From clothing to furniture and seat covers for your vehicle; leather can be found everywhere. No doubt leather is a durable material that can stand the test of time but being tough doesn’t mean that it can handle any damage caused by weather. Even the toughest of fabrics can be vulnerable to some elements that can lead to a change in their shape, size, and texture. The factors that trigger such changes can vary depending on the type of leather and the animal that it comes from. Once the animal hide is obtained, it is tanned, dyed, and finished using special methods and products i.e. chrome tanning or vegetable tanning. These elements all together can play a huge role in shrinking the leather under certain circumstances.
Does Leather Shrink Over Time?
Real leather is delicate along with being long-lasting. You must have noticed that Leather seat covers are more exposed to the sunlight and heat as compared to your furniture or a jacket. This explains why the car seats are damaged much quicker than other leather accessories. Direct heat or water exposure can lead to the loss of moisture that’s naturally found in the pores of the leather hide. This can actually dry up the leather, crack it up and shrink. Over time, with regular use, one must take proper care of this delicate fabric to maintain its shape and prevent shrinking.
How Do You Fix Shrunken Leather?
Instead of letting your leather shrink all the way, it is highly recommended to keep it moisturized to avoid any kind of irreversible damage. But if the worst has already happened and your leather jacket or a couch has shrunken because of water or heat damage, there might be a way to fix it. Grab a leather conditioner, Lexol preferably. It contains natural oils that are essential to maintain the texture of the leather. Alcohol and Vaseline have proved to be beneficial to soften the leather. However, make sure to let it dry naturally, using a hairdryer can further shrink it.
Can Your Tighten Leather?
Shrunken leather can be restored by applying oils and conditioners. But the problem is that sometimes it can loosen up a bit so here’s a way to keep the wrinkles away. The age might not be the only reason but leather wrinkles can develop with time like human skin. The use of direct heat and steam can shrink leather, you can use a hairdryer for that. Rubbing alcohol using a piece of cloth with soft hands can get the tightening process going.
Does Leather Shrink In The Cold?
Not particularly. There’s a difference between leather shrinking in cold weather or exposure to cold water. People wear leather jackets and gloves in freezing cold all the time without complaint. Coldwater, on the other hand, is used during the process of shrink the leather. In freezing temperatures, if your leather gets stiff a little bit, don't worry because it’s natural. Moisturizing and conditioning would help maintain the texture and shape.
Does Fake Leather Shrink?
Faux or fake leather is made out of petroleum and plastic elements which are nowhere near the real leather material. Therefore, for fake leather, it is not possible to show natural leather characteristics such as shrinking in cold weather or tightening after the treatment.
Overall, it is always a better idea to get real leather when you’re out on a shopping spree. You may avoid all the weather effects on your leather accessory with the faux leather but it won’t be nearly as durable as the real one.