tactics above, you should take it to a tailor. Be sure to find a tailor that specializes in leather alterations as most ordinary tailors will not know how to alter it correctly.

Have the tailor take your measurements

After you've chosen a tailor, take the jacket to their shop. Even if you know your desired size, the tailor should take your measurements to make sure that the jacket is altered to the perfect fit.

Explain your preferences for fir to the tailor

After the tailor has taken your measurements, let them know your preferences for fit. For example, you could ask them to taper the waist for a more flattering look. Remember, this is your chance to have a jacket designed to fit exactly how you want. 

Try on the finished jacket

A good tailor won't finish the job overnight. Be prepared to wait a while before the jacket is ready. When it's ready to pick up, try it on before you leave to ensure it fits the way you want.


Harry Kane
Harry Kane

Really a very nice blog written on shrink leather jackets for men

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