CX FQHH or CX Steerhide?

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by moktabe, May 9, 2021.

  1. Monitor

    Monitor

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    Yeah, I was about to say something to that extent. The more jackets I handle, less and less I have a clue on how to tell veg from chrome tanned leather. I guess it's only obvious with a few of these contemporary makers but it's really impossible to tell otherwise.
     
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  2. dudewuttheheck

    dudewuttheheck My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Some of them maybe, but not all of them. Badalassi certainly isn't and neither is oil shinki. I'd also argue that modern pigment dyed leathers look nicer than the old chrome tanned ones.
     
  3. ton312

    ton312

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    When I look at RMC, across nearly the entire range of their leather goods, I see a deliberate attempt at replicating fast to “fade” to emulate vintage originals. I suppose it’s not a hard and fast truth but 90% (or more) of what I see in veg tan looks to be an attempt at duplicating any number of say, Terry Mitchell’s library of American chrome tanned leathers from the 40’s and 50’s. I hate to sound like Stu and I believe he even references the joke and irony of it all somewhere on his site. And don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against veg tan hides. Nothing at all. But I do find the use in reproduction jackets a bit ironic. Particularly with regard to M/C hear and catalog era sports jackets and halfbelts.

    I personally have yet to hold or see a jacket that has been produced in the modern era with even 1/3 the beauty of well worn, patina’d and polished, true vintage Horsehide. For me, it’s no contest.
     
  4. Monitor

    Monitor

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    Dude... Sure, there are less than impressive hide on some of the old jackets but my shitty steer Sears Oakbrook literally either devours or equals anything high-end modern that I've handled - And I've handled most of it. This isn't me taking a shot at modern tanned hide; On the contrary, contemporary tanneries are getting better and better and I salute the effort but there's hardly a fair comparison. That 60's Langlitz I had, it wasn't even anything special compared to the green label HH they used but you handle that kinda hide and realize there's just hardly any comparison between that and literally ANYTHING new.

    New tanneries want to achieve this and struggle with it and it's the effort that counts but seriously, good 50's leather has NO alternative in this day and age. None.

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  5. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

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    I agree that the older hides are truly magical when kept in good shape.
     
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  6. ton312

    ton312

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    Yuuuup. This is why I’m wearing repros less and less. I have to force myself into my Aero. Hard to compete with with 70 year old chrome tanned pony. To each their own though, of course.
    DD07E58E-29EC-4617-B698-CE9B4057DFE1.jpeg 1C118706-0F01-43D0-B17D-D45ECEFA2BEE.jpeg AD60BD68-4949-4958-A28D-A250B39BDA29.jpeg 1E105E88-5EB0-463B-B41E-F4D044A19011.jpeg 490AE05A-1669-4F74-AC96-B67FF6402AE8.jpeg
     
  7. ton312

    ton312

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    The irony here^ being these were not boutique garments made for hobbyists. Just meant to be well tailored and durable garments that were a good value for the wearer. Not objects of cult and fixation I’m not judging. I am 100% on the spectrum.
     
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  8. dudewuttheheck

    dudewuttheheck My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Well in fairness, I haven't handled enough vintage to give an informed opinion. I have my opinions, but clearly they are not meant to be shared here.
     
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  9. ton312

    ton312

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    You’re a prime candidate dude. At your size you literally have carte blanche. I’ll say this...if I were your size I’d have never left vintage, that’s where I started in this hobby and it’s been a long, semi fruitless journey only to discover that’s where I should’ve stayed (at least in certain styles). If I were you I’d pursue some vintage pieces if for no other reason than to understand what the modern stuff wishes to be, and why it never can get there.
    As far as your opinions go, just like everyone else’s, they are welcome from my point of view.
     
  10. dudewuttheheck

    dudewuttheheck My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Sorry, I think I did not convey what I meant to say properly. I know you are welcoming of my opinions. What I meant to say was that I do not have enough evidence to really back up my opinion so I do not feel comfortable sharing it. That's why I feel that my full feelings on the subject should not be shared here as of now. My thoughts don't have enough education behind them.

    I have been looking more and more at vintage lately. It certainly has caught my eye, especially because as you said, I now have an easier time with sizing. One of the reasons I am hesitant is because of my lack of experience with vintage jackets, but I guess everyone has to start somewhere.
     
  11. Jin431

    Jin431 Call Me a Cab

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    them old hard worn HH/Steer chrome tanned jackets from before are truly desirable (still dreaming of a heavy weight Cal CHP padded cross zip like @Leather Walker ), I don't think my cxl repro jackets would get to that level.

    I do prefer vegetable tanned jackets for repro jackets because they are easier to wear and it shows wear/character faster
     
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  12. marker2037

    marker2037 A-List Customer

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    I don't think we can outright claim that modern leathers are not or will never be as good as the vintage stuff. The reason I say this is that we just don't know what these leathers will look like in the same 70 years that has passed for the jackets of the 1950's.

    Will my Schott chrome tanned horsehide 613H end up looking as good as the Cals and Hercules and Bucos and Leathertogs do now? If I had to place a wager on it, I would say definitely yes, but it's so hard to predict how wear and time will affect a lot of these leathers. Can the same be said for my Aero battered tan? 99% sure that's also a yes.

