Why is it seemingly impossible to reproduce an A2 that behaves like vintage jackets like this one Christopher Reeve wears?

Juanito

Well-Known Member
I don't know for sure since I was.wearing it but it sure looks moves and breaks like the Eastman .50 call I used to own.
 

jeremiah

Well-Known Member
Reeves's jacket isn't an A-2, and it looks like it was contemporary to the skit (1980s). Probably a lambskin fashion jacket.
Where did I say his jacket was an A2?
My point in sharing that clip was showing that jackets back in the day were just tanned different.
maybe that’s lambskin, but it sure drapes and acts like vintage A2s.
In other words, it’s not the type of leather so much as the way the leather was tanned and finished.
 

Pilot

Well-Known Member
Thx J. for asking...Spoke to a vintage leather jacket maker in France about precisely the same...
Answer... : Nowadays leather tanning/dying/treatment... anti-pollution standards/
laws in western countries would mean a hide costing approx. 400-600Euro/m2 with a MOQ of 800 to 1000 hides order... ( nowadays 50-80Euro/m2 or 300Euro per hide is standard).
Translated to hides costs per jacket ( 3m2 oh hide taken into account) of approx 1600 Euro only for the leather material part.. tanned/dyed/treated.. etc..made according to WW2 standards.. manufacturing, metalware, liner, fleece if neede knits etc...not accounted...
Any prospects here for such a jacket?
Maybe some low cost producer can do better... but in EU pe .., impossible if all in all to be accounted.
 

SuinBruin

Well-Known Member
Where did I say his jacket was an A2?
My point in sharing that clip was showing that jackets back in the day were just tanned different.
maybe that’s lambskin, but it sure drapes and acts like vintage A2s.
In other words, it’s not the type of leather so much as the way the leather was tanned and finished.
So your question is why don't modern A-2s made out of horsehide, goatskin, or steerhide drape and wear like lambskin fashion jackets from the '80s? I think that question answers itself.

P.S. I haven't seen any footage of an original '30s-'40s era A-2 behaving like Reeves's jacket. Maybe share some if you have it?
 

Skyhawk

Well-Known Member
Many are too stiff is what I think he was trying to say....

Our Horse is supple but not too the extent that it matches a lamb or Napa sheep fashion jacket. :D
 

jeremiah

Well-Known Member
So your question is why don't modern A-2s made out of horsehide, goatskin, or steerhide drape and wear like lambskin fashion jackets from the '80s? I think that question answers itself.

P.S. I haven't seen any footage of an original '30s-'40s era A-2 behaving like Reeves's jacket. Maybe share some if you have it?



Have you watched the great escape? Do you NOT see the way the leather reacts similar with Reeves jacket? Watch the back.
Also you can watch the jacket worn by Dana Andrews in “the best years of our lives”.
These are what pop in my head first.
Not certain you are correct in Reeves jacket being lambskin either. No real way to prove one way or the other though

yes Jay. Many are too stiff.
 

jeremiah

Well-Known Member
I’ll also add that in 1985 “mall jackets” were closer in tannage with vintage flight jackets than most repros are today, hence the similarities and point of my creation of this thread.

jacket from Hogan’s Hero’s does the same too.

My personal take is the ones that react like this could have been goat skin originals. My money is on Reeves jacket being Goat. It might be lambskin though. Just no good way of knowing for sure. Chrome tanned leather makes even the toughest Of hides much more pliable.
 
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mulceber

Well-Known Member
Possibly, but I recall hearing that Hogan’s jacket from the show was actually a lambskin repro that the studio had left over from a WW2 film. So I wouldn’t rule out lamb. But as you said, it’s about how they were tanned.
 

jeremiah

Well-Known Member
But the jacket worn in Great escape was one he found in a thrift store and was actually a vintage jacket if I recall correctly. Reason vintage A2 jackets don’t react with movement like this is most have stiffened significantly. goat skins are probably the better preserved and still may get that “movement” we see in the SNL skit.

now Reeves was a pretty big guy. That back is one piece.
lambskin or goat would have had to be one really big hide for that jacket. Now I think I am seeing a single piece back. I may be wrong.
 

jeremiah

Well-Known Member
I once tried on a vintage Aero contract.
that was a super thin hide and definitely would have moved like the SNL Reeves Jacket when it was new. Even in its state when I tried it on, it still was quite pliable. Just too big for me sadly. Would have been cow or horse according to Eastman book.
 

STEVE S.

Well-Known Member
I just recently got my hands on some hides that seem to match up in weight, grain & finish to what I have seen on the seam allowances inside originals. Looks like what Jay has posted above. Here’s an A2 I am in the process of making.

CA6DB6FF-B7C9-4A1C-9B64-CD60E6B344AD.jpeg


Same A2 wadded up in a ball. Soft as a babies bottom, so should move pretty well when finished.

C3BF75B5-22F9-4FD6-BF8C-60A2A8577834.jpeg
 

ausreenactor

Well-Known Member
Lambskin is like butter. The DD Bronco in goatskin is the 'softest' A-2 I have ever had. With some wear it would be sliding all over you...
 
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