How To Get Wrinkles Out Of Leather

by Albert Varkki updated 08-03-2023

Table Of Contents

wrinkled leather bag

Leather is renowned for its style and durability.

But it can start wrinkling when it’s used frequently or when you don’t store it properly.

Nonetheless, it shouldn’t be too difficult to remove wrinkles from your leather. You can relax wrinkles by using a modest amount of steam and low heat. This gets your leather looking crisp without damaging it.

Can I Get Wrinkles Out of Leather Shoes?

black leather shoes with wrinkle

Sadly, it’s not really possible to remove wrinkles from leather shoes.

A highly experienced professional may be able to smoothen the creases out a little using heat and moisture, but you won’t be able to get rid of them completely.

Preparing the Leather for Dewrinkling

Clean your leather surface with a mild leather cleaner.

Alternatively, you can use a mix of water and gentle soap.

Remove any stains or dirt and allow the leather to dry completely before you begin.

Pulling on the Leather

leather jacket on hanger

  1. Place the leather item you want to de-wrinkle on a hanger.
  2. Make sure the hanger is a suitable match for the garment. If you need to remove wrinkles from a jacket, use a hanger with wide shoulders. This ensures any stress that results from pulling the jacket won’t add more creases across the shoulder line.
  3. Hangers with rubber-padded clips are great for skirts and pants. Hang the garments at the waistband so they can hang at their full length.
  4. Pulling may not work if your item is too large to hang.
  5. Don’t use thin metal hangers. These can bend when placed under stress.
  6. You’ll need to hang the garment in a sturdy environment. As you’ll be pulling on your garment, you’ll need to hang it in a place that can handle the force of the leather and also withstand the pulling process. Suitable places can include beams inside a closet and coat racks. Pressure rods for curtains and small nails on the wall can fail when you put them under stress, so these are best avoided.
  7. Make sure you’re pulling gently. Pull on the garment lightly until the wrinkles relax. You need to pull in opposite directions simultaneously. If you’re working with vertical wrinkles, you’ll need to grab it from the top and the bottom, pulling gently in both directions.
  8. Alternate pulling from the top and bottom and from both sides of the garment helps to relax the wrinkles.
  9. Avoid holding a pull for too long. Try not to pull for longer than five seconds at a time. Allow the garment to hang for another five seconds before you start pulling again.
  10. This method is only suitable for small wrinkles rather than creases and large wrinkles.

Steam with a Steamer

man using steamer on leather

Before starting:

  • Read the steamer instructions carefully - Take a look at the instructions from the manufacturer of the item you’re steaming.
  • Make sure you’re setting your steamer to a medium-low setting and enable it to heat fully before you begin.
  • Before you apply any steam to your item, test it away from the leather. If the steam is cold, this can add condensation to your item, which can be damaging.
  • Steamers can be highly effective when it comes to removing wrinkles from leather. Steaming can work with shoes, garments, and furniture.

Hang Your Garment

Perhaps you’re steaming a leather garment? If so, hang it vertically.

The steam will relax the leather and ensure the natural weight of your garment pulls the wrinkles down and out.

You can either use a hanger or the rack of your standing steamer.

Don’t worry if your leather items are too big to hang. You can still expect the steam to relax the leather enough that the wrinkles settle.

Steam Your Garment

  1. Use your steamer to apply an even coat of steam over the wrinkled areas of your leather item.
  2. If you can, try to treat the inside and outside of the wrinkled areas.
  3. Hold the steamer around four inches from the garment.
  4. You only need to apply steam for around a second at a time.
  5. Move over the garment in the same way as you would if you were ironing it.
  6. If you find your wrinkles aren’t relaxing on their own after steaming, pull them gently to make them relax further.
  7. Don’t apply too much steam at once as this can damage the leather and the seams.
  8. If moisture starts to form on your leather due to the steam, use a clean, dry cloth to blot off the excess moisture.

