How To Distress A Leather Jacket

Knowing how to distress a leather jacket can transform an entire look. New leather is nice, but worn leather is comfortable and rugged. Distressed leather is the latest trend in fashion. You can create the look yourself with a few easy steps. There are multiple ways to go about distressing the leather.

In order to distress a leather jacket, you will need:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton balls
  • Water
  • Saddlesoap
  • Blow dryer
  • Wire brush
  • Sandpaper
  • Leather jacket
  1. Soften the leather. Fill a tub or sink with water. Add the leather jacket and a bit of saddlesoap. Completely soak the jacket in water and rub to create suds. Squeeze out excess water. Saddlesoap softens the leather. While the jacket is wet you can twist, roll, and crumple it. Lay the leather jacket on a flat surface and blow dry on medium to high heat. Drying the jacket causes the leather to crack and age, resulting in the distressed look.
  2. Prepare for distress. Once the leather jacket is dry, pour rubbing alcohol on cotton balls. Thoroughly wet the jacket with the alcohol.
  3. Distress time. You can now use a wire brush to drag across the jacket to distress. The wire softens the leather, making it easier to sand. You can then use the sandpaper. Slowly rub the sandpaper in a circular motion. Start gently. You want to get the hang of it first. Apply more pressure in some areas. You will begin to notice the color lightening.  

When distressing leather jackets, people get creative. Some drag their leather jackets across asphalt or beat against trees. Others use hammers, bats or even their fists!  Follow the basics, but your imagination is the limit. Have fun and kick the stiff, boring look to the curb, literally!

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