Leather Cleaning & Care

Leather is now very much a fashion material and the tanneries provide an ever changing range of fashion effects. It is in fact the finishing process applied to leather that determines the Care and Cleaning required.

Look on the swing ticket attached to your garment, or the label sewn into the lining to ascertain the appropriate finish. If you are in any doubt at all about this, then please call into your nearest Lakeland shop or contact our Customer Care Department, Rothay Road, Ambleside, Cumbria LA22 0HQ. Telephone (015394) 39030. We will also be happy to help with any other queries relating to your leather garment.


Always treat leather and suede with the care and respect that a luxury garment deserves. Keep on a well-shaped hanger when not in use, and if the garment is stored for any length of time keep in a fabric cover.

Most leathers are reasonably shower resistant, though not waterproof, and as such, their use in prolonged heavy rain should be avoided. Should your leather garment become wet, put on a well-shaped hanger and allow to dry naturally away from direct heat or sunlight.

For Suede and Nubuck, marks can be rubbed gently with a Lakeland Suede/Nubuck Cloth. For Nappa and Aniline leather the marks can generally be removed by rubbing the affected area against itself.

Care and cleaning

As a general rule, the higher the quality of leather the more it will benefit from extra care and attention. For care and cleaning purposes, Lakeland leathers fall into three main categories:

Care and Cleaning 'A'

Generally, Suede, Nubuck and buffed leather (i.e. leather which has been buffed in the finishing process to give it a duller, matt appearance), fall into category 'A'.

When New

We recommend that before wearing your garment you spray with Lakeland Suede and Leather Guard.

This provides an invisible protective barrier over the surface of the garment which helps to prevent dirt and grime penetrating the surface of the skin and so makes it easier to remove surface grime and marks. Particular attention should be paid to the inside collar and cuff areas. This will dramatically reduce the problems caused by grease and perspiration from direct skin contact.


A Lakeland Suede/Nubuck Cloth can be used regularly to enhance the nap and will prevent marks from penetrating into the skin.


All sueded garments will naturally shed a certain amount of fine dust when new, this is due to suede particles loosened in the buffing process becoming trapped in the pile of the garment. The softer the suede, the more likely this is to happen. The dust will soon disappear with wear; should it be excessive then the garment can be brushed with Lakeland Suede/Nubuck Cloth, then sprayed with Lakeland Suede and Leather Guard.


Sometimes rainspotting can occur—this is when spots of water falling on the garment form a darker wet mark which, when it dries out, still remains as a dark spot. This can be eliminated by allowing the garment to dry naturally on a well shaped hanger then gently rubbing the marks with a Lakeland Suede/Nubuck Cloth.

Lakeland Suede & Nubuck Protector Spray

Lakeland Suede and Nubuck Protector Spray will provide excellent protection for your Suede and Nubuck against oil and water based spills. It should be applied before you wear your leather and following cleaning (if you buy a leather item from our website it will be applied before we send it to you). Unfortunately, due to shipping restrictions on aerosols, this product is only available to purchase in our stores. Find your nearest store on our Store Locator page.

Care and Cleaning 'B'

Generally leathers with a 'smooth' surface—colloquially called 'leather' finishes, i.e. Aniline, Nappa and Hide, which in general have a slight sheen or finish on the leather fall into category 'B'.

When New

Applying Lakeland Protection Cream for Leather when new will provide an invisible protective barrier over the surface of the garment. This biodegradable and dermalogically safe cream gives excellent protection against water and oil based stains as well as facilitating easier cleaning of everyday soiling.

When applying Lakeland Protection Cream for Leather we recommend particular attention is paid to the inside collar and cuff areas. This will dramatically reduce the problems caused by grease and perspiration through direct skin contact. It is recommended that new leather is treated prior to use with Lakeland Protection Cream for Leather. Depending on the level of wear, the leather will benefit from the reapplication of Lakeland Protection Cream, following the use of Lakeland Soft Cleaner for Leather, once or twice a year.


Minor marks and soiling that occur with everyday wear can be removed by using Lakeland Soft Cleaner for Leather. This is a mild cleaner which will not affect the original look, properties or finish of the leather. Lakeland Protection Cream for Leather should be reapplied following cleaning.

Care and Cleaning 'C'

Care and Cleaning 'C' is generally used for exceptional 'fashion' finishes which may not have been available before the production of this page. We therefore advise that you contact a member of our staff for specific information whenever Care 'C' is referred to. Some leather does not benefit from the use of any cleaning products, the leather will simply be enhanced with wear. You will find these types of leather are also classed as Care 'C' and further information can be found within the "Leather Finishes" section of this page.

Sheepskin - Care of Wool Side

Use a damp sponge and lukewarm water to which a small amount of mild, pure soap has been added - do not use powdered detergents. Sponge the wool all over, taking care not to allow it to become too wet. Dry naturally, then comb through with a poodle brush.


If necessary, it is possible to iron out creases from Suede/Leather. For best results ensure the iron is set on the 'medium' setting. Place a clean fine weave cloth over the area to be ironed and gently apply pressure with the iron to smooth out creases.

Note: It is important that the iron does not make direct contact with the Suede/Leather.


Whilst you should never experience any problems with a Lakeland leather, it is always advisable to be aware of any potential hazards which could affect the appearance and general wear of any leather garment.

Adhesive labels

Do not allow adhesive labels such as those used to promote charities, etc to be stuck onto suede or leather garments as the adhesive may cause discolouration or remove some of the finish.

