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Caring for a 618

I just recently bought a new 618 for my first Schott jacket, and I love it. So much that I wanna make sure that I properly take care of it. I'm just kinda asking to see what other people do to clean and condition them. How often should I condition it, once a season? twice? Should I take it to a cleaners? Mink oil is the best for conditioning or is it leather honey?? I just don't want it to dry out on me and crack. For reference, I live in PA, so the whether here isn't too bad, but the humidity can be a little wonky. It's more for a causal wear, so it isn't really going through the ringer so to speak, but i am a little hard on clothes, so I wanna make sure I take care of it so that it's up for it. Thanks guys! 

Dannyk on 09/03/20 at 08:39 AM

Proper care depends on what youre using it for and how often. There is no one size fits all. If it gets dirty, caught in a rain storm, you wear it to ride, If you sweat a lot around the collar...I would gently clean it with a soft towel or paper towel with warm but not hot water a gentle soap or saddle soap, then air dry it. Thats really all you need to clean it. A bit of a gentle soap or a small wipe down with saddle soap. As far as conditioning goes, most Schott jackets like your 618 are coated in protectants and oils, thats where it gets its shine from. If you wear it gently and it doesnt get abused this sounds crazy but it honestly wont need any conditioning for years. Ive been collecting jackets of all ages and varieties for several years now and have looked into this and most would agree other than the dirty aspect I discussed, they dont need much. Leather needs to "breath" and if you condition it too much it will clog the pores, wipe away the natural oils and sealers, it can rot the stithcing. But if you do wear it a lot, or to ride and it really is getting its money worth, again how often its worn and used is key; but I use Pecards on the ones that get that much use. It could be once every 6 months, or a year based on use and abuse. I do the gentle cleaning, let it dry, take either a soft buffing towel or your fingers and put a very thin layer over the jacket, let air dry for a day or two and youre good to go. Theres a lot of options out there but Pecards is the one I like best. Use it sparingly and hope you enjoy your 618 for years to come. And remember less is more.

Fatbob87 on 09/03/20 at 10:34 AM

I have 6-7 schott jackets. I only use one on my motorcycle, it is a 125. That one gets bugs and junk smeared on it. When it gets bad I clean it with saddle soap and a soft sponge, I try not to get it too wet... Just damp. I wipe off the suds with a microfiber cloth then immediately condition sparingingly with conditioner. I like obenaufs leather oil but I check any conditioner I use on a discreet spot for darkening before I use it on any of my leather. I've also used venetian shoe cream, neatsfoot oil, mink oil, and lexol for different leather products. 

My casual schott leather jackets get conditioned 2x a year and I don't use saddle soap on them unless I have to spot clean and a damp cloth won't do the trick. I've never had the reason to use a leather cleaning service personally. 

Jmarshmellow1211 on 09/03/20 at 10:37 AM

I really appreciate the advice Danny! From the sound of it, it won't have to clean it/ condition it for a while. At the moment it's just being used as a casual jacket, but it's not unlikely that it'd see time on the road in the next coming years. The only (kinda stupid) reason I was so concerned about conditioner was because I'm starting to see wrinkles/creases where the leather folds when I bend my arms. I've only ever had cheaper, softer jackets so I wasn't sure if that meant the jacket was drying out or not. I'm figuring it's just the jacket starting to really break in! I have worn it near daily  for two weeks, and I've been stretching and things like that to break it it in. It seems to be doing well other than that! Just thought I'd get an opinion on what was best to take care of the jacket to keep it looking as great as possible as long as possible! Thanks again man! 

Fatbob87 on 09/03/20 at 10:40 AM

My experience is you will get some "wrinkles" on leather as it conforms to your body and your movement whether it's boots or jackets. It's part of the breaking in process  and nothing worth worrying about. 

Fatbob87 on 09/03/20 at 10:43 AM

I get them on my boots and jackets

IMG_20200903_0841467481.jpg IMG_20200903_0841569651.jpg

Dannyk on 09/03/20 at 10:55 AM

Jmarshmellow1211 wrote:

I really appreciate the advice Danny! From the sound of it, it won't have to clean it/ condition it for a while. At the moment it's just being used as a casual jacket, but it's not unlikely that it'd see time on the road in the next coming years. The only (kinda stupid) reason I was so concerned about conditioner was because I'm starting to see wrinkles/creases where the leather folds when I bend my arms. I've only ever had cheaper, softer jackets so I wasn't sure if that meant the jacket was drying out or not. I'm figuring it's just the jacket starting to really break in! I have worn it near daily  for two weeks, and I've been stretching and things like that to break it it in. It seems to be doing well other than that! Just thought I'd get an opinion on what was best to take care of the jacket to keep it looking as great as possible as long as possible! Thanks again man! 

Happy to help. The folds and creases are part of the fun. Higher end jackets will do this. Completely normal and expected. Also what's called patina. Not actual dirt or damage. But just fading from the sun, accumulation of years of dirt or conditioner. The natural oils leaving the jacket. If you keep it long enough I'm talking years it will be completely your own and nothing like anyone else's. They tell the story of the owner and where they've been. It's actually a huge trend right now especially with Japanese jacket makers to artificially crease and fade. They call it teacore. They all want their jackets to look 30 years old in one year. Your first good leather jacket you will always baby and worry about. Trust me we all go through it. As you get used to it or buy more you stop worrying as much. Because you'll want it to tell your story. You'll want someone to find yours at a garage sale in 30 years and say this is amazing what stories could this tell. The photo isn't a Schott but it's an example of how cool a truly worn in and worn jacket could look like. 

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nightrain on 09/12/20 at 03:16 PM

I've got a 618 (brown) and it and a 141 (also brown) are my two main riding jackets.  Both are totally awesome!!  Congrats on your new jacket, it's about the best you can get and don't worry, super tough! 

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