How to Pack a Leather Jacket? (Safely And Frustration-Free)

Here’s the help you need to figure out how to pack a leather jacket properly for you to take on a trip. Top tips to help you do it safely and frustration-free!

To pack and keep your leather jacket safe:

  1. Fold the shoulders together and extend the collar to keep it in shape.
  2. Then, lay the jacket flat and line up the sleeves.
  3. Fold them over the body of the jacket, and then fold the jacket in half vertically.
  4. You can fold it vertically again if you need to make it smaller.

Remember to unpack and hang your leather jacket as soon as you get to your destination. The shorter the time it’s folded, the better!

Ways to pack a leather jacket

Ideally, you’ll wear your leather jacket so much that packing it will be rare. But if you find yourself needing to pack a leather jacket, you’ll want to focus on one of the three best and safe ways to do it, which are:

  • Fold your jacket as directed
  • Use a purpose-designed garment bag and hang it
  • Put it in a sized box

Fold your jacket as directed

I mentioned folding your leather jacket above, and I want to go into more detail so you can know what you’re dealing with. There are several main things to keep in mind when folding.

Firstly, practice folding in the method I described above a few times. You can practice on a shirt first if you are nervous about stressing out your jacket (which is a great consideration). It’ll help you learn where the creases naturally form and how to remove them. You’ll also learn where the most resistance comes from as you fold it lengthwise and double it up for small packing.

Secondly, plan your packing before adding your jacket to the mix. I’ll discuss that in detail later, but here is the gist: your jacket should go on the bottom or on the top of your suitcase or bag. Plan accordingly!

Lastly, fold your leather jacket as the last thing you do when packing. You’ll want to allow it to breathe for as long as possible before getting packed away, especially if it’ll be packed for a while on a long plane ride.

Use a purpose-designed garment bag and hang it

If you want to use a garment bag and hang it, this is your best choice. Use a cloth garment bag since waterproof ones prevent your leather from breathing. You’ll find a suit or dress garment bag will work well! 

The complication is that they can be challenging to pack while traveling via plane. However, there are plenty of bags out there that allow for that. You can even find simple garment packing bags if you want to keep them as streamlined as possible.

If you compare folding with the garment bag option, you’ll find that folding is more convenient for traveling, whereas the garment bag is safer for your leather jacket! Don’t worry, though; the following tip will help!

Put it in a sized box

Perhaps it seems strange to have a box for your leather jacket, but it is a good idea! You can use a cardboard box, a wooden box, or anything else that isn’t plastic. These other materials are breathable and are safer for your jacket.

Place your jacket in the box as loosely as you can (as far as wear on the jacket) and pack the box in your suitcase or other travel bags! This is an excellent compromise for those that want to pack it normally but keep from folding it!

Tip: ALA recommends that you wrap your leather jacket in acid-free paper however you pack it. This protects it from excess wear, spills, nosey onlookers, and more.

Will folding a leather jacket ruin it?

If you feel like I’m giving mixed signals, let me just take a moment to help correct that with a clear answer. Folding a leather jacket won’t ruin it as long as you do it properly for as little time as possible. It’s a safe and effective way to pack and travel with your beloved leather jacket. However, folding should be a last resort only when the other methods are unavailable or very inconvenient.

Can you roll up a leather jacket?

Rolling clothes is a popular space-saving technique for those that like to travel lightly. However, you’ll want to resist the urge to do that to your leather (with one exception that I’ll describe below). Rolling your leather jacket traps moisture and stresses the material, making it more susceptible to damage.

So, what’s the exception? A motorcycle jacket! These leather jackets are heavy and very thick. They’re designed for harsh elements and take a lot of damage. These jackets can safely be rolled up and tucked away for storage because they’re intended to withstand a whole lot more than that! 

Is it OK to pack a leather jacket in a suitcase?

Yes, you can safely pack a leather jacket in your suitcase. You’ll want to pack carefully, though, as I mentioned above. You should either pack it on the very bottom and cushion it with soft layers like t-shirts or pack it on the top in a garment bag so that it goes in last and comes out first.

Will a backpack ruin a leather jacket?

Assuming you don’t just stuff your jacket into your backpack, you won’t ruin it by storing it there. Just follow the same focus by folding it carefully and storing it in a separate garment bag at the very top or in the back of the bag (that goes pressed flat onto your back).

Tip: You can use the laptop sleeve portion of a backpack to safely keep your jacket apart from everything else and as flat as possible if it fits.

Best way to pack a leather jacket for moving

Moving presents many issues to those who want to keep their fragile items safe and sound. If you want some tips on how to pack your leather jacket when moving, I’ve got you covered there with a few pointers.

Don’t hang your jacket with other garments

Usually, movers will put all of your clothing together in a specially designed box that uses a garment rack to help keep everything organized. While it’s tempting to include your leather jacket, only do that if you have it wrapped in a garment bag. Ideally, you’ll separate it just in case something happens to that box or it’s exposed to the elements.

Pack in a “fragile” marked box

Wrap your flat jacket in acid-free paper and put it in a sized, thin box to help keep it from sliding around too much. Don’t put any tape on it to keep it in place, as this will damage the leather. Mark it with a fragile box since most movers will be conscientious about cautiously moving it.

Your leather jacket is an investment that should last you a long time. So, treat it right when packing, and it’ll give you lots of happy years in return. If you must fold it, pull the shoulders together, keep the collar extended, and line up the sleeves. Then fold it lengthwise once or twice and tuck it safely into the bag you’re packing. Where you pack it in the bag and how you wrap it are just as important as the folding technique, so read carefully!

Do you know someone who will find this helpful in protecting their leather? Share this with them and help them out!

Andre from

Andre is a passionate leatherworker. He loves the smell and feel of leather, and he takes great care in selecting the right pieces of leather for his projects. Read more here.