Waterproof Expert

Waterproofing tips & tricks


Is leather naturally waterproof? Not at all

Leather is naturally water-resistant to a certain degree. It is not naturally waterproof. Untreated leather is porous by nature. This means it cannot withstand prolonged exposure to water.

How long leather remains water-resistant largely depends on the finish. Untreated suede or nubuck will absorb water instantly and may even water-spot.

Leather with a glossy finish can repel water droplets for a while.

But raw leather doesn’t mix well with water. Unwaxed, untreated leather will absorb moisture and water almost instantly.

Your untreated leather boots should withstand light rain for 5-10 minutes. However, after prolonged exposure to rain, water will eventually seep through.

Old leather left untreated will lose its water resistance. Age determines how well leather can repel water and liquids in general.

Is full-grain leather waterproof?

Although full-grain leather is taken from the toughest parts of the animal hide, it is not naturally waterproof.

However, it can withstand water exposure such as light rain for a limited time.

How does water affect leather?

When leather gets wet, water mixes with the oil naturally present in leather. As the water evaporates, leather loses its natural oils in the process.

As a result, leather loses its elasticity and may even shrink becoming stiff and hard.

Water can also stain the leather.

What should I do if the leather gets wet?

If your leather backpack, jacket, or boots get wet, the first thing you need to do is wipe off moisture using a clean towel.

Then place them in a well-ventilated area and let them air dry naturally.

Don’t try to speed up the process. Don’t use a blow dryer as this can damage the leather.

Once the leather has dried, apply a gentle conditioner to restore elasticity.

It’s crucial to wait until the leather has thoroughly dried to prevent mold from forming. If it stays wet, it can rot.

How can I make natural leather waterproof?

To make natural leather waterproof, you can apply a coating of wax or waterproofing spray. Make sure to apply the coating evenly and cover the stitches.

Let the wax or spray dry in a well-ventilated place.

Wipe off the excess and you’re done.

Make sure the solution you’re planning to use is compatible with your leather type.

For example, if you want to waterproof leather boots, purchase a waterproofing spray that’s compatible with the leather your boots are made of.

Using the wrong type of waterproofing spray can ruin your boots.

Keep in mind that you may need to use a different solution to make a certain type of leather waterproof. Not all leather products tolerate wax and waterproofing sprays.

For example, wax will ruin suede. Use a waterproofing spray for suede to waterproof your suede shoes.

Treated leather cannot withstand water exposure as well as rubber boots. Don’t stand in water for long periods even if you’re wearing waterproof leather boots.

Is faux leather waterproof?

Faux leather is waterproof. You don’t need to apply any further waterproofing coating to keep your feet dry.

Faux leather is typically made of vinyl, a type of plastic that’s naturally waterproof.

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