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Nathan Ford

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I'm 5'4" and currently weigh 138 lbs with an average athletic build. I tend to fluctuate between 135 and 145.

I purchased a size 36. It's going to fit me just fine although the front length will be pretty short, which is ok for me.
Sound like I can go with either 36 or 38. I'm 4' longer and thinner, so 36 might fit better but the sleeves are a bit short. Did you try their HB?
 
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Carlos840

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When we talk about build quality, stitch count is one of the factors we take into consideration. The higher the stitch count the better, because it looks neat? More pleasing to the eye?

View attachment 299942

But I wonder, how does stitch count affect the integrity of the leather. I can imagine that a really high stitch count would weaken the leather considerably. Think of perforated paper which is designed to tear along the perforated line. Doesn't it work the same with leather?

If I look closely at this ripped seam, it's not the thread that has come undone. I think I see a tear in the leather.
View attachment 299943

Could this be the result of a too high stitch count? What would be the optimal stitch count in terms seam strength? Any thoughts?

I have wondered the same thing many times and have not been able to come to a conclusion that wasn't just a guess.
Someone who owns a sewing machine should use it to prick lines of holes at different density and see if they can rip one line easier than the other. (using the same leather of course)
I think that's the only way of being scientific about it and having a real answer.

Edit, maybe @regius or @Honeyman1935 can setup a quick experiment?

Do one line of 6 stitch per inch, one line of 8 stitch per inch, one line of 10 and one line of 12.
No need for thread, just a line of punctured holes.
Try to rip them, see if one line is easier to tear than the others?
 
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MrProper

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But I wonder, how does stitch count affect the integrity of the leather. I can imagine that a really high stitch count would weaken the leather considerably. Think of perforated paper which is designed to tear along the perforated line. Doesn't it work the same with leather?
I thought the same thing.
In addition, for me, coarser seams optically go better with coarser leather. Fine seams for fine material.
 

Harris HTM

One Too Many
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I'm no expert in sewing but I do have some experience in bolted connections in steel structures.
When you design or check a steel connection in tension, you take into account, among others, the net area of the steel plate (= cross sectional area of the connecting plate minus the bolt holes - or in our case the sectional area of the leather panel minus the thread holes) and the bearing capacity of the plate (= how the shear force is transferred from the bolt to the plate - in our case how the force is transferred from the thread to the leather).
If the thickness (diameter) of the bolt (or the thread) is the same, and therefore the bolt hole (or thread hole) is the same, then by definition the net area, and thus the overall strength, of the high stitch count is smaller (assuming ofcourse same leather thickness and same leather type).
If we assume that a high stitch count means also smaller thread then the net area can be the same as the net area of a low stitch count panel (= less holes but quite bigger). What we have to check then is the bearing capacity of the panel (or the steel plate).
The bearing capacity is dependent, among others, on the distance p2 between the bolt holes transverse to the tension force; a smaller distance leads to a more problematic transfer of forces and thus to a lower bearing capacity. I attach a fast calculation, where I have assumed that the net area of both a high stitch and low stitch count panel are the same, and indeed the bearing capacity of the high stitch count is lower.
Therefore, from a structural engineering point of view: a higher stitch count leads to lower tensile strength for the panel.
However, some things that have to be taken into account: probably the reduction of the strength is small; even the reduced tensile strength is much higher than any normal tension force that the user will subject his jacket to; maybe for leather the principles of structural mechanics are different than those for steel; or maybe since I still haven't had any coffee I've made some mistakes!

