distressing leather jacket

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by CFDOC, Nov 6, 2015.

  1. Lean'n'mean

    Lean'n'mean I'll Lock Up

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    How leather ages all depends on it's quality. If your jacket is full grain leather (as opposed to a corrected grain or worse still, a split leather with a P.U. embossed surface) & the surface treatment isn't too artificial, then it may age well & develope a nice patina. The fact that you have hit on blue when sanding off the surface does suggest that the manufacturers didn't dye the leather after tanning, (which is a cost saving practice not to do so) & so it would be safe to presume that the leather isn't of the best quality. Also, sanding the surface of a good quality full grain leather, would leave you with a much finer texture, similar to velvet, rather than a rough suede, even using a relatively coarse grained sandpaper.
    Age isn't a guarantee to quality, there was as much crap made in the 60's & 70's as there is today. One thing puzzles me though, you say that there are already signs of wear yet the previous owner didn't wear it much. ???
     
  2. CFDOC

    CFDOC New in Town

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    well that was what i was told when i originally bought it but on closer inspection (after posting to this forum) I am starting to see areas of wear around the main zipper and sleeves. the interesting this is the color is brown instead of blue so I guess chrome tanned leather does eventually fade away.
     
  3. Feraud

    Feraud Bartender

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    Sounds like you removed the surface dye from a mediocre jacket. I suggest not furthering the damage. Just wear it as intended.


    Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk
     
  4. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

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    of course it will fade has nothing to do with how the leather was tanned, just depend on how it was dyed, when dyed through and through it won't make great contrast no matter how much you try to fade it but it will fade, but when only the surface is dyed or over dyed with another color not really penetrating the whole thickness of the leather it will show more contrast once aged, however a black dyed chrome tanned leather have bluish/ greenish tint to it when you compare it with another black.
    the brown color next to the zip maybe from grime or corrosion from the zipper, it is unlikely that in the same jacket you get different fading color on one area blue, another area brown, impossible imo.
     
  5. rocketeer

    rocketeer Call Me a Cab

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    I went to one of those Rock n Roll weekenders some years back and a guy was getting drivers to wheelspin on his bike jacket. All 'appeared' to go ok till a guy in a 68 Charger with a line lock decided to do a burnout on it. With some beer on the tyres for effect he rolled just onto the jacket and with the jacket wearers encouragement spun up. The jacket flipped under must have caught on some metal work then got spat out the back almost minus an arm and the zip now totally *****d. It was a great burnout with a fair bit of smoke and smelled great. As for the jacket, most were admiring the Charger rather than the remains of a once wearable Brando jacket.
     
    Edward likes this.
  6. CFDOC

    CFDOC New in Town

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    again, I wasn't really trying to distress the jacket as much as figuring out how it might age. I am now inclined to not wear this one as much since it was likely chrome tanned and probably wouldn't change much over time.
     
  7. rocketeer

    rocketeer Call Me a Cab

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    Here is an old jacket I had from new with 30 years of wear into it. The jacket is my Aero A2 Battersea contract. Not front quarter or even horse.
    Your chrome tanned will wear just as well over the years as veg tanned etc. just wear it out and about in all weathers, in the house maybe even doing the odd grubby jobs as I did. Drink in it if thats your thing and lean on a few wet bars soaking up the atmosphere and sometimes let your girlfriend wear it. Just wear it!
    One day you may write on here or wherever, "Thats my jacket and I love it"

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Cheers, J
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2015
    Tusche, navetsea, CFDOC and 1 other person like this.
  8. CFDOC

    CFDOC New in Town

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    thanks, mate
     
  9. rocketeer

    rocketeer Call Me a Cab

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    Well, some do it because they do not like the look of a new jacket, others try to make it look old as if it gives the wearer some kind of kudos, Ken even tried it on my old Battersea contract (in pics above) but that jacket though did not really start to gain its patina until I had worn it for around a year.
    Even Gary Eastman has had a go with his so called Time worn look, though I have seen a few of these and you can still tell they are new jackets. But not a bad effort Gary.
     
  10. Capesofwrath

    Capesofwrath Practically Family

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    Personally I don’t see the point of buying a new jacket and trying to make it look worn out. When I was young the first thing I used to do with new leather jackets was to kick them up and down in the gutter for an hour and jump up and down on them. But now I like jackets to be broken in and comfortable but not to look like they’ve been bought from a charity shop.

    On a similar note I am always slightly irritated when I see TV shows set in the thirties where characters are wearing actual vintage leather coats and jackets which are obviously very old and worn. At the time they would have been new looking, and people would have dumped them if they began to look like that. Just look at period pictures of people wearing leather motoring and motorcycling coats, they are almost all in pretty good order. Work jackets are slightly different but most self respecting workmen would buy a new work jacket when the existing one was badly worn unless he was potless.

