To care for or not to care for your jacket ?

Officer Dibley

Well-Known Member
A lot of folk use leather dressings / treatments whilst also doing crazy things to make their jackets look authentic that would make a wartime aircrew roll their eyes.

But just what percentage of wearers of A-2’s in WW2 do you think used any leather dressings at all, ever ? I reckon none so why use it on a modern repro ?
 

stanier

Well-Known Member
Since I started a job where I can wear what I want my ELC Star has seen quite a bit of wear. I don’t baby it, but neither do I abuse it, and I certainly wouldn’t put treatments on it. It’s without doubt the best A-2 I’ve ever owned! Becoming like an old friend, particularly now I’ve lost a bit of weight. Boy are the ELC Stars cut trim! My size 40 is definitely for no more than a 40” Chest with no more than a 34 inch waist and ideally smaller! But I’m wandering again....just wear ‘em is what I say....
 

jeremiah

Well-Known Member
While I agree no dressing, would you happen to have something to back that claim up? I am curious. There are certainly lots of opinions but I have yet to see definitive proof where leather dressing ruins the leather. I doubt any of us here would live to see it if it did.
Not saying you are wrong.
 

Micawber

Well-Known Member
I know that if I don't give my good leather horse harness or saddles a feed every now and then, especially after prolonged use in the wet, the leather deteriorates and goes stiff and unusable. Same applies to decent leather boots too.
 

jeremiah

Well-Known Member
Agree. I have worked with horse tack too.
Even Latigo and harness leather will eventually need some maintenance.
That said.
What we do have it’s lots of vintage original leather jackets out there in all types of contrition. Some are rotting. So if they were never conditioned I guess they will rot too. Who knows.
 

John Lever

Moderator
While I agree no dressing, would you happen to have something to back that claim up? I am curious. There are certainly lots of opinions but I have yet to see definitive proof where leather dressing ruins the leather. I doubt any of us here would live to see it if it did.
Not saying you are wrong.
I would use dressing on a very old dry jacket. e.g. a WW2 Irvin found in a suitcase in the attic. I assumed the post to be about repros that get relatively little wear. In that case dressings might just make the leather greasy.
Wear and tear make leather look great.
 

Ken at Aero Leather

Well-Known Member
While I agree no dressing, would you happen to have something to back that claim up? I am curious. There are certainly lots of opinions but I have yet to see definitive proof where leather dressing ruins the leather. I doubt any of us here would live to see it if it did.
Not saying you are wrong.
Ken A-2 2013.JPG


Never treated with anything but river water (Accidentally)
I have seen some wrecked by chohineal
 

Changeling

Active Member
I think if a jacket is not stiff to the point of being uncomfortable to wear and the leather does not look dry to the point of getting damaged, then there is no real need for a leather conditioner. That said someone might want to put a sheen back on their leather, just because they like it that way, each persons choice at the end of the day.
 

Officer Dibley

Well-Known Member
The original question was really to point out that if you want to be “authentic”, generally don’t treat a repro.
Steve is also right: if you treat your jackets especially hard, treat. Of course saddles are not jackets. Nor are boots. And it’s everyone’s personal choice.

But there is a jacket on ebay where seller is saying his jacket was treated regularly but it’s only 2 years old. Why ??
 

Micawber

Well-Known Member
The original question was really to point out that if you want to be “authentic”, generally don’t treat a repro.
Steve is also right: if you treat your jackets especially hard, treat. Of course saddles are not jackets. Nor are boots. And it’s everyone’s personal choice.

But there is a jacket on ebay where seller is saying his jacket was treated regularly but it’s only 2 years old. Why ??
Maybe he just wants to marry it as he loves the feel of hot greasy leather.

I'll get me coat...
 

rikbb

Member
Hello everyone.
I'd like to have you opinion on my Good wear Leather A2, which I bought from John Chapman beginning 2010.
It was the first of his Poughkeepsie reproductions, made of Japanese horse leather.
I love the jacket, the fit (the sleeves are slightly short though).

Only problem is the wear on the leather. I've used a little bit of Pecard's (once every year maybe).
Without it the leather seemed too dry sometimes.
I've worn the jacket quite a lot (spring and autumn) but not on a daily basis.

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B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Hello everyone.
I'd like to have you opinion on my Good wear Leather A2, which I bought from John Chapman beginning 2010.
It was the first of his Poughkeepsie reproductions, made of Japanese horse leather.
I love the jacket, the fit (the sleeves are slightly short though).

Only problem is the wear on the leather. I've probably used a little bit of Pecard's (once every year maybe).
Without it the leather seemed too dry sometimes.
I've worn the jacket quite a lot (spring and autumn) but not on a daily basis.

View attachment 29675
View attachment 29676


View attachment 29677
Looks like there might have been an issue with the tanning process used on that batch of leather. Shouldn’t be doing that over only a 10 year period.
 

rikbb

Member
Looks like there might have been an issue with the tanning process used on that batch of leather. Shouldn’t be doing that over only a 10 year period.
Yes, that's what I thought. The climate in Paris is mild, and after all it's a leather jacket, that should last a bit longer.
How about rain, can that damage a leather jacket?
rik
 

Smithy

Well-Known Member
How about rain, can that damage a leather jacket?
rik
Walking in rain can't damage a properly tanned leather jacket, even getting caught in a downpour can't. Problems arise if you place leather next to or on a direct heat source to dry, then you'll get cracking and problems.
 

colekwok

Active Member
Yes, that's what I thought. The climate in Paris is mild, and after all it's a leather jacket, that should last a bit longer.
How about rain, can that damage a leather jacket?
rik
Like Smithy said, just don't dry your jacket next to some fireplace or heater.

It also depends on where you reside as well. It is known that keeping a leather jacket in some sub-tropical areas a challenge. A lot of A-2 owners found their jackets covered with mould (mold) patches after a year of (proper) storage in their wardrobes because of the heat and humidity in summers.

Some of my jackets have been under heavy rain a few times without any visible damages, I simply air dry them for a couple of days before putting them back into my wardrobe. I do use Pecards and Vandon balm on some older vintage jackets though, but not on my repro A-2s.
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
As the two gentleman above me stated, rain shouldn’t hurt the hide on your jacket . Horsehide is actually a bit water repellent to a degree. Letting it dry out on its own is important so the leather drys naturally rather than rapidly with a heat source. If you’re going to be in a wet environment then a light coat of a leather preservative will add a bit of water repellency to the hide and protect it as well.
 

jeremiah

Well-Known Member
Even using a dryer on a low heat setting WON’T hurt the leather like seen in the pics above. Key is low heat and short amounts of time. Isn’t the norm for drying jackets but it shows just how strong leather actually is.

as for water, leather when it is in tanning process, lays in vats of the tanning solution for 30 days or more when veg tanned.
 
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