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Thread: ALL REPRO R.A.F. Irvin type jackets

  1. #791
    I'll Lock Up Spitfire's Avatar
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    As promised some time ago:
    Here are some pictures of a very, very old - and maybe even one of the first "Irvins" from Aviation Leathercraft. I bought it way back in 1977-78 - direct from Simon Green during a visit in UK. After wearing it for a couple of years, I passed it on to my father. Who took good care of it and gave it plenty of use.







    I know that the ALC Irvin is not regarded as the best repro on earth - but there is something about these early ones.
    "There I stood at the bar, wearing a Mae West, no jacket, and beginning to leak blood from my torn boot. None of the golfers took any notice of me - after all, I wasn't a member!'

  2. #792
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spitfire View Post
    As promised some time ago:
    Here are some pictures of a very, very old - and maybe even one of the first "Irvins" from Aviation Leathercraft. I bought it way back in 1977-78 - direct from Simon Green during a visit in UK. After wearing it for a couple of years, I passed it on to my father. Who took good care of it and gave it plenty of use.







    I know that the ALC Irvin is not regarded as the best repro on earth - but there is something about these early ones.
    Those early ALC Irvins really aren't bad at all, far better than the current ones.

    Hang onto that one as it's a very, very nice jacket. I have my ELC but I wouldn't say no to a very early ALC as well, as you say, there really is something about them.
    "Lead, they're shooting at us!"
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  3. #793
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    Compared to the current ones I see a big difference in the fleece itself and the amount of fleece at the bottom of the jacket and at the wrists. The current ones tend to have huge amounts of fluffy fleece there. But I also notice another thing on this old jacket: The strap on the collar and the rings are reversed!!!
    Never thought about that, back when I used it. But on the other hand, there weren't that many other repro-competitors around, to compare with.
    So I guess, one was tremendously happy and proud with what you could get. I know, I was.
    This was a real RAF Irvin Flying Jacket - There weren't any others - and we didn't know better.
    (Oh happy days)
    Last edited by Spitfire; 03-22-2012 at 02:11 AM.
    "There I stood at the bar, wearing a Mae West, no jacket, and beginning to leak blood from my torn boot. None of the golfers took any notice of me - after all, I wasn't a member!'

  4. #794
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spitfire View Post
    Compared to the current ones I see a big difference in the fleece itself and the amount of fleece at the bottom of the jacket and at the wrists. The current ones tend to have huge amounts of fluffy fleece there. But I also notice another thing on this old jacket: The strap on the collar and the rings are reversed!!!
    Never thought about that, back when I used it. But on the other hand, there weren't that many other repro-competitors around, to compare with.
    So I guess, one was tremendously happy and proud with what you could get. I know, I was.
    This was a real RAF Irvin Flying Jacket - There weren't any others - and we didn't know better.
    (Oh happy days)
    We're spoiled for choice now!

    Well spotted with the strap and d rings, although it wouldn't be a major to reverse them. It's developed a very nice patina and the fleece looks very like originals.
    "Lead, they're shooting at us!"
    "That's OK, they're allowed to do that."

  5. #795
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    Hi Aswatland,
    This is my first post on this forum although I have been visiting the site for a couple of years. I would be very interested in one of your jackets when they become available. I have two ELC Bob Irvins a 38" & a 40". I love how they look but find the quality of the fleece quite poor with numerous small bald patches and I find that the fleece around the inner cuffs wears really quickly. I always have treated the jackets with "Kid gloves" and I'm not really impressed at a price of 595 which they were a year or so ago.

    I would also like to thank all on this site for all the useful info I have gathered over the past couple of years when trying to decide which Repro to buy.

    Best wishes,
    Dave Sheppard.

  6. #796
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    Quote Originally Posted by hippomaintenance View Post
    Hi Aswatland,
    This is my first post on this forum although I have been visiting the site for a couple of years. I would be very interested in one of your jackets when they become available. I have two ELC Bob Irvins a 38" & a 40". I love how they look but find the quality of the fleece quite poor with numerous small bald patches and I find that the fleece around the inner cuffs wears really quickly. I always have treated the jackets with "Kid gloves" and I'm not really impressed at a price of 595 which they were a year or so ago.

    I would also like to thank all on this site for all the useful info I have gathered over the past couple of years when trying to decide which Repro to buy.

    Best wishes,
    Dave Sheppard.
    hi dave,
    in fairness to eastman,you have to make some allowances for the fact that sheepskin is a natural product and there will be some inconsistencies in its quality. the problem you describe about the cuffs is a fault/feature of the design. Irvins have long arms so the inner cuffs rub on things like trouser pockets etc or gear knobs while driving much more than shorter sleeves would. i have an eastman with the same wear pattern as you and also an aero b3 with no cuff wear which i put down to the sleeves being shorter.

  7. #797
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    Thanks for the input.

    Hi XT40,

    Many thanks for the reply. I'ts good to know I'm not the only one who has come across this problem. I still believe that the ELC jacket is the closest to an original Irvin. I'm waiting to see what the jackets that "Aswatland" is going to produce will be like. If I feel they are better I will probably save up and buy one. I have this really annoying habit of having to have the best available. I'm never satisfied with something that isn't quite right which is ok if your wealthy but being a Maintenance Manager at a Theatre doesn't bring in a huge wage. "Champagne tastes & Beer wages" I think they call it.

    Thanks again,
    Dave.

  8. #798
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    Message for Aswatland.

    Hi Andrew.

    I would much appreciate it if you could post details when your jackets are finished & available to be purchased. If they are as good as I think they will be I would like to get one. I have two Eastmans at the moment and if yours are to be even more true to the orgiinals I would love one.

    Many thanks,
    Dave Sheppard.

  9. #799
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spitfire View Post
    As promised some time ago:
    Here are some pictures of a very, very old - and maybe even one of the first "Irvins" from Aviation Leathercraft. I bought it way back in 1977-78 - direct from Simon Green during a visit in UK. After wearing it for a couple of years, I passed it on to my father. Who took good care of it and gave it plenty of use.

    I know that the ALC Irvin is not regarded as the best repro on earth - but there is something about these early ones.
    By comparison I thought I'd post pictures of my year-old ALC irvin by comparison. When I ordered it I especially asked them to use the lightweight fleece as my last ALC bought in 1987 was way too bulky. I much prefer the curly fleece on Soren's old one though I know from experience that the fleece on mine will go curlier in time. Whilst its not an Eastman I do love this jacket! That being said I was never that keen on the tubular sleeves as they tended to let the draft in at the wrist and having worn in through the last winter that really started to annoy me.

    About three weeks ago I sent it off to Aero and they kindly recut the sleeves using their own tapered template. They made a fantastic job of it and its perfect for me now - much much tighter at the wrist and a whole lot snugger, and slightly more authentic looking. I now need to wear the hell out of it to get that lovely battered appearance that Irvins do so well. Can't see me ever replacing this one now though if a nice original came up ..........

    Last edited by 5thumbs; 04-06-2012 at 10:05 AM.

  10. #800
    Call Me a Cab aswatland's Avatar
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    Just put things straight, the AM jacket project is not mine. I'm just the historical adviser and have no financial involvement in the project. I merely want to see the ultimate repro Irvin produced to satisfy purists. As soon as a test jacket that is 100% accurate is ready I will get some pics posted here.
    Andrew

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