Accelerating The Break-in Process

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by fedoralover, Apr 14, 2007.

  1. fedoralover

    fedoralover Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,006
    Location:
    Great Northwest
    Having just bought my Aero Real Deal A-2 I wanted to get my A-2 broken in without any artifical processes (sand papering, hot water etc.) Mark Moye said to just mist it lightly and wear it. So for the last 3 days that's what I've been doing. I've been doing a lot of driving and moving my arms across my chest and curling my arm up to my shoulder. I think I've probably put a month of activity on it doing natural movements and conditions. I've went to every thrift store and antique shop I know several times getting in and out of the car pulling the seat belt shoulder strap across my chest. This has all made the jacket really loosen up tremendously. The shoulders and arms are really creased up making the wearing of it feel 100% more comfrortable than when I first put it on. I put stuff in the pockets and then misted the front of them. The pockets now bulge out slightly giving them a fuller look rather than that totally flat apperance they have in pics from the Aero website. Here's 2 pics to show how it looks after only 3 days of doing this.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    fedoralover
     
  2. Looks like a good start for the break-in period. For some reason those Ikea demostrator machines popped into my head, the ones that sit on chairs and open drawers, I want to come up with a leather jacket break-in machine. It would have the arm movements activated by compressed air, "whoosh-cha...whoosh-cha!!!"
     
  3. indyjim

    indyjim Familiar Face

    Messages:
    86
    Sleep in it.
     
  4. JWG

    JWG Familiar Face

    Messages:
    60
    Nice A2. Ease up a little on the "misting" or whatever it is and just wear it.

    The last thing you want is to shrink it up too much.
     
  5. SHARPETOYS

    SHARPETOYS Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,425
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    Titusville, Florida
    Has any dye came off on your clothing from misting the jacket ?
     
  6. DanielJones

    DanielJones I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,042
    Location:
    On the move again...
    Looks like a well worn friend only after three days. Thanks for the tip, I'll keep it in mind. Oh yeah, does any dye come off after misting?
    Edit: It looks like Sharpetoys beat me to the question.
    Cheers!

    Dan
     
  7. Jacob Dubow

    Jacob Dubow Familiar Face

    Messages:
    72
    Location:
    Oregon
    Fedora,

    I don't think you have to worry about shrinking by misting it. I have a Aero 15142-P in smooth seal horse and when I first got it the sleeves were a bit long and looked like smooth tubes. I took hot tap water soaked in a wash cloth an applied it to the sleeves, from top to bottom. Then I put the jacket on and applied more hot/warm water with the wash cloth until I could tell it was starting to soak in, not just running across the surface.

    When I felt the arms were wetted properly, I grabbed the wrist end of the arm, at the cuff an pushed the sleeve about half way up my forearm and then sat in a chair and watched TV for about two hours. During that time the leather had started to dry somewhat, so I carefully removed the jacket so the wrinkles in the sleeves were retained and let the jacket lay on a table for a couple days. When I put it back on the sleeve wrinkling looked great and the length is now about perfect because of the wrinkles shortening the length.
     
  8. greyhound68

    greyhound68 A-List Customer

    Messages:
    362
    Location:
    Manteca, CA
    On the misting did you use hot water or cold?
     
  9. fedoralover

    fedoralover Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,006
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    I just used cold water, absolutely no shrinking or bleeding of color onto my clothes. Mark told me as long as you don't DRENCH it, it won't shrink and I can attest to that being true. The jacket would dry in about 10 minutes, which it wouldn't do if it was drenched.
    I am at the point with it now where I don't have to mist it anymore as all the sleeve and shoulder wrinkles are set in, making it very comfortable to wear. I'm very pleased with how it looks and feels now. The sleeves did pull up and now there is no tunneling of the knits when I wear it.

    fedoralover
     
  10. JRaptor

    JRaptor Familiar Face

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Dayton, OH. U.S.A.
    Just wear it.... period! Some people do not like pocket flap curl but I do, so I use to tuck the pocket flaps inside the pocket purposely curling the corners of the flap!
     
  11. fedoralover

    fedoralover Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,006
    Location:
    Great Northwest
    Doing the misting was what Mark Moye suggested doing to break it in. I never would have thought about it myself. I did the excessive arm curling and moving across my chest and driving around in it to simulate regular wear movements. It was fairly stiff and uncomfortable out of the box, but now it fits like a glove and I can move quite easily in it.
    Mark did make a point of saying DO NOT PUT CONDITIONER on it nor do you want to drench it or take a bath it. Do people really do that?

    fedoralover
     
  12. mikepara

    mikepara Practically Family

    Messages:
    562
    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    Why?

