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ELC knits

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Marv, Jul 11, 2006.

  1. Marv

    Marv A-List Customer

    Anyone else think that the ELC knits - cuffs and waistband seem a little on the thin and flimsy side, well compared to my Cooper A2 they do....just thought that they would be a lot more substantial with being ELC.
  2. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member


    They do feel thin, but I am assuming that this is simply correct. The few originals I've seen/felt (Roughwear) had this sort of thin knit.
    I'm taking the advice of others - being very careful when tugging it off not to pull on the knit, but the sleeve leather instead.
  3. JWG

    JWG Familiar Face

    I say that you can't compare knits that are 60 years old to any modern repro.

    Knits should not fail after a month or so of wear!
  4. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    Why not? If a jacket is represented as a 100% perfect copy, the knits should have the same components, thread count, construction and wear pattertns/life cycle as the orignals. Unless you're talking a jacket that is represented as an "A2 type."
  5. grant

    grant New in Town

    I had the knit waist and cuffs replaced on one of my original Bronco A-2s using a set of knits from RMNZ. The sleeve on the left is an original knit from a Bronco horsehide , the one on the right is the RMNZ replacement knit from a goatskin Bronco. I think the new knits that RMNZ are using are a pretty close match.

    Here's a photo of the restored jacket ready for another sixty years of wear.
    Knit replacements were done by Julie at Aero who is a genius at restorations.
  6. JWG

    JWG Familiar Face

    I too have an original, they have lost elasticity but certainly were not flimsy when new.
  7. bfrench

    bfrench Familiar Face

    Hi, Grant,

    Do the jackets really need to be sent to a place like Aero for knit replacements especially as the original stitch holes are hidden?

    Or is it something that really should be done by an expert?

    Bill French
  8. MudInYerEye

    MudInYerEye Practically Family

    ELC's knits are their weak point. Originals in general had considerably heavier, more durable knit components. The Eastman knits "balloon" out rather quickly, and the end up looking much more stretched out than originals did. McCoy's and Buzz knits don't have this problem.
  9. grant

    grant New in Town

    Hi Bill,
    You're certainly right that replacing knits should be a pretty simple job most competent tailors could handle, but I've seen too many botched knit replacement jobs where the waist knit was installed with not enough tension so the jacket just droops, or installed too tight so the jacket gathers tight around the waist. Given the expense of an original A-2 I want someone with years of experience under their belt who sweats the details even for a simple knit replacement. Julie has done shearling panel replacement work on Irvins to zipper and stitch restorations on M-422as, to knit replacements and her work is always meticulous.

  10. DiabolicalAngel

    DiabolicalAngel One of the Regulars

    I have an ELC Pearl Harbour A-2 and the knits on the sleeve balloned after about a month of wear. Compared to Aero knits they do seem a bit weak as on the ELC I have had to darn the cuff where my watch catght a thread.:eusa_doh:
  11. bfrench

    bfrench Familiar Face

    Thanks, Grant,

    Another tasty morsel of need to know information.

    Bill French
  12. Its not uncommon to see 60 + year old jackets with original intact knits. I've owned a couple of Eastmans and the knits on one had holes in both the cuffs and the waist band within 6 months and the other had holes in the cuffs. Theres no way those originals with the abuse they suffered on the flight lines and flying were anything like the ones I had on my Eastmans. No problems with my McCoys.
  13. tallyho

    tallyho One of the Regulars

    original jacket knits

    something to consider when people are refering to what their original knits are like is that they may have been replaced long ago. If you look very closely at wartime pictures, you will notice many jackets with frayed cuffs.
    Replacement cuffs and waist bands were available during the war. I have seen them listed in QMC catalogues. I have to beleive that many aircrew had the cuffs replaced instead of getting a new jacket since the A-2 was such a status symbol. If a guy spent a year or two breaking it in (like we want to do) he certainly doesnt want to give it up. Plus a well worn jacket is a sign of a veteran, not to mention if any insignia or art work was done. Since the A-2 was not produced after '43, cuffs had to be replaced in order for those jackets to still be worn as long as they were (some were still being worn in Korea)
  14. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    Good thoughts Tallyho, thanks.
  15. There are allot of original A-2s that have their original knits. Allot of collectors wont buy unless its 100% original.
  16. SGB

    SGB One of the Regulars

    I'm one of those, and most collectors can tell the difference between original and replaced knits, even war-time replacements. I'll leave the knits on even when they are torn, original is always best.

  17. greyhound68

    greyhound68 A-List Customer

    I am one of those guys that got the knits replaced on my original RW A2 they were in shreds. So no chance in keeping them. I got Flight Suits to do the replacement (which they don't do any more rats). The knits are very close to original and the work superb. It is a shame they don't do this anymore. I do have a local person who does very good work and has replaced zippers, put on patches, and even cuffs. Grant is right you have got to find the right person to do this type of work or the job looks terrible.
  18. JWG

    JWG Familiar Face

    I think what I meant to say when I originally posted my reply is in line with airfrogusmc when I said there's no way to compare a modern repro's knits with an original I meant that if the modernly made new repro has flimsy knits that blow out so easily I would have to believe that this would be a lsight deviation---there's no way any of or most of us will put our modern repros through the abuse of wartime conditions. Therefore if the knits are weak and flimsy I personally would think this a deviation.
  19. Marv

    Marv A-List Customer

    thanks for the input chaps, so the general consensus is that the ELC knits aren't the best in the world and looking at mine, ELC really need to address this issue.
    Currently looking at an Areo Bronco from which you guys have mentioned seem to have better knits so this may be the way go for my next A2. :)
  20. Marv check McCoys before you make a final decission.

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