Leather Cleaning: Over 3 Decades of Experience


When I was a teenager I worked in my best friend’s father’s tannery in Newberry Port, MA.  I made pretty good money, too, enough to keep gas in my T-top Camaro.  The job was intense, but I learned a lot as I worked my way through every part of the tanning process.  I started with the raw skins, worked my way through the business and ended up in the shipping room, where the aroma of brand new suede permeated everything. I never figured that I would have the opportunity to use the knowledge I gained that summer, but in the intervening decades, that knowledge has become invaluable.  I know leather and suede inside out—literally—a claim that not too many dry cleaners can make.

With proper care a suede or leather garment can last a lifetime.  Whether you have one leather jacket or a closet full, a little maintenance will go a long way, turning your seasonal splurge into a long term investment.

The earliest known photo of Wayne behind the counter at Meurice

The earliest known photo of Wayne behind the counter at Meurice

You wouldn’t believe some of the leather and suede casualties we see in our stores, some arriving via FedEx from across the country.  It’s true that our garment care specialists can work something close to magic, but there are also small steps you can take—no abracadabra required—that will go a long way in ensuring a long, beautiful life for your leather and suede garments.

  1. Have your leather and suede treated with a stain repellent before wearing.  Not only will your garment stay cleaner longer, but cleaning it when it does become soiled will be much easier.  (Does Meurice do stain repellent applications?  Of course we do!)
  2. Never attempt spot cleaning on a suede or leather garment.  Never.  Never!
  3. If you get caught in an unexpected downpour in your best leather coat, don’t panic.  Place the wet leather or suede on a sturdy hanger (No wire hangers, please!) and let it dry away from any heat source.  It might dry a bit stiff, but it will soften up with wear, or an air fluff (that’s NO HEAT) cycle in your dryer.
  4. Never, ever put an adhesive name tag on a suede or leather garment.  Sticky stuff and suede just don’t work well together.
  5. Store your suedes and leathers where they are safe from extreme heat and humidity.  Also, never store them in plastic.  We always provide breathable storage bags for the leather and suede we handle.
  6. Never put away your leather or suede garments dirty!  For best results, get them cleaned as soon as they are soiled.

At Meurice, we routinely freshen up shearing coats, leathers and suedes by hand cleaning them, so that they remain soft and supple.  We’ve also been known to bring leather and suede back from the dead…in a matter of speaking.  Whether it’s freshening your leather or overhauling your suede, Meurice knows how to handle it.  Don’t forget, I’ve been doing this for a long time—long enough to wish that I hadn’t been in such a hurry to unload that Camaro.

Keep clean,
Wayne, President & CEO of Meurice Garment Care