How would you restore this AN-J-3A? Would you? Who does it well?

I just picked up an original AN-J-3A I'm really excited about for a steal! I'm wondering what path I should take, if any, to restore it a bit. The knits are shredded and it seems like the goatskin could use some love. I don't need to touch the liner. But I'm not sure; I'm very new to both leather jacket collecting and restoration. What would you do with this? And if you would recommend doing something, whom should I send it to? At the very least I feel the knits need replacement or repair... or does that just mess with the value?

Thanks!!!
 

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JonnyCrow

Well-Known Member
I just picked up an original AN-J-3A I'm really excited about for a steal! I'm wondering what path I should take, if any, to restore it a bit. The knits are shredded and it seems like the goatskin could use some love. I don't need to touch the liner. But I'm not sure; I'm very new to both leather jacket collecting and restoration. What would you do with this? And if you would recommend doing something, whom should I send it to? At the very least I feel the knits need replacement or repair... or does that just mess with the value?

Thanks!!!
Is that a red satin lining? Ask the guys, I've just restored a M-445a, me personally I would, I replaced knits also from Mash Japan who do great reproduction ones, it can't hurt to preserve a genuine original but that's personal choice, I do all my own work, I replaced the zipper also, nice find, I like project stuff, it tends to be cheaper but can be hit and miss depending on condition
 
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JonnyCrow

Well-Known Member
Five star leather do one with red silk/satin lining, or was it rayon, sure the other guys can clarify that
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
It depends on where you live ?
Are you in the US ? If not then someone in your area will be able to recommend someone to restore your jacket .
You have a rare jacket that is worth restoring but the restoration work may cost more than you paid for the jacket . If you are ok with that then it’s definitely something to consider.
 

Micawber

Well-Known Member
It depends on where you live ?
Are you in the US ? If not then someone in your area will be able to recommend someone to restore your jacket .
You have a rare jacket that is worth restoring but the restoration work may cost more than you paid for the jacket . If you are ok with that then it’s definitely something to consider.

Good advice. From what I can see from the photos the jacket is a good candidate for a sympathetic restoration. A little leather treatment will help it a lot and improve the appearance. Remember though that something is original only once. Where are you located?
 
Thanks guys. I’m based in Southern CA.

A) Yeah, a light restoration is all I really had in mind. I’m waiting to see it in person, but one of the things that got me about it was that it appears in pretty good shape with some nice patina, not too far gone and like it’s close to the sweet spot. I didn’t want to change the overall look or make it look painted over or anything!
B) I was thinking based on one of those pictures that the knits were already replaced.
C) I will probably contact both of those guys and look forward to any recs you have based on my location.
D) Regarding the Vaseline, someone did recommend that to me. Is it as simple as just rubbing it on? What about the portion with the USN lettering? Any risk? I will look online now but maybe there are some good tutorials you can recommend (?)

Thanks everyone!
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Go as light as possible with the vaseline to avoid a build up . You can always go back over it later on.
Stay off the USN
 
Go as light as possible with the vaseline to avoid a build up . You can always go back over it later on.
Stay off the USN
Do you apply with… brush? Tissue? Bare hand? Massage it in? Circular patterns? Besides sounding like a menu at a dodgy massage parlor :), looking to get as minute details as possible here as I’ve never done this before. Thanks!
 

Micawber

Well-Known Member
Do you apply with… brush? Tissue? Bare hand? Massage it in? Circular patterns? Besides sounding like a menu at a dodgy massage parlor :), looking to get as minute details as possible here as I’ve never done this before. Thanks!

As the actress said to the Bishop...

Fingertips and maybe then palm of your hand. Small circles and very small amounts only ...and do it in a warm room.
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
I use a little dab on my fingertips. The key word is little . Once you try it you will immediately get a feel for how much to use . The first application immediately transforms the look of the hide . Too much will make it look and feel too greasy. I apply it lightly in no particular pattern, but a circular motion would be fine. No brushing
 

mulceber

Well-Known Member
Agreed with the above. And I'll reiterate what they said about using very little. The first coat should be completely absorbed a half hour after you finish applying it. That's how light a coat we're talking about. Also, it's definitely worth giving the leather a wipe-down with a damp washcloth before you begin treating it.
 
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Skyhawk

Well-Known Member
There are much better conditioners than vaseline. I know a lot of people seem to love it here. I try to avoid petroleum products on my leather. I use Renapur. It's all natural & bees wax based. It's a good value too because you use very little when applying. Best part is that it does not leave residue or build up like Vaseline or Pecard conditioner.
  • NATURAL and NON-MESSY: All ingredients are cosmetic-grade; Our refurbishing formula is safe for humans and animals, Renapur leather care is made with all-natural waxes and oils, such as beeswax, carnauba wax, jojoba oil, and avocado oil; Quick drying


Some may say "Hell, they used hydraulic fluid on jackets during WWII, it won't hurt it"

Well, this ain't WWII. We are not in middle of nowhere, and there is much better options available to us.

Renapur can be found in a lot of places. Even Amazon

Amazon Link
 

Skyhawk

Well-Known Member
Really nice find BTW. Looks like just some cleanup and conditioning would go a long way. If it was me, I would replace the knits. That way they match, and it really is a minor repair. Just make sure you get the proper color 100% wool knits and make sure the tailor follows the original stitch lines. You will want to find Antique color knits because if they are too dark, it wont look original.
 

Skyhawk

Well-Known Member
Another thing to consider if you are a pilot and use oxygen systems. Read this before slathering on that vaseline on your flight jacket:


Oxygen is, of course, essential to starting any kind of fire and because Vaseline has an ignition temperature that is close to flammable, an increase in oxygen reduces this temperature and quite substantially.

In fact, with enough oxygen present, the Vaseline may react without the need for a spark or heat source and cause a violent reaction.

Can You Use Vaseline In Your Nose While On Oxygen?​

Because of the potential for a violent reaction with oxygen, you should never use Vaseline or other petroleum jelly-based products such as Vick’s or Chapstick when using oxygen equipment.
 

P-47 thunderbolt

Well-Known Member
Skyhawk is likely correct about natural beeswax. Natural wax on a natural product. Which is a rule I follow for my modern boots.
With vintage leather jackets however, they were dyed in such awful chemicals in the 1940s that I believe the goal with vaseline is to preserve the leather by creating a barrier that prevents it from drying out. It won't really penetrate much. Just use sparingly, otherwise if it makes a gooey layer it will attract dust and crap. That will increase the likelihood of rot etc.
 
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