A quality shearling jacket is indeed an investment, as these coats are not inexpensive. Moreover, shearling, unlike other fabrics, requires a bit more attention to be paid to how the fabric is cared for. It’s not that shearling isn’t durable – far from it. Instead, improper care (which usually happens in the cleaning stage) of a shearling jacket or coat can destroy many of the fine properties found in shearling insulation (such as its softness and superb insulating ability). For these reasons, it is necessary to keep a few things in mind when cleaning them.
Basic Steps to Taking Care of Shearling Coats and Jackets
All the TPL Shearling Coats and Jackets shown on this website have complete wear and care instructions – instructions which should be followed very closely. That said, as a general rule, proper care of a coat involves the following :
- Rule #1 – Never put the coat into a washing machine or a dryer! With few exceptions, most shearling products need to be either dry cleaned or “air-dryed”. A trip through the washing machine and a dryer is a splendid way to kill a high-quality shearling coat product!
- Rule #2 – Frequent small cleanings are good. What this means is that you do not want to let dirt get heavily soiled into the jacket – as it can be very difficult to remove, if at all. Instead, clean the jacket soon afterit gets dirty.
- Rule #3 – Keep the jacket away from open flames or high heat sources! This not only will damage the shearling but can also damage the leather too.
- Rule #4 – Avoid prolonged exposure to strong sunlight – such as hanging the coat or jacket in a sunny windows for weeks at a time – as this can bleach out the jacket.
- Rule #5 – Long term storage. Do NOT use a plastic garment bag, as it does not breathe and allows moisture to get trapped. Instead, use a cloth garment bag that allows for air movement.
- Rule #6 – Give the jacket some space. Hang the jacket or coat loosely – not stuffed tightly among other clothes. You want it to hang naturally, not in some contorted way.
- Rule #7 – Speaking of hanging, always hang a shearling jacket on a hangar – a stout one. Never drape it over a doorknob or other round point like that (such as on a coat rack) unless the jacket specifically has a place that it can be hung from (most do).
- Rule #8 – When wet, just let the jacket air-dry.
- Rule #9 – Clean the jacket in the spring, and clean it good. Winter solvents and salt will accumulate on the jacket and, if not removed, slowly destroy the jacket. Clean in spring and then forget about it til next season.
- Rule #10 – Just say no to silicone. Silicone and shearling/leather jacket products don’t mix.
- Rule #11 – Don’t put adhesive stickers on the jackets, as the stickers – when removed – may pull out some of the fabric.
Summing it Up
After reading the above list, you may have come to the conclusion that a high-quality shearling jacket may not be worth the trouble of owning. Truth is, a high-quality jacket is very, very easy to take care of. And is incredibly versatile – functioning as a gorgeous day-use jacket, backwoods jacket, and just about everything in between.
It just needs to be remembered that shearling is a different type of insulation than other fabrics – and thus requires its own unique brand of care.