Screenshot 2021-01-11 at 09.57.11.png
 

Seb Lucas

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Australia
I'm no expert in sewing but I do have some experience in bolted connections in steel structures.
When you design or check a steel connection in tension, you take into account, among others, the net area of the steel plate (= cross sectional area of the connecting plate minus the bolt holes - or in our case the sectional area of the leather panel minus the thread holes) and the bearing capacity of the plate (= how the shear force is transferred from the bolt to the plate - in our case how the force is transferred from the thread to the leather).
If the thickness (diameter) of the bolt (or the thread) is the same, and therefore the bolt hole (or thread hole) is the same, then by definition the net area, and thus the overall strength, of the high stitch count is smaller (assuming ofcourse same leather thickness and same leather type).
If we assume that a high stitch count means also smaller thread then the net area can be the same as the net area of a low stitch count panel (= less holes but quite bigger). What we have to check then is the bearing capacity of the panel (or the steel plate).
The bearing capacity is dependent, among others, on the distance p2 between the bolt holes transverse to the tension force; a smaller distance leads to a more problematic transfer of forces and thus to a lower bearing capacity. I attach a fast calculation, where I have assumed that the net area of both a high stitch and low stitch count panel are the same, and indeed the bearing capacity of the high stitch count is lower.
Therefore, from a structural engineering point of view: a higher stitch count leads to lower tensile strength for the panel.
However, some things that have to be taken into account: probably the reduction of the strength is small; even the reduced tensile strength is much higher than any normal tension force that the user will subject his jacket to; maybe for leather the principles of structural mechanics are different than those for steel; or maybe since I still haven't had any coffee I've made some mistakes!

View attachment 299952

Nice. Or to put it in ordinary language, fine stitching creates tight perforations. Perforations like this tear. Or at least in theory they might.

Personally I am not obsessed with jacket stitching, fineness or neatness. A too well made jacket may be some kind of craft triumph, but sometimes this aesthetic reminds me of blues music that is too perfectly produced - too clean, too precise and lacking character.
 

Marc mndt

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5,388
Personally I am not obsessed with jacket stitching, fineness or neatness. A too well made jacket may be some kind of craft triumph, but sometimes it reminds me of blues music that is too perfectly produced - too clean, too precise and lacking character.
I'm not obsessed with it either, but I do appreciate neatness. When I pay 1K or more for a leather jacket, sloppy stitch work is not something I'd accept.

For me the degree of fineness should be consistent with the type of jacket. I really appreciate high stitch count with stitching close to the edges on civilian style jackets. However, on purpose-built jackets that are designed to withstand a good beating, high stitch count would simply look out of place and too frivolous imo.
 

Marc mndt

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5,388
I'm no expert in sewing but I do have some experience in bolted connections in steel structures.
When you design or check a steel connection in tension, you take into account, among others, the net area of the steel plate (= cross sectional area of the connecting plate minus the bolt holes - or in our case the sectional area of the leather panel minus the thread holes) and the bearing capacity of the plate (= how the shear force is transferred from the bolt to the plate - in our case how the force is transferred from the thread to the leather).
If the thickness (diameter) of the bolt (or the thread) is the same, and therefore the bolt hole (or thread hole) is the same, then by definition the net area, and thus the overall strength, of the high stitch count is smaller (assuming ofcourse same leather thickness and same leather type).
If we assume that a high stitch count means also smaller thread then the net area can be the same as the net area of a low stitch count panel (= less holes but quite bigger). What we have to check then is the bearing capacity of the panel (or the steel plate).
The bearing capacity is dependent, among others, on the distance p2 between the bolt holes transverse to the tension force; a smaller distance leads to a more problematic transfer of forces and thus to a lower bearing capacity. I attach a fast calculation, where I have assumed that the net area of both a high stitch and low stitch count panel are the same, and indeed the bearing capacity of the high stitch count is lower.
Therefore, from a structural engineering point of view: a higher stitch count leads to lower tensile strength for the panel.
However, some things that have to be taken into account: probably the reduction of the strength is small; even the reduced tensile strength is much higher than any normal tension force that the user will subject his jacket to; maybe for leather the principles of structural mechanics are different than those for steel; or maybe since I still haven't had any coffee I've made some mistakes!

View attachment 299952
Although I lack the knowledge to fully comprehend your analysis, it does make sense. Thanks for taking the time to explain all of this to us noobs (speaking for myself).

