Question about leather finishes on vintage A-2s.

Discussion in 'Vintage' started by jeremiah, Mar 31, 2018.

  1. jeremiah

    jeremiah Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    694
    Location:
    Mississippi
    So after pouring over pics online and in books like the A-2 Identification manual by Gary Eastman, I was wondering what finishes they all used for vintage A-2s.

    There is the Aniline, semi-aniline and pigment finish. The latter being the most durable in terms of stains and water repellency. I see some jackets out there that would to appear to have been finished with a pigment coating where as others definitely look to have been aniline dyed.

    I am aware that some russet colored jackets were reissued after having been painted sometimes even by hand, a darker seal color to mask the wear and tear on the previous undercoat.

    What do you experts say?

    (EDIT) it appears some of my questions may have been answered here.
    http://www.vintageleatherjackets.org/threads/aniline-dyed-a-2.20687/
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2018
  2. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    741
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Yeah they were chrome tanned. So we're the the A-1, M422, G-1.
     
  3. jeremiah

    jeremiah Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    694
    Location:
    Mississippi
    What about finish though? Were some pigmented?
     
  4. jeremiah

    jeremiah Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    694
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Ok. Check this comparison out. This pic is from a Dubow 1755 original as owned by 2BM2K
    Highlighted in this thread
    http://www.vintageleatherjackets.org/threads/original-dubow-1755-as-new-almost.19973/

    Here is his pic (original WW2 jacket)
    C7260E39-55FB-41BD-999D-EB9CD76F067B.jpeg
    Here is my Dubow 27798 repro by BK
    No flash
    C0A109C4-54B0-481B-9B6C-C126AF54CF75.jpeg
    With flash
    0AEBE97C-59C3-47C5-9899-A700CAE7DE27.jpeg
    So here we have original vs repro. Notice finish on both. Very similar. I would say the original had a pigment finish like this repro.
    That’s pretty cool.
    Here is a better pic in lighting and no flash
    F6910D9C-59DA-49D3-BCD6-393A48A48B44.jpeg
    And another shot of my pocket (repro)
    118FB296-23B2-4E6A-BC21-9127D2C5A850.jpeg
    And here is similar pic of 2BM2K’s original Dubow 1755
    4213AD85-8BAE-4F5D-BAA7-F89663BFE05D.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
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  5. jeremiah

    jeremiah Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    694
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Don't know whether it was a fluke or not, but BK knocked it out of the park on the repro of my dubow and the hide they used even if it was not up to the standards they hoped for. Mine has a little more sheen to it but its new and not even 5 years old yet.
     
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  6. Skip

    Skip Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,274
    Location:
    Great Southern Land
    BY the look of that pocket stud on the last pic Jeremiah its been through some water or something to corrode the stud
     
  7. Juanito

    Juanito Active Member

    Messages:
    199
    I find this to be the single most interesting subject regarding original A-2s vs. reproductions. I am certainly no expert, but the dozen or so originals I have owned over the years (except for a Cable I once had that had almost no finish left so it is inconclusive) and all the others I have seen/handled have been pigment finished.

    All of these were wartime contracts and for all I know, the earlier jackets could have been aniline or semi-aniline, but it has never made sense to me that a jacket that would be subjected to the rigors of a flight nacket would have anything other than a pigment finish for durability.

    I recall that Charles of HPA stated once in a similar thread over in TFL that while it could be possible some early A-2s were aniline finished, there is no conclusive evidence that any were not pigment finished. He had some interesting comments on veg vs. chrome tanning as well.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
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  8. 2BM2K

    2BM2K Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    342
    Location:
    Sussex
    That something is 74 years, it is an original jacket.
     
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  9. Skip

    Skip Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,274
    Location:
    Great Southern Land
    That'll always do it, should have read the post more carefully :oops::oops:
     
  10. jeremiah

    jeremiah Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    694
    Location:
    Mississippi
    I went back and edited pic descriptions to make sure all know, mine is the repro and not an original like the pics I used from 2BM2K’s thread. His is the real deal. I love that patina on the studs.
    Juanito,
    I would think if those jackets you handled had the finish worn off then they too were probably pigmented finish as well. I have a pair of Alden’s which I think are pigment finished. They wear and show age much differently than chrome tanned or aniline dyed finish.
    There are areas of my Dubow, where you can see that would happen if this jacket were 50-60 years old and well used.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
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