Best A2 Leather

Nickb123

Well-Known Member
It's subjective. But you'd ideally want something lightweight-under 3ounces in thickness for a better drape.

If you want an original look, hard to beat pigment dyed Shinki. Or a well-worn LW chrome tanned hh; but that's a heavy one. Platon's Dubow leather looks good. Eastman's have a great weight...Aero's Vicenza can be heavier but it's nice stuff too. See if you can get a lighter weight hide. Seal jerky looks good too.

There's this lightweight Horween stuff JC used for my Monarch. Probably the closest in feel and weight.
 
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Brettafett

Well-Known Member
Ha! You're begging for a heated debate!

My opinion, is that the horsehide used by Bill Kelso, Platon (Italian...), Goodwear (Shinki), Eastman and Aero's Italian Vicenza all come close and tick most of the major boxes.
Why they are so pricey.
No one can reproduce leather quite in the same way as in WW2, due to many factors, not the least that a lot of WW2 leather was chemically chrome-tanned. Cant do that today.
Veg-tanning is authentic and that we can do.

I won't say which is better, that's subjective.
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
It’s pretty much an individual preference . I remember a time when Badalassi was the latest and greatest and I got my hands on an A2 made from it and it was thick and heavy . I didn’t care for it at all. No way was it good for a period repro . Then I had one in Horween leather, which a lot of people didn’t care for but I liked it. I guess it all comes down to what leather makes you feel that you’ve got a decent repro jacket that feels and looks like an original .
 

mulceber

Well-Known Member
I’m with you, Brett - I’m a fan of Liberty, although I really like Eastman’s warhorse for the weight. My main critique of most A-2 repro leathers is they’re thicker than the originals I’ve handled, although I’m sure there’s a variety. But in terms of the quality of leather, there are a lot of good options and there are even more opinions.
 

Smithy

Well-Known Member
As others have pointed out it's pretty subjective.

But if we're talking in relation to originals, as Brett also pointed out originals were chrome tanned which meant that they had a soft drape when issued (most have stiffened up to some degree now due to ageing), far softer than most of the veg tanned stuff that a lot of the top end makers favour now. Something else to bear in mind is that most of these high end makers seem to go for leathers that age fairly quickly to emulate the look of a 75 year old jacket in short order. You could argue whether such an approach really approximates how originals wore. Originals look 75 years old because they are 75 years old. I'm not sure you could say that a jacket issued in 1942 would look like a 75 year old jacket in 1944 if you catch my drift.

But the fast wearing leathers are all the rage now and that's what the punters want.
 

London Cabbie

Well-Known Member
So the different shades and colouration is down to the various tanning processes and ‘special sauce’ that each manufacture uses and not so much the different leathers. Of Course goatskin will be different to horsehide etc...
In that case how close are the look of the manufacturers photos to the jacket when delivered.
From my small experience the Eastman G1 I have looks very close to the photo in real life (Colour, hue, shine....) and I look at the photo in Eastmans catalogue regularly...Platons A2 in Russet in the photos has the same shine and hue as my seal at home, I know that sounds strange even though they are different colours.
 

WBOONE

Active Member
I just received a all original "no name" 27753 contract A2 jacket in excellent condition. Putting it next to my GW Rough Wear 1401-P jacket the RW feels somewhat heavier. Originals do some to have 'something" different about them in terms of looks and "character" that even top tier repos can't seem to reproduce.
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
I just received a all original "no name" 27753 contract A2 jacket in excellent condition. Putting it next to my GW Rough Wear 1401-P jacket the RW feels somewhat heavier. Originals do some to have 'something" different about them in terms of looks and "character" that even top tier repos can't seem to reproduce.
Outstanding .... any chance of a few photos?
 

Smithy

Well-Known Member
I just received a all original "no name" 27753 contract A2 jacket in excellent condition. Putting it next to my GW Rough Wear 1401-P jacket the RW feels somewhat heavier. Originals do some to have 'something" different about them in terms of looks and "character" that even top tier repos can't seem to reproduce.
A modern repro will never be a facsimile of an original wartime jacket. The leathers used are different not least of all tanning methods. Also originals are far less aesthetically focused, they tend to have things that you won't see on a GW, ELC, BK, etc, like wonky stitching, out of alignment pockets, even collars, etc. Case in point, every A-2 we had at the national aviation museum I worked at had pockets which were out of alignment by roughly half an inch, every single one had wonky stitching in places, the pocket flaps on two were the wrong size for the pocket, the snaps were offset, etc.

That doesn't mean originals were badly made just that aesthetic considerations weren't the main consideration. This was military, combat kit, it just needed to do what it was designed to do, looking neat and pretty isn't the main consideration.

Like Burt says, post some pics, much better to see originals than repros if we're honest ;)
 

Officer Dibley

Well-Known Member
Bang
A modern repro will never be a facsimile of an original wartime jacket. The leathers used are different not least of all tanning methods. Also originals are far less aesthetically focused, they tend to have things that you won't see on a GW, ELC, BK, etc, like wonky stitching, out of alignment pockets, even collars, etc. Case in point, every A-2 we had at the national aviation museum I worked at had pockets which were out of alignment by roughly half an inch, every single one had wonky stitching in places, the pocket flaps on two were the wrong size for the pocket, the snaps were offset, etc.

That doesn't mean originals were badly made just that aesthetic considerations weren't the main consideration. This was military, combat kit, it just needed to do what it was designed to do, looking neat and pretty isn't the main aim
Bang on on Tim. Also, they were made to a much lower budget. Even allowing for relative cost of living .
But i’ve mentioned this before and have no intention of repeating myself further ;)
 
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