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Refurbished Luftwaffe "Reichsverteidigungsjacke"


Well-Known Member
A few years ago I received a nice replica of a german Luftwaffe pilots jacket called "Reichsverteidigungsjacke" because of the frequent use in the air combat over Germany, the defence of the Reich. I don't want to dive too deep into its history here because most folks here already know.

Although this Repro jacket is already nice as it is there were some things I wanted to improve / revise a little.

First of all the jacket came in a pretty russet color throughout, which looks nice but is not accurate to originals at all. Usually this jackets were made of brown leather that was dyed dark grey (basalt grey). There are rumors that some very late exemplars were made without the grey dye but I have no proof right now.
Typically the grey dye worn off here and there with use and brought out the brown basic color.
That's what I tried to duplicate on my exemplar, so I experimented with different leather dyes and I think it came out pretty nice.

The next but very difficult step was the collar.
The faux fur that was used on originals is hard to identify correctly. Brice aka Pilot (there's no one with more knowledge about german jackets out there) mentioned some time ago that this material is a kind of velvet called "Pannesamt" in german. But after investigation of that material i think it's not correct. When studying closeup photos of original jackets it seems that it is more like a short haired "plush" material.
The collars were made in a dark blue originally but faded quickly to a berry / burgundy or aubergine color.
My jacket came with a dark blue sturdy velvet which is not accurate in texture / look, has a kind of shine and will probably never fade like originals.
So I sourced a material that comes pretty close to the real thing and changed it out.

Last things left are the sleeve zippers which are correct in maker, material and shape but are green instead of the white ones orinally used. But those zippers are impossible to find, at least for me and I don't want to pay more for them than I payed for the whole jacket.

So here are the "before" pictures:
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Well-Known Member
Nice jacket both original and repro before and after - not sure I could cope with that collar though, unless maybe I was flying at high speed in a low temperature plane which isn’t going to happen! Nice to see, thanks Enigma!!