Car Seats/Seat Belts/Handbag Straps

Some car seats and seat belts are made from particularly hard wearing materials which can be abrasive to leather or suede. Care should be taken, especially with finer leather and suede to ensure abrasion or sharp buckles do not cause damage to the garment.

Dye Transfer

As with some fabrics such as denim, there can be a degree of dye transfer both from and to suede/nubuck and aniline leather. This can occur particularly when the garment is wet. You should avoid direct contact with light coloured garments and car seats.

Oil/Wax Transfer

With any leather which has an oil or waxy finish, there is the potential for oil/wax to transfer onto any other fabric it comes into contact with. You should avoid contact with light coloured garments and car seats.


Strong sunlight will fade suede and leather. It is advisable never to leave suede and leather garments in the sun for long periods of time, e.g. the back ledge of a car window.

Dry Cleaning

The care and cleaning products recommended by Lakeland will postpone and even eliminate the need for dry cleaning and we would normally advise against dry cleaning for the first 2/3 years. However should excessive soiling make dry cleaning absolutely necessary we would advise you to contact Lakeland Customer Care Department (015394 39030) for details of a recommended specialist leather cleaner.

Dry Cleaning Frequently Asked Questions

In an attempt to cover some of the basic queries regarding the dry cleaning of leather, we have listed some of the more common questions raised by customers.

Q. Can I expect leather and suede to look as good as new after cleaning?
A. Not usually. Unlike fabric garments leather does not benefit from dry cleaning. During the cleaning process, dirt and grime is removed from the leather and inevitably this process also removes some of the substances used in the original production to dye and soften the skins and on occasions adhesive which may have been used in the manufacture.

Q. What can I expect to happen to suede/leather after dry cleaning?
A. Although a specialist leather cleaner will endeavour to restore the colour and softness of the garment to as near its original condition as possible (they should record the type of finish and colour, noting any variations in colour either between panels or from use, before cleaning), some colour loss or change to the texture is occasionally unavoidable even after treatment from the best dry cleaning.

Q. Why did my leather jacket seem to get tighter following dry cleaning?
A. When skins are tanned and dyed they are impregnated with fats, then stretched and tacked out on boards to dry. Occasionally, following cleaning, the skin will shrink. A dry cleaner specialising in leather should measure the garment in order that the correct size and shape can be ensured during finishing.

Q. Which cleaner should I entrust to dry clean my leather and suede garments?
A. Contact Lakeland's Customer Care Department (015394 39030) and they will recommend a specialist leather cleaner where you should send your garment, together with your name, address and day time telephone number. As soon as your garment is received, a dry cleaning expert will ring you to discuss your garment giving you a realistic indication of the likely condition following cleaning, and quoting the charge. Should any minor repairs be needed they will also quote for carrying out the work if you wish. As a Lakeland customer, you will also be entitled to a 20% reduction on the quoted charge.

Q. My local dry cleaners advertise they can dry clean leather - will I be happy with the results?
A. Should you wish to use another specialist leather cleaner then we would advise you to take along the leather care booklet you received with your leather and ask the cleaner in question to confirm they will follow the same pre-cleaning examination.

You should never need to sign a dry cleaning disclaimer for a Lakeland leather. Should a garment requiring dry cleaning form part of a suit, it is always advisable to have both items dry cleaned together in order that the cleaner can ensure minimal colour variation.

Specific Leather Finishes

To learn more about specific leathers, visit our Leather Page

Note: New leather finishes are being developed all the time. If you are in any doubt as to the type of finish and the care and cleaning which relates to your particular garment, please contact your local branch of Lakeland or contact our Customer Care Department.

Leather Briefcases/Handbags/Luggage

These can be cleaned and treated in the same way as suede or leather garments. It is always advisable to check inside the bag for any labels referring to the particular care of clasps and fittings and follow the care and cleaning for the relevant leather finish.

Leather Gloves

Most top quality gloves are produced in Hair Sheep Aniline leather, and require the minimum of attention to preserve their appearance and comfort. Should your gloves become wet, allow them to dry naturally away from direct heat, in a warm room. Ease back into shape whilst drying by putting the gloves on and off several times. If the gloves become soiled, then wipe with a clean damp cloth or use the relevant care products recommended. Lakeland Protection Cream for Leather can be used. However, it may change the appearance slightly by evening out the natural markings in the leather and darkening the colour. Soft Cleaner for Leather can be used to remove dirt and soiling.

Leather Trousers - Shortening

Leather trousers can be easily shortened by following the stages below:

Measure inside leg for finished length required.
Turn trousers inside out.
Cut off any excess, leaving approx 4 cms for hem inside.
Secure stitching on side seam.
Glue by putting around 6 small dots of Copydex approx 1.5 cms from raw edge, then fold the hem by 4 cms to give finished length, making sure there are no creases and press together firmly.
NB. You may wish to wear your leather trousers for 2/3 occasions with the hem temporarily turned up. This will ensure that any creasing which may occur in the leather will not affect the desired length.

After Care Service

We are keen to ensure that you enjoy wearing your leather purchase and are confident in the use of the leather care products which are designed to enhance and prolong the life of your garment. Should you require any further advice please contact your local branch of Lakeland or our Customer Care Department.

Should you have purchased your leather from elsewhere and require advice on any aspect of your leather garment, then Lakeland's leather buyer, Richard Standring, will be happy to help.



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