I guess the reduction of strength is apparent but minor. Otherwise we'd see much more cases of torn seams on FCL jackets (the example I used was a Fine Creek Leathers Jacket)
 
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15,677
This stitching is done by a maker that vastly surpasses literally anything we talk about here in skill and construction, so yeah. High count stitching looks nice but it really means nothing.

scarstitch2_720x.jpg

cb94e9186189596827c8.jpeg
 

navetsea

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and also if thread thickness is a factor the thinner thread in high tension is like knife, you cut a cake smoothly by using small thread like a garotte, thick thread like jeans thread is obviously blunter and less likely cut into the leather, combine that with small hole next to each other is more likely to rip than big holes farther from each other, try to rip a ticket (small holes next to each other) vs to rip a ring notebook / loose leaf binder paper (big holes further apart from each other) which one rip out easier and cleaner, I bet you really need to yank the notebook with force, while the ticket will rip by using very little effort. leather is closer to paper than to fabrics, in fabrics stitch density doesn't weaken since it doesn't puncture, it just go inbetween the weaving, so the fabrics is still intact.
 
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15,677
Just a few weeks ago I brought my leather jacket to a local leather shop for a zipper replacement and the old guy working there was in an uncharacteristically talkative mood (I think he had a few drinks that day) so we discussed stitching a bit. He's like 70 or close and had been working with leather for more than 50 years.

The jacket I brought in had a main zipper replaced extremely poorly and it needed to be re-stitched all over again.

He immediately told me it's not something he's fond of doing because "There's already too many stitch holes". When I asked him what does he mean - even though I could've guessed, of course, I wanted to get his opinion on the matter - he compared it to a "cinema ticket".

Upon my inquiry if he's ever actually seen a jacket rip at the stitch holes, he simply replied he'd seen it happen "...enough times to never go through the same row the 3rd time.".

I don't know how dense the stitching needs to be for it to become a hazard but I do know that he made an entirely new row of stitches for the zipper replacement, while covering up the earlier one the best he could with thread, so that it'd look like a stitch row but it really wasn't. He did a great job and the jacket looks excellent but the point is, too many holes is not something you want on your leather jacket.
 

Carlos840

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4,847
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I'm no expert in sewing but I do have some experience in bolted connections in steel structures.
When you design or check a steel connection in tension, you take into account, among others, the net area of the steel plate (= cross sectional area of the connecting plate minus the bolt holes - or in our case the sectional area of the leather panel minus the thread holes) and the bearing capacity of the plate (= how the shear force is transferred from the bolt to the plate - in our case how the force is transferred from the thread to the leather).
If the thickness (diameter) of the bolt (or the thread) is the same, and therefore the bolt hole (or thread hole) is the same, then by definition the net area, and thus the overall strength, of the high stitch count is smaller (assuming ofcourse same leather thickness and same leather type).
If we assume that a high stitch count means also smaller thread then the net area can be the same as the net area of a low stitch count panel (= less holes but quite bigger). What we have to check then is the bearing capacity of the panel (or the steel plate).
The bearing capacity is dependent, among others, on the distance p2 between the bolt holes transverse to the tension force; a smaller distance leads to a more problematic transfer of forces and thus to a lower bearing capacity. I attach a fast calculation, where I have assumed that the net area of both a high stitch and low stitch count panel are the same, and indeed the bearing capacity of the high stitch count is lower.
Therefore, from a structural engineering point of view: a higher stitch count leads to lower tensile strength for the panel.
However, some things that have to be taken into account: probably the reduction of the strength is small; even the reduced tensile strength is much higher than any normal tension force that the user will subject his jacket to; maybe for leather the principles of structural mechanics are different than those for steel; or maybe since I still haven't had any coffee I've made some mistakes!

View attachment 299952

That was great, thank you.
Now i want to see a series of sample being pulled to failure by one of those machines that tests ropes, to see if the difference is actually noticeable and how much of an effect it has.
 

Harris HTM

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That was great, thank you.
Now i want to see a series of sample being pulled to failure by one of those machines that tests ropes, to see if the difference is actually noticeable and how much of an effect it has.
yes, this would be nice to see. I trully believe that for normal loads you wouldn't notice any failure, independent of the stitch count - unless ofcourse the holes are extremely close to eachother. I believe that the joints in leather jackets are designed in such a way that the thread fails first and not the leather panel (this is pure my intuition, it'd be nice if we also got an expert opinion), as this would make a repair easier and cheaper (rather than a totally ripped sleeve).
 

