7 Reasons Leather Makes You Sweat Plus Hacks To Prevent It

why does leather make you sweat

Many people sweat more when they wear leather. This is not as strange as it seems, because there are a number of factors that contribute to why this happens. Understanding these reasons can help you avoid sweating while wearing or using your favorite leather items in the future!

So why does leather make you sweat? Some of the main reasons why leather will make you sweat can be due to following below;

  1. Leather Will Make You Sweat Depending On Its Quality
  2. Leather Will Make You Sweat Because It Adapts To The Temperature Around It
  3. Chemically Treated Leathers Can Cause More Sweat
  4. Leather Will Make You Sweat Because It Is Not Clean
  5. Thick Leather Will Make You Sweat
  6. Leather Will Also Make You Sweat Due To The Type Of Surface Treatment
  7. The Color Of The Leather Item Can Make You Sweat More

To learn the details on why leather makes you sweat, how to prevent your leather items from making you sweat so much, and how to protect your leather from sweat keep reading this article.

1. Leather Will Make You Sweat Depending On Its Quality

There are different qualities of leathers, and some will cause you to sweat more than others. One particular type of leather that will cause a lot more without any underlying factors is faux leather.

This is because faux leather is made up of polyurethane and vinyl, which are two materials that don’t breathe. This means the user will sweat a lot more than if they were wearing genuine leather.

The faux leather material does not allow for air to pass through it efficiently. This is because faux leather doesn’t have pores like natural animal skin would due to its synthetic composition.

Meaning faux leather when used for whether a couch, jacket, or shoes is not breathable and causes you the user to sweat regardless of the temperature.

2. Leather Will Make You Sweat Because It Adapts To The Temperature Around It

One of the leather’s unique attributes is how it is able to adapt to smells and more temperature around it. This means that when an environment is warm, leather has the ability to also become warm and cause you to sweat when in use.

The same thing can be said when a room is cold. This quality can be traced back to the way the animal, from whom the leather was sourced and treated into the leather – as that is how most animals regulate body temperature. Meaning leather has the power to change its temperature when in use.

This can also be the case when your body creates heat and comes into contact with the leather. The leather absorbs the body’s warmth and then reflects back to you.

One important thing to remember is that this affects a person who’s using leather as an article of clothing or furniture can also depend on how they perspire.

If someone sweats more than normal then they’re likely going to have issues with heat regulation. This means that even if something feels cool at a first touch because your body regulates itself differently from other people your perception may differ greatly – leading to sweating faster and making yourself hot quicker!

3. Chemically Treated Leathers Can Cause More Sweat

Chemical-treated leathers can also be a culprit in terms of how sweaty you get when you wear or use your leather items.

One way this is possible is that some of the chemicals using in tanning leather sometimes clog the pores of the leather causing the leather not to be breathable.

For example, the use of chemicals like chromium (chrome tanning) can make it less likely for the skin’s natural oils to be absorbed by the material.

Another way this can also happen can be from the chemical dye use. Leather dyes are generally supposed to seep into the fibers of the leather so that they can cause a chemical bond between themselves and the leather fibers – creating a permanent coloration while allowing the leather to retain its breathability.

But this doesn’t always happen!, some dyes are oftentimes improperly applied (sometimes due to temperature or how the dye is diluted) which takes away the breathability of the leather.

“Just like faux leather, some leathers that have been chemically treated will not allow for airflow which means you wearer will sweat even when there’s no heat present or you’re just sitting around doing nothing”.

That is why they have a tendency to make you sweat. If you want your leather product like furniture, jackets or shoes to be more breathable then it’s important for them to be made not only from genuine animal skin but also treated with fewer chemicals.

“One study found that full-grain or top-grain cowhide was a better choice because these types are often made without any harmful chemical treatments – so they’re unlikely to cause too much sweating as much as other leather styles might!”

4. Leather Will Make You Sweat Because It Is Not Clean

Dirt and stains can all clog the pore of your leather items which can keep your skin from breathing properly when you use those leather items.

This usually leads to excessive sweating – which can be annoying, uncomfortable, and sometimes even painful.

Therefore it is important for leather items like shoes to be made not only from genuine animal skin but also cleaned and cared for properly so that they can remain in good condition.

So if it has been a while since you last cleaned or conditioned your leather items, it is time to do so.

One of the easiest ways to clean your leather items is by simply using a damp cloth and mild soap (dish, hand, or any other gentle kind) to gently wipe the surface of the leather after which you condition.

You can do this if your leather item(s) are not too dirty. If the dirt has already penetrated deep into the pores of your leather items then you might need something stronger like saddle soap.

If you want to condition or protect your leather items for optimal protection against sweat buildup try using beeswax pastes mixed in water-based conditioners.

5. Thick Leather Will Make You Sweat

The average weight of leather used for most leather items is usually a lot thicker than most other materials. This is because Leather comes in different thicknesses, and the thicker it is, the higher the chances of the leather causing you to sweat.

The thickness of the leather will add to how hot it is and also on your sweat. The thicker the material, oftentimes the more you’ll be sweating in that area as well which can lead to excessive perspiration or even sweat rashes.

If you want a less sweaty experience with thick leather items such as jackets, long pants, etc., try getting those that are lightweight like lambskin, and make sure they are tailored so they are not too tight around your arms and legs allowing for more airflow.

