Willis & Geiger A-2 Repro question

deand

Active Member
What did they use to finish the leather on these? Surely not a dye! Was it some sort of paint? I wish it was russet in tone. It's just that dull chocolate color. Why would they finish it that way?
I know it's not a high-end repro. Can't expect too much. I know it's a characteristic of these jackets. I like most things about the jacket. Just thought I'd generate some discussion on it.
[img[/img]

[img][/img]



dean
 

a2jacketpatches

Active Member
It's a pigmented top coat epoxy, yes, essentially paint. I still grab these whenever I see them because of the success I had tinting the odd color with KIWI brown shoe polish. The stuff stains with a very rich reddish brown left behind after you buff the polish off. The pics I took of the results are buried in an infected hard drive so I can't pull them for you. But you can simply rub the KIWI into the leather all over being careful to avoid the knits and liner. Can't do much to avoid stitches but oh well. At least you can turn that chocolate bar color into a reasonable russet. After applying, use a hair dryer set on high to melt it in, then buff completely. Didn't rub off onto anything as I recall and looks great when finished.
 

deand

Active Member
a2jacketpatches said:
It's a pigmented top coat epoxy, yes, essentially paint. I still grab these whenever I see them because of the success I had tinting the odd color with KIWI brown shoe polish. The stuff stains with a very rich reddish brown left behind after you buff the polish off. The pics I took of the results are buried in an infected hard drive so I can't pull them for you. But you can simply rub the KIWI into the leather all over being careful to avoid the knits and liner. Can't do much to avoid stitches but oh well. At least you can turn that chocolate bar color into a reasonable russet. After applying, use a hair dryer set on high to melt it in, then buff completely. Didn't rub off onto anything as I recall and looks great when finished.


Having just attempted this on the jacket, I was wondering how much heat to apply with the hair dryer, such as going very slowly over the leather, and does the amount of time spent using the hair dryer reduce the chances of any polish rubbing off. I'd hate to ruin anyone's furniture or automobile seat covers! BTW the russet effect is pretty nice. I wonder if there is a flexible spray sealer I could apply to eliminate the chance of any polish rubbing off. Thanks again for the idea!



dean
 

a2jacketpatches

Active Member
Hit it good with the hot setting on a hair dryer after rubbing it in well. All your trying to do is stain the leather with the polish not leave a coat of it on. You'll see that after working a spot, you'll get a good russet even after wiping the polish off. The hair dryer part basically just melts it in deeper. Do the armpit or something then take a white sock to test and see for yourself. Shouldn't have a problem unless you're leaving a lot of wax sitting on top. Again, think of it as a stain.
 

deand

Active Member
Thank you for the reply. It looks great! Will post some shots soon. It really gives the jacket an authentic look. Appreciate your advice!








dean
 

deand

Active Member
a2jacketpatches said:
So it worked out well right? No rubbing off with a nice rich color?

Yes. Only a slight bit of rub-off, which I contained with a very light spray coat of acrylic sealer. The color is fantastic! I'll post some pics soon!







dean
 

STEVE S.

Well-Known Member
An alternative to the shoe polish is this product. I've used this on plain leather name strips etc.



heres a scrap of leather with & without.

 

a2jacketpatches

Active Member
Think that's the same basic thing Steve but in a mild formula. I've got two of those from about 15 years back when I started doing patches. It was my first application for aging. They're both solid now compared to the paste like substance when I got them and as far as I know, unavailable for a long time.
 

STEVE S.

Well-Known Member
discontinued, huh? they always stop making the good stuff! I've had this jar for close to 10 yrs now, so better guard it with my life. It does come in handy for some things at times...
 

deand

Active Member
Took some photos of the jacket for comparison. i adjusted my phone camera to accurately portray the russet-like effect, and while I realize the
settings differ from the first photos I posted, the adjustments do show the color as it appears to the eye. In other words, the effected shade shift is pronounced enough to be appreciated, and I do appreciate the improvement. It is no longer that bland cocoa color:








Un adjusted shot



compared to original unaltered finish:



I know it doesn't look that different. Trust me, it is. It is subtle. but the richness imparted it significant. I am very glad I did this and do appreciate the suggestion to do it. No regrets!


dean
 

a2jacketpatches

Active Member
Can't really see it like you say dean, but I'll second what you say. This application takes the pastel look away and makes it russet, end of story. Glad you're happy with the results.
 

deand

Active Member
If I had taken better pictures before and after, the change would be easier to notice. It's not that is more red, significantly, but that it is just a deeper tone, more substantial. It still surprises me that you can stain an acrylic based coating. I figured that it would simply resist it, but it has held some of the tint.





dean
 

regius

Active Member
Willis and Geiger, anyone cares to elaborate their history? Were they a government contractor in the 50s-70s? Their A2 was not exactly "Repro" but actually "original issue" right? The couple (maybe the Geiger) went on to focus on photography?
 
Top