    I guess my point is that all of the mid to high end makers we buy jackets from buy leather from sources where you know the quality is there. It sometimes just takes 50 years to develop into what we perceive as perfect leather.
     
  13. Mich486

    Mich486 One Too Many

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    There are some stunning examples of vintage leather as shown here. Chrome or veg tanned imho who cares, like everything there are good and bad examples of both. The problem though being that it seems to me after the 50s the quality of the leather on mass produced jackets went downhill and never quite recovered so the supply is very scarce and finding one in good condition that doesn’t require repairs is pretty damn difficult. I’m personally not the kind of guy that enjoys airing out a stinking jacket and replacing the liner etc. I tried, not for me.

    I also disagree that veg tan leather is engineered to replicate the chrome tanned leather of the golden era. Maybe some but it’s a negligible proportion of all the veg tan hides. I’m pretty sure many of the tanneries that produce veg tan hides have zero knowledge of golden era leather jackets even being a thing.
     
    Monitor likes this.
  14. moktabe

    moktabe New in Town

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    Well, I'm sure I'm not the first to go down this route however, how many of us know what we want then change our minds somewhere along the way.
    New(ish) member here so learning fast!
    On Aero's IG page the is a pic of a natural HH 'modified cafe racer' as they've called it, have spoken to them and apparently it's a Sheene and, to my eyes, the style looks spot on for me.
    6ft 2", 42 chest, broad shouldered and a 33" waist so a reasonably athletic shape and have a feeling it would look ideal. Will have an ask about the leathers on 1st June when up at Aero and see what they'd recommend for it. Would likely be either brown, cordovan or russet as although I love the look of the natural one I'm not sure I'd have the cajones to not worry too much about it changing colour.
    Looking through the forum it appears the jacket I saw belongs to @Mr Proper so I'm blaming him :)
    My main choice was for a Hudson however, was also looking at a Windward with a thinner lining to get at the same time. Bit of a quandary now as I think the Sheene is already in the basket so to speak (dependant on fit) and my choice will be either a Hudson or a Windward but stay with the Alpaca lining to keep it as a cooler weather jacket, maybe even have a sheepskin collar ala Hudson.
    Under 3 weeks now until I go up to Aero, so twiddling my thumbs at the moment :)
    As said before, thanks for all the help and advice. It's greatly appreciated.
     
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  15. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Hey, that's a nice jacket :)

    I've been wearing it daily since I got it. Definitely one of my favorite jackets. Top three.

    4D4A86DC-1810-4A55-A9A7-FB532EEBE842.jpeg


    Field Leathers' (vegetable tanned) pigment dyed Shinki is a 95% match in terms of color, temper and grain. Here's a swatch next to the 70 year old Windward.

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    6BAD3F3D-67A7-453B-84D8-DC7B666131A9.jpeg
     
  16. ton312

    ton312

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    That does look good! If you ever need to replace a sleeve that would be the hide to choose. I suppose for me, and I know it’s been discussed before, the vintage stuff just has an austere quality I don’t find in reproduction pieces. No matter how well they are built, how well they fit etc, they always look a bit flat in comparison. There’s plenty of room for both but my bread is buttered on the vintage side. As much as I’ve oscillated between the two over the years, there is no doubt my preference between the two is an original vintage piece. I enjoy restoring them too.
     
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  17. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Me too. It's very satisfying to make an old worn out jacket look great again.

    My next 'project' is this Hercules I bought last weekend. Other than those two holes in the lining, it looks to be in great condition. I'm not sure yet whether I should replace part of the lining or have my tailor sew some cream colored cloth to the back of those holes, just to reinforce it.

    5161C0B9-60F2-4A39-ACB8-A241EC705E70.jpeg 0A7ED3ED-9942-49A2-A85F-30BFAEAE6D0D.jpeg
     
  18. Monitor

    Monitor

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    Examples above illustrate it perfectly but to me, even the priciest, most hard core repro out there is the definition of the word compromise. Like, you'd buy a pricey repro if you can't obtain an original or if you're afraid to damage it, etc. but I never once for a second thought it's preferable to the original. What would be the point of that?
     
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  19. El Marro

    El Marro Call Me a Cab

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    I get this!
    I was fortunate enough to find a good tailor near me who is quite skilled at working with leather. First time I went to meet him I was a little apprehensive but when I started to pull the jacket I had brought with me out of the bag he remarked right away “oh, that’s a nice G-1 you’ve got there”. I knew that I had found the man for the job and his work has been great on everything I’ve given him over the years.
    There is something really cool about finding a jacket that needs some help and restoring it to good wearable condition again.
     
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  20. Jedy617

    Jedy617 Familiar Face

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    63
    Back to the original question, this is a great article from Nick Horween which actually shows quite a significant difference in grain pattern comparing steer to horse, and it discusses jackets and Aero in particular. However, I think most of the horsehide and steerhide we have in jackets is tumbled to a degree so the difference in grain appearance is probably negligible at that point:
    https://www.horween.com/blog/2010/12/14/by-request-whats-the-difference

    And yes I agree that tanning and finishing method is much more important than the species the hide comes from. Both should feel similar, if a horsehide CXL and steerhide CXL feel very different it is most likely down to the individual batches themselves. Goodluck with your choice, I have vegetable tan steer badalassi, and CXL FQHH and love them both, can't go wrong.
     
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