A.M. Clothing Irvin Jackets-the ultimate RAF fleece jacket!

Ken at Aero Leather

Well-Known Member
Over all a very nice job, but my QC eye spotted a lot of sewing errors, missed stitch lines, slack fitting zipper, twisted taping etc. I'd have been very disapointed if that had been an Aero restoration
This is what I highlighted in the "Fact or Flattery" thread
Over the time I've been a member so many start ups posting on VLJ have received rave reviews for some pretty amateurish work, Based on this jacket Jonboy is a talented amateur no more, sorry but better than most I've seen recently
 

Otter

Well-Known Member
On an unrelated topic Ken, do you have a copy of the book about building Sunderlands on Windermere ? Can't put my hands on my copy, but there is a photo in there of a sergeant on the wing of one and I swear his jacket is either blac or chocolate brown. Might be the photographer was using a fancy filter on the camera, hard to tell in B&W.
 

Ken at Aero Leather

Well-Known Member
Grant..........As I said, overall a nice job

Let me explain the difficulty faced by a novice, lets just take the centre back seam

First the two sides have to be joined on a special sheepskin machine, a sort of overlocker.
This is easy to do but very hard to get right. The seam cannot be allowed to strech and cannot be too tight. The finished seam should be straight with a lighlty raised profile running down the length of the seam in the centre. If this is wobbly or squint no matter how well the tape is added it's never going to look right.
Adding the leather tape is done on another machine with a special foot, or in the case of using old tape then a third machine is needed but with another different foot, It should be very easy to follow the original stitchline holes but at the same time the operator has to be sure he or she is keeping the tape straight and at the correct tension while making sure the blind joining seam is dead centre. The second side of the stitching is easier as it only involves keeping the needle going through the original stitch holes.
All this takes an immense amount of practice and skill.

And that's just one seam..................
 

ButteMT61

Well-Known Member
IIRC, the crux of this whole drama came down to, inter alia, timing of the "release". That is, it came from nowhere just when a longtime member here was putting out some lovely Irvin jackets? Yeah, that's what got me thinking about deja vu all over again...
The timing of releases from makers and the chess game that it is.
Sadly, I don't now recall the member's name (edit, went back and read..."Jon" was the fella). But I do know his jackets were amazing - and I'm not an Irvin junky.
 
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Grant

Well-Known Member
Ken,
Yep, you know your sewing shit, but the "errors" you point out on Jonny's jacket make it look all the more like a wartime rushed jacket - same as most of my original Aero A-2's. Just my opinion!
 

ButteMT61

Well-Known Member
Re: A.M. Clothing Irvin Jackets-the ultimate RAF fleece jack

Andrew, I must say I was surprised by your announcement, and specifically its timing.

As you will know from reading my posts, I've been working on my repro Irvin jackets for three years. In that time I have sourced the correct industrial sewing machines and become skilled in their use. Using the most closely matched sheepskins I have produced highly accurate reproductions from a deconstructed 1941 original. My jackets have been universally welcomed on the forums, and have received terrific praise from purchasers, as you will have seen. One of my proudest moments has been receiving a resounding endorsement from Wing Commander K.H.H. Cook DFC - a member of the Dambusters Squadron.

After an extensive testing phase, I posted that I was ready to accept orders for production jackets (numbers 6-12), so you can understand that the timing of your announcement is disappointing. I have invested everything - blood, sweat and tears - to reach the point where I’m ready to take orders for jackets. I've been very open about what I've been doing, and have shared all of the progress on the forum. It's been a long, hard slog to get to this point, but it has been a labour of love. For me, making reproduction Irvin jackets is all I want to do.

The fact that you made your announcement the day after I posted to say I was now ready to take orders, feels like you are trying to pull the rug from under my feet. Your post reads like a condensed version of what I’ve said my aims and aspirations have been throughout the various posts about my project.

I know that making accurate reproduction Irvin jackets isn't a copyrighted idea, but I just wish that you'd let me know your intentions. Nobody should be frightened of competition, so I look forward to seeing photographs of the jacket you’ve had made.

Jon
That post, esp reading it today, breaks my heart - what little is left of it.
It sums up the whole thing quite well. Piss poor. Sorry Mod's, I don't want to make yer job any worse, but it really did dig up some bad bones...
 

Ken at Aero Leather

Well-Known Member
Ken,
Yep, you know your sewing shit, but the "errors" you point out on Jonny's jacket make it look all the more like a wartime rushed jacket - same as most of my original Aero A-2's. Just my opinion!
Agreed, but and please be honest, if that had been your original Irvin sent for a restoration, would you have be happy with the work?
 

