Will my leather jacket shrink in the rain?

Will my leather jacket shrink in the rain?

In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the intriguing question of whether or not your cherished leather jacket will shrink when it encounters rain. Leather, a classic choice in fashion that exudes sophistication and style, has been a staple in wardrobes for centuries. Yet, understanding how it responds to different weather conditions is crucial to ensuring its longevity and preserving its aesthetic appeal. Join us as we explore the potential impact of rain on your leather jacket and provide insights to help you maintain this timeless garment in impeccable condition.

The Nature of Leather

To comprehend how leather reacts to rain, it's essential to grasp the basic properties of this luxurious material. Leather is derived from the skin of animals, typically cows, and undergoes an intricate tanning process to transform it into the supple, durable material we're familiar with. This process imparts various characteristics to leather, including its natural resistance to water to some extent.

Leather and Moisture

Leather inherently has a level of moisture resistance, thanks to its dense and tightly woven fibers. This quality allows it to repel water droplets and prevent immediate absorption. However, it's crucial to remember that leather is not entirely waterproof. When leather is exposed to rain or other forms of moisture, it can undergo several changes.

The Initial Reaction

When your leather jacket comes into contact with rain, it often repels the water, causing it to bead up on the surface. This initial reaction is a testament to the leather's natural resistance. However, if your leather jacket is subjected to prolonged exposure to rain or heavy downpours, the story can take a different turn.

The Potential for Shrinkage

Extended exposure to rain can lead to a significant increase in the moisture content of your leather jacket. As the leather absorbs more water, it can lose some of its natural oils and become stiff and less pliable. This stiffness may lead to the appearance of shrinkage in your jacket.

Preventing Shrinkage

To safeguard your beloved leather jacket from the perils of rain-induced shrinkage, there are several proactive measures you can take:


Invest in a high-quality leather waterproofing spray. Applying this product as directed can enhance your jacket's resistance to moisture, reducing the risk of shrinkage.

Timely Drying

If your leather jacket does get wet, it's essential to let it air dry naturally. Avoid subjecting it to direct heat sources like radiators or hairdryers, as excessive heat can further damage the leather and exacerbate the risk of shrinkage.

Leather Conditioner

Regularly treating your leather jacket with a leather conditioner can help maintain its suppleness and resilience. This step is particularly important in preventing shrinkage.


In summary, your leather jacket may indeed shrink if exposed to rain for an extended period. While leather possesses natural resistance to moisture, it's not impervious to it. To protect your cherished leather jacket, invest in waterproofing products, ensure proper drying, and use leather conditioners regularly. By following these steps, you can keep your leather jacket looking impeccable and extend its lifespan.