Steaming Your Item in the Shower

leather jacket in shower room

  1. Start by running the hot water. Make sure your shower is warm enough to fog up your bathroom. Allow the steam to build, but don’t allow the water to get so hot you wouldn’t be able to take a shower. If you’re able to monitor the temperature in your shower, try to keep it at approximately 105 F (40.5 C).
  2. Enable the steam to build up. Close your door to stop steam from escaping. Place the item on a hanger and keep it hanging near the source of the steam. However, keep it far away enough to stop water from getting onto it. Use a door knob or a towel rack to hang your leather item if possible.
  3. Leather is not designed to deal with large amounts of water. If water does start to condense on your leather, use a clean, dry towel to blot it off.
  4. Allow the garment to steam for as long as you need it to. Keep it in the bathroom for the duration of your shower, then let it hang in your bathroom for a little longer. Wait for the steam to start dissipating and for your bathroom to cool down before you remove the item.
  5. Don’t allow your bathroom to cool completely as this will set the leather and prevent you from smoothing out remaining creases.
  6. When you’ve finished steaming, lay the garment down on a flat surface so you can smoothen it out with your hands. You can relax stubborn wrinkles by pulling them. Let the leather cool on the flat surface before you move or wear it. This sets the smooth leather and stops re-wrinkling.

Ironing Your Leather

man ironing leather jacket

  1. Put your iron on a low setting. Leather isn’t supposed to be ironed in a conventional manner as the ironing process can damage it.
  2. Empty your iron’s steam well before you start to prevent spillage and water damage.
  3. You will need to use a covering during this process. This can come in the form of a 100% cotton cloth like a towel. You can also use heavy brown paper. The covering needs to be placed on top of the leather surface. Don’t use fabrics or lighter papers because these are likely to burn when they come into contact with the iron.
  4. Your covering also needs to be clean and dry. Wipe any moisture with a towel before you begin.
  5. When you start ironing, do it quickly with a light hand. Don’t hold the iron or move it slowly across the leather even when you’re dealing with a stubborn area as this can permanently damage the material.
  6. Don’t place the iron on the leather directly. If you have a larger item or deeper wrinkles to treat, move your covering accordingly.
  7. Once you have finished ironing, store or hang your leather item immediately if you’re not using it straight away.

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Store Your Leather Items

Hang your leather items by hanging them on padded hangers in a well-ventilated closet to store them properly.

Try not to fold or crease leather for an extended period.

Always handle your leather items carefully, avoiding excessive force or tight fittings.

Do You Need Professional Assistance?

If you have particularly stubborn or extensive wrinkles, or if you’re not confident about handling the leather yourself, you could seek out professional assistance from someone who specializes in restoring leather.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do These Methods Work with All Types of Leather?

These methods can be used with most types of leather including furniture, shoes, and garments. If you’re not sure about a particular item, look at the manufacturer’s instructions or talk to a professional.

Can I Use a Clothes Steamer Rather Than a Fabric Steamer?

Yes, you can use a clothes steamer instead of a fabric steamer. However, you’ll need to adjust the settings to a medium-low heat. Follow the same instructions for steaming using a fabric steamer.

Can Leather Be Ironed Directly Without a Covering?

No, it’s always best to use a protective covering when you need to iron leather. This covering will help you to prevent direct heat contact with the leather and prevent damage or burning.

What Steps Should I Take if I Accidentally Get Water on My Leather During the Steaming Process or When I’m Using the Shower?

If water does come into contact with your leather item, you should gently blot it immediately using a clean, dry towel.

Avoid rubbing.

Excessive moisture can cause water stains and other damage to the leather.

Are There Any Other Methods I Can Use to Remove Wrinkles from Leather?

The methods we have discussed in this guide are regularly used to remove wrinkles from leather.

However, if you want to use a different method and require more guidance, leather specialists should be able to advise you.

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Author: Albert Varkki

Albert Varkki is the co-founder of Von Baer. He understands leather products as a consumer, supplier, and a manufacturer, helping you with the inside knowledge you need, to choose the perfect leather product for you.

We always aim to have the highest editorial standards, and only publish accurate information on our website.

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