Carlos840

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yes, this would be nice to see. I trully believe that for normal loads you wouldn't notice any failure, independent of the stitch count - unless ofcourse the holes are extremely close to eachother. I believe that the joints in leather jackets are designed in such a way that the thread fails first and not the leather panel (this is pure my intuition, it'd be nice if we also got an expert opinion), as this would make a repair easier and cheaper (rather than a totally ripped sleeve).

The only complete failure i saw on a leather jacket was a Himel Canuck, the entire shoulder had torn open, from top shoulder seam to pit, the leather had torn just like a cinema ticket would, the stitching was still intact. But you could see that the "bridges" in between each hole just tore.
Unfortunately i didn't save the pics and cannot find them online anymore. It was on ebay, described as "needing small repairs".
 

Harris HTM

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Location
the Netherlands
The only complete failure i saw on a leather jacket was a Himel Canuck, the entire shoulder had torn open, from top shoulder seam to pit, the leather had torn just like a cinema ticket would, the stitching was still intact. But you could see that the "bridges" in between each hole just tore.
Unfortunately i didn't save the pics and cannot find them online anymore. It was on ebay, described as "needing small repairs".
I remember this as well, it was a perfect tear of the panel.
 

AeroFan_07

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4,788
Location
Iowa
I'm no expert in sewing but I do have some experience in bolted connections in steel structures.
When you design or check a steel connection in tension, you take into account, among others, the net area of the steel plate (= cross sectional area of the connecting plate minus the bolt holes - or in our case the sectional area of the leather panel minus the thread holes) and the bearing capacity of the plate (= how the shear force is transferred from the bolt to the plate - in our case how the force is transferred from the thread to the leather).
If the thickness (diameter) of the bolt (or the thread) is the same, and therefore the bolt hole (or thread hole) is the same, then by definition the net area, and thus the overall strength, of the high stitch count is smaller (assuming ofcourse same leather thickness and same leather type).
If we assume that a high stitch count means also smaller thread then the net area can be the same as the net area of a low stitch count panel (= less holes but quite bigger). What we have to check then is the bearing capacity of the panel (or the steel plate).
The bearing capacity is dependent, among others, on the distance p2 between the bolt holes transverse to the tension force; a smaller distance leads to a more problematic transfer of forces and thus to a lower bearing capacity. I attach a fast calculation, where I have assumed that the net area of both a high stitch and low stitch count panel are the same, and indeed the bearing capacity of the high stitch count is lower.
Therefore, from a structural engineering point of view: a higher stitch count leads to lower tensile strength for the panel.
However, some things that have to be taken into account: probably the reduction of the strength is small; even the reduced tensile strength is much higher than any normal tension force that the user will subject his jacket to; maybe for leather the principles of structural mechanics are different than those for steel; or maybe since I still haven't had any coffee I've made some mistakes!

View attachment 299952

This is quite a helpful illustration! It is indeed pretty amazing how many factors go into what appears to be a fairly simple method of construction.
 

jeo

Practically Family
Messages
695
Location
Philadelphia
Sound like I can go with either 36 or 38. I'm 4' longer and thinner, so 36 might fit better but the sleeves are a bit short. Did you try their HB?

Yes that might be the case if you're 4 inches taller than me. It looks like both a 36 and 38 could work for you depending on how you like your jackets to fit.

I just bought the HB you posted pictures of earlier in this thread. It should be arriving any day now.

I tried on the HB and their double rider (the one with the small epaulets) in a size 38 years ago at Self Edge. The length of the body and sleeves did not work for me in the 38s.
 

air

One of the Regulars
Messages
130
What carriers do you ship with within europe? Today I went to the national post office to send a pair of shoes weighing about 1.2 kg back to germany (from spain). I was expecting to pay about 15€ but they quoted me 32€.
 

Marc mndt

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5,388
What carriers do you ship with within europe? Today I went to the national post office to send a pair of shoes weighing about 1.2 kg back to germany (from spain). I was expecting to pay about 15€ but they quoted me 32€.
When shipping something to Germany, I mostly use DHL.
 

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