6. Leather Will Also Make You Sweat Due To The Type Of Surface Treatment

Another factor that might lead to you sweating more or less is the type of leather surface treatment. Some treatments, such as burnishing, can make it harder for your sweat to escape because the surface of the leather is tightly pressed or smoothened.

This may oftentimes produce a sensation similar to wearing rubber gloves which will also trap in heat and moisture leading to perspiration. You’ll want to be mindful about what kind of treatment on the surface of the leather products you buy so this doesn’t happen.

Another example is the leather used to make leather car seats are usually treated polyvinyl and other synthetic treatments to make them water and wear-resistant. By so doing these types of leather will have a texture that’s similar to vinyl or plastic and can make you sweat more.

7. The Color Of The Leather Item Can Make You Sweat More

As a general rule of thumb, dark colors usually make you sweat more than light colors. The same is for leather items. Darker-colored leather items like black tend to retain a lot of heat, so they make you sweat more than light-colored leather items.

A lighter-colored leather garment will not trap heat as much, so it will not make you sweat more than a dark-colored garment.

The color of the item has an effect on how hot someone feels while wearing the clothes and also what we call “the thermic effect.” Darker colors absorb more light which, in turn, makes them warmer.

So if you wear something darker like black pants then your body is going to feel hotter even though there may be no change in temperature.

If you use lighter colors such as white for cooler weather, they will reflect more light which keeps your body cooler.

Tips On How To Prevent Leather From Making You Sweat

There are a few tips and tricks you can use to help prevent your leather items from making you sweat. Though taking these precautions may cost more money upfront, they’re worth it since purchasing new clothes every time can get expensive!

  • You can avoid your leather from making you sweat by making sure to use leather products that are made with sweat-resistant materials like sheep’s wool, lambskin, and pigskins.
  • You’ll be less likely of sweating while wearing your favorite leather jacket if it is made of a material other than synthetic or treated leather.
  • If the product has been well-taken care of then there won’t really be any risk of perspiring when using it – just as long as proper maintenance is done on the item. For instance, regular waxing treatments will keep moisture from penetrating through its surface preventing sweaty skin and bacteria buildup.
  • One of the best ways to prevent your leather items from making your sweat is to skip any kind of treatments that will make the leather harder and more like vinyl or plastic.
  • Another tip is if possible, do not opt for products made out of faux leather which tend to be perspiration-inducing. However, it’s important to note that this option may vary depending on your personal circumstances such as skin sensitivity levels or allergies.
  • If you opt to go with the faux leather material, be sure that it is a vegan option as this will still have your skin breathing and limit any perspiration.
  • Cover couches, leather car seats, etc with fabric cover during the hot summer months.
  • Make sure to regulate the room temperature appropriately so that you can enjoy your leather furniture without feeling uncomforted or overheated.

How To Safely Remove Sweat Stains From Leather

Removing sweat stains can be a frustrating experience, but there are some steps you can take to get the job done. And more importantly, all it takes are a few household items.

Things Needed:

  • Mild Dish Soap
  • Microfiber Cloth
  • Leather Conditioner

Step 1

  • Clean your leather item. Start by mixing 2-3 drops of mild dish soap into warm water.
  • Swish to bring the mixing to lather.

Step 2

  • Dampen your microfiber cloth with the soap solution and wring it out. It is important not to make your rag soaking wet as this can worsen the condition of the leather item.

Step 3

  • Test the soap solution on an inconspicuous part of the leather item you’re working on to see if the solution does not discolor or worsen the stain you’re trying to remove.

Step 4

  • Once you’re sure the solution will not have any adverse effect on your leather, start rubbing the damp cloth over the stains.
  • Make sure to maintain a circular motion as you rub over those stains.

Step 5

  • Wash your microfiber cloth in clean water, wring it out, and then use it to wipe the surface of the leather.
  • This will help stop or remove any soap residue from the leather.
  • Once you’re done wiping the surface of the leather, check and see if there are still some stains. If there are, repeat steps 4 and 5.

Step 6

  • Once satisfied with the results, leave the leather to air-dry for a couple of hours.

Step 7

  • Finish off by applying a leather conditioner to the entire surface of the leather item you just cleaned.
  • This is important because whenever you clean leather or leather comes into contact with soap and water, some of its essential oils get removed so conditioning the leather is helps to restore those essential oils – which prevent the leather from drying.
  • Make sure to follow the application instructions on the leather conditioner you go for.

Step 8

  • Once conditioning is done, leave the leather to thoroughly air-dry before using it.

Tips On How To Protect Leather From Sweat

  • Use a leather conditioner
  • You can use throw pillows or blankets on your leather furniture during the hot seasons to prevent the leather from becoming sweaty.
  • Use a cotton cover for the couch if you are feeling uncomforted or overheated as it will absorb the sweat.
  • Clean the furniture with a non-alcoholic cleaner instead of harsh chemicals. If you have an allergy to some cleaning products, skip this step and let it air dry for 24 hours before proceeding with any other steps.
  • Apply a coat of sealant if desired every few months during the cool seasons. This will help your leather become more water-resistant.
  • For leather apparel make sure they have a lining on the inside to help stop sweat from reaching the leather.


Hi! I’m Kwabena, the owner and founder of Favored Leather. I’m a huge Leathercraft enthusiast and I’ve been that for almost 13 years now. I'm excited to share my experiences and all the new stuff I learn each day about leather craft, leather cleaning & care, and everything in-between!

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