    Thing is, you've probably got 30 years or so to break it in depending on your age and or how many pies you wish to eat. Whats wrong with wearing a new jacket? Every jacket was new once. Unless your aging it for a movie or other pretence of a reason just wear it, simple.
     
  13. Comfort and the newby!

    On one end I'd say it is like a pair of new shoes, they just not as comfy until broken in. The other end is a new jacket is sometime obvious and would you rather be thought of as an old salt than a newby? Then again you might say:
    "Let the jacket be honest in appearance and show the use you have earned thru toil and sweat."

    No dishonesty here tho just a vigorous break-in regemin.
     
  14. fedoralover

    fedoralover Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,006
    Location:
    Great Northwest
    As John said, the answer in one word is "COMFORT". I wasn't trying to achieve a "distressed, I've been there done that" look. But horse hide jackets are fairly stiff new. Sure I could have just worn it in a regular fashion, but it would have been uncomfortable for quite a while before I would get the normal creases in it that make it easy to move in. I simulated actual conditions that I would have been doing over months and months anyway and concentrated them into a few days. I didn't want to wear an uncomfortable jacket for that long. You are correct though, a jacket of this quality worn in a reasonable fashion will last a very long time. Now that it is broke in sufficently to be comfortable there is no reason to continue the process. To coin a phrase "It fits like a glove".

    fedoralover
     
  15. Jacob Dubow

    Jacob Dubow Familiar Face

    Messages:
    72
    Location:
    Oregon
    Fedora,

    I agree with you totally. There is no reason to have to spend a year or more with the seasonal temp. changes and the like trying to get a jacket comfortable. Using fairly conservative proceedures, like you have, to aid the break in practice is the smart way to go.

    Particularly with the sleeves, they are a H E L L of a lot more pleasant to wear once they crease up a little bit!
     
  16. DJS Press

    DJS Press One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    107
    Location:
    Bucks County, PA
    Lost World's makes a pretty big point about encouraging their customers to not only wear their horsehide in the rain, but to get drenched. They say that it softens it up and articulates the grain. They also say that not all horsehide may take to this treatment.

    That said, in addition to several rounds of misting with room temperature tap water, I have also taken the opportunity on a few occasions to walk in the rain and get my 2-month old FQHH Highwayman pretty thoroughly drenched. Afterwards, I really work on stretching it out by flexing my arms and body in many different positions. You can feel when you're really working the leather.

    By drenched, I mean you can tell that there has been some absorbtion of water into the hide, but it still dries pretty quickly. I take it this is due to the inherent waterproof properties of properly tanned horsehide.

    Amanda at Aero told me it was no problem whatsoever to get their horsehide jackets wet.

    Some really cool grain is showing up, and getting better all the time. It's amazing how much it's softened-up since it first arrived. It seemed so stiff at the time that I was a little intimidated and wondered just how long it may take to get the initial break-in done, but my fears were unwarranted. I still think that horsehide (especially FQHH) isn't for everybody because of the break-in, but if you'll put in the work (which ain't really work), the results are so satisfying that it's worth every bit of the effort.

    My point: With a quality horsehide jacket, I think there's no need to be abusive or crazy with the break-in, but there's no need to baby it, either. Show that jacket who's boss.
     
  17. Alan Eardley

    Alan Eardley One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,500
    Location:
    Midlands, UK
    Break-in...

    Ditch the car. Walk. Wear it like it was intended to be worn. In the rain, sun snow and whatever.

    Alan
     
  18. DiabolicalAngel

    DiabolicalAngel One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    114
    Location:
    Central London
    Fedoralover - Just roll it up, jump on it, scrunch it up and sit on it, sleep in it but most of all give it honest wear! Enjoy the jacket !;)
     
  19. JRaptor

    JRaptor Familiar Face

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Dayton, OH. U.S.A.
    Exactly, and ditch the squirt bottle....[huh] If rains it rains, if it don't it don't! Just wear the jacket!
     
  20. greyhound68

    greyhound68 A-List Customer

    Messages:
    362
    Location:
    Manteca, CA
    I also agree. If you are breaking it in for comfort than nothing wrong with that. I had a brand new aero very stiff. Used Mark Moye's method as you did and it soften up very quickly and made it easier to wear.
     

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