ALL ORIGINAL Irvin RAF type Jackets - Loving that Wolf in sheeps' clothing!

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by PADDY, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. aswatland

    aswatland My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Up-dated pictures of 1940 DGL Irvin.

    I have owned this very rare jacket by the small London maker, DGL for around 7 years. It's currently up for sale so as a record here are some decent photos. It has all the features typical of this maker:-large collar rings, very narrow belt loops, an almost square ended collar and large rivets to secure the main zip. Originals from this maker are exceptionally rare especially in a desirable two panel construction in a decent size.

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  2. alsendk

    alsendk A-List Customer

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    I am wondering who came first with the idea of equipping their pilots with sheep skin flying jackets.....USAAF or RAF.

    So far I have found out (I believe), that Irvin started his factory in England around 26` by request from the air ministry of RAF.

    But I wonder when - and what made USA start their production. Did they start earlier ? and was it a coinsidence that both the Irvin and the B3 looked almost the same ?

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    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  3. aswatland

    aswatland My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Heavy fur-lined flying suits were worn in the First World War and in the 1920s. Sheepskin was first used for an entire jacket and trousers in 1931 when the USAC B-1 Jacket and A-1 trousers were developed by the American Leslie Irvin. Around the same time he developed the British Irvin suit, which was made in his Letchworth factory. His 1932 British patent depicts a jacket and trouser combination which looks more like a B-1/A-1 than an Irvin suit. The USAC placed orders for B-1 jackets in late 1931 (1932 fiscal year).

    The B-3 jacket and A-3 trousers date to 1934. The B-3 jacket is very different in appearance from the Irvin jacket and is quite a boxy jacket. As far as I can determine early Irvin jackets were used by civilian pilots until the British Air Ministry placed its first order for them in 1935 under contract 471922/35. The very earliest Irvins were either two or four panel jackets and only had the patent number on the label: 407405/32.

    On page 74 of this thread are pictures of my mint 1933 IAC jacket which is a four panel jacket and does not have the breast pocket as found on the B-1.

    http://www.thefedoralounge.com/show...s-Loving-that-Wolf-in-sheeps-clothing!/page74
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
  4. alsendk

    alsendk A-List Customer

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    You know your stuff Andrew. Thank you for educating me.

    I actually didn`t know that Irvin was the designer for the American jackets also.

    Now I Wonder why he didn`t make them alike......but it probably had to do with different wishes between RAF and USAAF ?

    What a lovely jacket your 1933 model are!
     
  5. PADDY

    PADDY I'll Lock Up Bartender

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    It's IRVIN WEATHER again here in the UK.

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    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
  6. aswatland

    aswatland My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    It sure is Paddy! I too have been wearing some of my Irvins regularly.
     
  7. Sloan1874

    Sloan1874 I'll Lock Up

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    Do you rotate which ones you wear, Andrew? Or are there ones which you know are warmer than others in terms of fleece thickness.
     
  8. aswatland

    aswatland My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Correct on both counts Sloan.
     
  9. alsendk

    alsendk A-List Customer

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    R.A.F. Irvin Flying Coat - Full Length


    Extremely rare original full length Irvin. Looks just like a standard jacket down to the belt but has a lower 'skirt' area with Irvin trouser style patch pockets to the front. However, do not be mislead into thinking this is an extended or modified jacket. There are no seams at waist level and the coat has clearly and deliberately made like this and with a full length front zip.
    It physically measures approx. 46” so should be OK for around a 42” chest. The length of the coat is approx. 40" from the collar seam to the hem or 47" including the upright collar. The leather is generally in good condition retaining much of the original chromed finish. It has the usual wear and tear associated with most Irvin jackets and although a little dry to the touch it retains reasonably good flexibility. When we obtained the coat some of the leather seam bindings had been covered with newer wider pieces. These have been carefully removed and the original leather restitched. This does mean that there are stitch holes adjacent to the original bindings in places (see photos). There is also a small stitched repair to the back of the jacket and another small patch on the left cuff. The short dense fur lining has a few small areas of moulting here and there but nothing serious and is good overall. It retains original brass 'D-o-T' zips, the main complete with leather pull tag. Also complete with original belt, chain hanger, collar strap and rings plus eyelets to the rear of the collar for the elastic 'collar strap' (not present). No label nor any evidence of one. Almost certainly of late 1930s vintage this is a good example of the rare Irvin coat. It is the only example we have ever had but do know of two others that were found many years ago. Probably the only opportunity you will have to own one of these. Please view the additional photos listed separately for a clearer indication of condition

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    I do not believe that I have seen an Irvin like this before here at ALL ORIGINAL Irvin RAF type Jackets
     
  10. aswatland

    aswatland My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I notice you have lifted the description from the seller's blurb. The jacket was made by Irvin Air Chute and would date to 1938-9 IMO. If it was made like this in the factory then it must have been a special order.
     
  11. Sloan1874

    Sloan1874 I'll Lock Up

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    Shame there aren't any pics of somebody wearing it.
     
  12. alsendk

    alsendk A-List Customer

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    You`re right Andrew, it wasn`t my description of this jacket. I stumbled over a very special site I haven`t seen before, with a lot of interesting memorabilia, including lots of Irvin jackets.
    here`s the link. Probably most of you know this place already I guess....or?



    http://www.historicflyingclothing.com/archive.php
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  13. aswatland

    aswatland My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    That's Dave Farnsworth's site. He has sold some interesting Irvins over the years.
     
  14. Sloan1874

    Sloan1874 I'll Lock Up

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  15. aswatland

    aswatland My Mail is Forwarded Here

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  16. BP1

    BP1 New in Town

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    Irvin advice...

    Hi All,

    I've recently bought a multi-panel Irvin (as a Christmas present to myself!); it's in pretty good condition, but will need a few little jobs doing; a new sleeve zip slider and a bit of seam tape sewing (with maybe a collar retrim too). I was going to try the sewing myself; can anyone advise me what thread I should get hold of?
    The sleeve zippers both look original to the jacket, and the remaining one is an unmarked single trunion brass item, with a diamond shape hole in the puller. I've looked back over the thread, but can't see anything similar. If I can find an identical puller and slider, is it fairly simple to fit them back on to the track?

    I'll try to upload some pics shortly.

    Brian
     
  17. BP1

    BP1 New in Town

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  18. aswatland

    aswatland My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Nice late War jacket Brian. It was made by Links from recycled Irvin trousers between 1943 and 1945. The unusual sleeve zip pull is not a factory fitted item, but a later addition as the cast AM "N" sliders which were often fitted on these jackets tended to break. As to thread you may be able to buy original wartime cotton thread on Ebay.
     
  19. BP1

    BP1 New in Town

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    Thanks for the info Andrew; I'll keep a lookout on ebay
     

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