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You've purchased a leather coat and are wondering how to protect the expensive fabric and maintain its appeal. The answer lies in the storage of the garment. Proper leather storage techniques can keep the leather coat from fading, drying out or losing its shape. As your wardrobe makes the transition from winter into spring, use these tips to store your leather coats and extend the life of the garment beyond a few wearings.

Clean your leather coats thoroughly before storage. At the end of the season, remove all stains from the leather coat. For minor cleaning, wipe off the leather with a damp cloth using cold water. If the leather has an ink stain or a strong odor, a professional cleaner who specializes in leathers and suede garments should do the cleaning. Stains and spills left on a leather coat will oxidize, making them impossible to remove.

Store leather coats away from the heat. Leather coats expand when exposed to high heat. Hang your leather coats away from exposed light bulbs in your closet or vents where warm air may escape. Once a leather coat expands, you cannot shrink the coat or restore it back to its original shape.

Brush suede coats before storage. Use a small suede brush with short bristles to remove pieces of the napped leather. Gently rub the brush against the grain of the suede to clean dirt off the garment and keep it in pristine condition.

Cover your leather coats with breathable fabrics. Cut an old white twin or queen sheet in a half and tie it around the leather coat to store the garment. Do not store your coat in plastic, because the skin will dry the fabric out. Use a cloth garment bag or one constructed with netting as an alternative to plastic bags and non-porous storage containers.

Use strong wooden hangers or padded hangers to store your leather coats. A wire or thin plastic hanger cannot withstand the weight of a medium-sized woman's leather coat. As a result, the wire will bend and lose its shape. Buy cedar wooden hangers that will remove any light odors that remain in the lining of the leather jacket.

Tip

Stuff the sleeves with white acid free paper to maintain the shape of the garment. If the leather coat has a matching skirt or pants, clean these items simultaneously so they will wear evenly.

Warning

Leather coats may change color, shrink slightly or become oxidized when cleaned by leather professionals. Do not fold a leather coat to store it.

About the Author

Mimi Abney

Mimi Abney is a lifestyle writer specializing in online content for women. Her work has appeared in NewsOK.com and "Keepsake Magazine," among other publications. With over 15 years of writing and editing experience for the web and print, Abney is also a contributor to online health, beauty and fashion publications. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Spelman College.