How to Clean Leather Trimmed Wool Coats

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Many companies sell leather-trimmed wool garments such as wool coats, hunting shirts with leather shoulder patches and dressage riding apparel (for example, riding jodhpurs with suede patches). Many items have the same instruction: "Dry Clean Only." But some dry cleaners will simply treat the garments as all wool, paying the leather no special attention. If you choose to wash your leather-trimmed wool coat, you may wash it as if it were all wool but then care for the leather as you would any wet leather--this will ensure that every inch of the garment is sharp-looking and long-lasting.

Wash the item by hand in cold water or in your washing machine on the delicate/woolen setting, using only cold water.

Hang the garment to dry—do not use your clothes dryer, which will shrink wool and dry out the leather.

Hang the garment away from direct sunlight, which also will cause the wool and leather to shrink.

Smooth any wrinkles out of the garment with your hands.

Allow the garment to dry completely. The leather should take longer to dry than the wool.

Apply a suede leather conditioner (which usually comes in a spray can) to suede trim. Brush the nap of the suede with a suede brush, which should restore the velvety feel. These conditioners are typically available in drug and grocery stores.

Apply a conditioner containing lanolin to smooth leather trim. Lanolin is a naturally occurring conditioner found in sheep’s wool. It penetrates well and is less oily than mink oil or neatsfoot oil.

Apply two or three light coats of lanolin conditioner instead of one heavy coat and allow the leather to absorb the conditioner in between coats. It is more important that the leather absorbs the conditioner than that the surface feels supple.