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Calling all original Irvin jacket experts

Jason Desborough

New Member
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Hi everyone, I have a couple of questions about my original Irvin.... Firstly, I understand that they weren't all made in Letchworth, due to demand during the war they were subcontracted out to places like Wareings in Northampton. These jackets can be distinguished by the collar which is more square. Are there other manufacturers that people know about, and if so is there a way of distinguishing them? Also, my jacket doesn't have the strap at the back of the collar, I know this isn't unusual due to most of them being lost, but it doesn't even have the two clips for the strap. Does anyone know of any other originals that never had this strap?
Any help greatly appreciated.
Jason
 
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Jason Desborough

New Member
Yep I bought it about a month ago from ebay. I have since removed the motorcycle patch and treated it with Pecards antique leather dressing. It's a lovely old jacket, not bad condition. Lightning front zipper and dot zippers on the sleeves.
 

Jason Desborough

New Member
No not yet but I do plan to. Since these pictures were taken I've given it a spot clean with warm water and a small amount of mild dish soap as advised online, and then treated it with Pecards. How should I be cleaning it?
 

Bombing IP

Well-Known Member
No not yet but I do plan to. Since these pictures were taken I've given it a spot clean with warm water and a small amount of mild dish soap as advised online, and then treated it with Pecards. How should I be cleaning it?
I assume you are in the UK ,there is a company that restores Irvins they also clean them . I will try and research the company name for you . Me I am not an expert in sheepskin jackets and would not be able to advise you .

Rgds BIP
 

Micawber

Well-Known Member
Byson are pretty close to you Jason. I used to use a company in Baldock for sympathetic cleaning but that was 20+ years ago. That said as long as the dirt was honest I would generally leave it as it was part of it's character. This stuff gets more fragile with each passing year and cleaning cycle.
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Hi Jason
Just one suggestion if I may.,.... take your jacket off of that hanger. Eventually over time ,the weight of the jacket on that hanger, will cause the shoulders to weaken and tear the hide. You’re better off just laying the jacket out some place .
 

Spitfireace

Active Member
No not yet but I do plan to. Since these pictures were taken I've given it a spot clean with warm water and a small amount of mild dish soap as advised online, and then treated it with Pecards. How should I be cleaning it?
Dish soap is not the best stuff to use as it will dry out the fleece. The best stuff to use is a product called Eucalan. It contains lanolin which is found naturally in sheep fleece. So this will help to restore the natural oils. It can be found at wool knitting type stores.
 

Spitfireace

Active Member
Hi Jason
Just one suggestion if I may.,.... take your jacket off of that hanger. Eventually over time ,the weight of the jacket on that hanger, will cause the shoulders to weaken and tear the hide. You’re better off just laying the jacket out some place .
Definitely no heavy fleece jackets should be on a hanger. Even maybe WW2 A-2's as it just adds stress to the shoulders. Finally took mine off a hanger in the closet after a dozen years of owning it and put it in in a drawer with a suit sip up cover on it. The three largest drawers of my pine chest of drawers have a jacket per drawer. I hear cedar drawers are even better as it keeps out the moths all together, but if you put a zip up suit cover on it, should be fine.
 

johnwayne

Well-Known Member
Bryson Leather have recently started advertising in Flypast magazine and come recommended by no less than Eastman, albeit I think that's mainly for repairs rather than cleaning but surely worth giving them a bell!
 

Jason Desborough

New Member
Sorry I've only just seen all these replies, thanks everyone for the tips. Regarding storage, it's currently on this hanger not the one pictured; https://www.hangerworld.com/adult-clothes-hangers/adult-wooden-clothes-hangers/cedar-wood-suit-hanger-bulbous-arms-45cm.html
Is this suitable? I know a thinner hanger can damage the shoulders, but I also read on the Aero Leather website to never store a heavy leather jacket on a hanger the shape of this one either due to creases down the front. Aero sell a hanger but it's out of stock until end of April. I have very little room to store the jacket laid flat in my little 1 bedroom cottage, even my wardrobe is only about 3ft wide by 3ft high!
 

Jason Desborough

New Member
Also I know of Byson leather and they aren't too far away from me, but tbh funds are low at the moment and although the cost of cleaning is reasonable, I fear that they might find a list of things that they insist need doing as well. I'm not too fussed about it being dirty, as Micawber said it adds to its character and being nearly 80 years old I can forgive it for appearing well used. I didn't clean the fleece with dish soap, I dare not clean the wool as I wouldn't know where to start. I just lightly cleaned a couple of patches on the front that were green I think from the brass buckle tarnishing. Then applied Pecards to the whole jacket quite liberally. Contemplating selling this jacket if anyone is interested. I can get newer pictures. I would say that it's an Irvin size 4, so suit someone; height 5'8-5'9, chest 36-38 and waist 32-34
 

Jason Desborough

New Member
Lay it under the bed?
My missus, as probably most women, has a ludicrous amount of clothes and under the bed is already already crammed with (her) clothes storage boxes. I have asked her to have a sort out out though and make some room which she said she is actually doing as we speak... so we shall see when I get home from work tonight around 11. Fingers crossed as would like to be able to store it correctly
 

Jason Desborough

New Member
One more thing, completely unrelated, does anyone know what manufacturer this contract number relates to in reference to Irvin jackets; H.539779?
 
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