Ken at Aero Leather

Well-Known Member
\


If I was sending an original in for restoration, I'd expect whoever does the work would match every irregular stitch hole. :)
Exactly my point, the original pieces used to put this Irvin together deserved the same skill and attention an original would merit
 

Persimmon

Well-Known Member
Let’s not off track here.
Johnny Boys leather jackets are no more.

It’s clear when as an individual / company that the more jackets you make the more experience one gets and the greater the end result products.
Earlier goodwear’s can be considered not to be the high of standards they are today. Exchange Goodwear for the other named makes as well.

Perhaps if the carpet had not pulled from under him at the birth of the company he would have made more jackets.
Developed and improved his products and techniques over the years.
And still maybe be in business.

That could be considered the issue with this thread.
Not as put “well meaning amateurs”clearly bumbling along playing secret agents
 

Ken at Aero Leather

Well-Known Member
Agreed 100%, considering his experience Jonboy's jackets have to be admired.
Yes he, as much as Aero, was the loser in this saga

I don't want to be seen as knocking his work, it's just that there is perfection (or close to perfection) and not perfect, and as I said Jon's work was a lot better than most of the new start ups on VLJ

We had a 2007 GW Bronco A-2 in the factory for a while, don't know how early in John's experience it was but it would have sailed through Aero's QC and Paula misses nothing!
Can't say the same for any other recent start up bar Panton's Dubow
 

stanier

Well-Known Member
Let’s not off track here.
Johnny Boys leather jackets are no more.

It’s clear when as an individual / company that the more jackets you make the more experience one gets and the greater the end result products.
Earlier goodwear’s can be considered not to be the high of standards they are today. Exchange Goodwear for the other named makes as well.

Perhaps if the carpet had not pulled from under him at the birth of the company he would have made more jackets.
Developed and improved his products and techniques over the years.
And still maybe be in business.

That could be considered the issue with this thread.
Not as put “well meaning amateurs”clearly bumbling along playing secret agents
And this is the very heart of the matter. If a post could be quadruple liked and triple rewarded this one is it for me.

All those early in this thread saying there was room for both ventures were deluding themselves in my opinion. This is a very very very niche market and if on a Monday a potential customer was thinking ELC and by Tuesday they were going AcesHigh and Jonnyboy they without doubt by Wednesday would have been holding out for dot whatever zippers and dna matched sheepskin and the other goodies if they thought they could get it. And now it turns out it was all pretty much vapour wear! So why that post hot on the heels of Jonnyboys post? Why FFS? All those earlier in the thread saying we’re getting a Jonnyboy jacket as well as an AM, who actually got one? And did they approve the original post and it’s timing? Who knows, as today’s answer will likely be no.

The original post was horribly timed, at the very best a PR disaster and at worst plain nasty. For me, as ever somewhere between the two and actually just reflecting the makeup of those involved. Let’s face it, at least one nameless soul at the time, we now know because of Ken’s post that was then silenced, did time ultimately at HM’s pleasure, not because of this specifically, but of who they were presumably. All shrouded in mystery and secrecy, knowingly or unknowingly the consortium was not of sound moral pedigree and all involved should take a long hard look in the mirror before spouting defensive crap and there’s things going on and trying to take the moral high ground, and wondering why it all went wrong, we just wanted to make the best Irvin, poor us, blah blah, that just plain sucks and makes it worse. Sorry but been a moderator doesn’t make you right, it just means you’re a moderator. And I’m NOT having a pop at John who I 1000% know is a decent bloke. It does mean that if this thread had been started by Platon in whatever guise, or Rottenhann or the Spanish flea it wouldn’t be 15 pages long and been dug up 8 years or so later. The moderators need to wonder why that is and when they’ve decided then post and make their decisions.

Who really knows why Jonnyboy isn’t here today, but he isn’t and he doesn’t make jackets at least via AcesHigh anymore, and it’s hard to believe that what started in this thread didnt have something to do with it, but only Jonnyboy can really say.

Ken, you and I are as one on this, as in fact so many other topics (I’m really gonna have to get an Aero! A real cool no compromise WWII contract facsimile repro please!) but a few dropped stitches on an otherwise superb peice of history modification isn’t the point of this thread, and anyway I agree with Grant the jacket is probably all the more authentic because if it. But one way or another, that’s for another thread I think.
 
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