    I think the idea of ageing leather jackets probably came from new aircrew, who on being issued with a new A2 or Irvin wanted to make it look like it had done some service so they didn’t stand out as newbies.
     
  11. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    I tend to agree. TBH, I don't get the issue people have with breaking in a jacket. I've had a few in Horween FQHH and even one in the heavy Horween Bison - only takes a couple of months of regular wear to break 'em in, and, frankly, that's half the fun of a new jacket imo.

    That is possible.... though TBH I think most of it nowadays comes from the airshow crowd. People who aren't into vintage in general, so aren't looking to reproduce an accurate overall vintage look. Instead, you're talking about guys who have long dreamed of having an original A2 and either now can't afford it, or can't find one in their size, so they want the next best thing: a repro A2 which looks exactly like a real A2 would now. Or perhaps they already have a real A2 or several ,but want a jacket that mimics wearing one of those without the concerns that arise with wearing out an irreplaceable, seventy year-old jacket. Guys like us tend to want our jackets to look like they would have back when because we want to look like it's 1942; the guys who buy preworn A2s tend to buy them because they want to look like they're wearing a seventy-three year-old jacket in 2015. Different markets, really. I think these massively aged jackets would look ridiculous on anyone in a period film or doing reenacting, but that's not their audience. As I've said many times, I've seen it before in the guitar market: guys who are really into fifties rock and roll will buy a Fender with 50s specs, but that looks new, like they did back then (a new 57-spec Stratocaster is currently around GBP1,000; the real thing, in good cosmetic condition and working order at least fifteen to twenty times that, so for most of us the 'real thing' is utterly unobtainable). Other guys buy 'pre-distressed' guitars, because they want to look and feel of one that was bought new back then and played hard for close on sixty odd years. Those guys are never found in rockabilly bands or other retro acts that want the accurate, period look.

    Clearly there's a market for the pre-distressed stuff; not my bag, but it is somebody's!
     
  12. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

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    before I have a leather jacket, I thought I would love a beaten lookin jacket,
    but after wearing one on daily basis, now I appreciate more the look of a broken in yet well cared jacket.
    so I find myself spot cleaning my jackets from dirt and toothpaste splatter, salt stain after each wear.
    Look and smell more proper. :)
     
    Monitor likes this.
  13. Monitor

    Monitor

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    Same here. While I...

    ...toothpaste splatter??? XD

    Anyway, while I no longer pamper any of my jackets, I will however check 'em for dirt later on.
     
    casechopper likes this.
  14. PorscheFedora

    PorscheFedora New in Town

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    Take a look on Youtube for methods to distress leather. They show you the finished product so it will give you good idea of what the finished product will look like. I am considering doing it. It is a lot of work! I did it to a pair of boots I have and it took some elbow grease.

    There is a video of a guy dragging his jacket behind his car. It worked out good - if that is the look you want?
     
  15. tonypaj

    tonypaj Practically Family

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    My son's first leather jacket was one of those, bought from Aero. He still does not want to let it go, even though it's way too small by now. It stays in the closet, his wish.

    As far as the OP goes, I reckon he's done all there is to be done. A bit of alcohol to get rid of the excess shine may be fine, if one really wants it, but that has to be done very gently. After that it's just rain and sun and sweat. Snow is just a different form of rain :) And then there's the best method, travel, and more travel.
     
  16. Joao Encarnado

    Joao Encarnado I'll Lock Up

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    He over did it that made he loose the zipper and broken the stitches in several places.
     
  17. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

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    yeah I've seen that video few years back, I think what he aimed for was a post-apoc theme movie prop jacket, not a jacket to wear about as part of everyday outfit, unless you're happy to answer every "OMFG:eek:what happened to you?" question the whole day. :D
     
  18. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

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    toothpaste splatter is a serious hazard... man :D also to a black t-shirt
     
    rocketeer likes this.
  19. mihai

    mihai A-List Customer

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    Location:
    Europe
    - artificial distressing usually looks strange/fake/overdone
    - financial loss - think thoroughly before doing it on an expensive/high end jacket; I see on eBay/classifieds section jackets that look over distressed/ have usage patterns that do not look quite right. They seem to sell difficultly at avg market price. Same with personalized jackets/ worn too much. Although people think they look great/spectacular they hardly put money to purchase one.
    - limited wear : maybe North American society has a more open view when it comes to clothing, so you have more choice. Here in Europe wearing a distressed / beat up jacket does not look like being very cool. Not even for the spare time. Society is a bit more conservative. Personally I get only vintage in good condition (that could be worn also in an office environment). I prefer not standing out much visually.
     
  20. eugenesque

    eugenesque One of the Regulars

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    Hi

    I am new to this forum, but I have had some experience dabbling with artificial distressing of leather, especially with acetone and sandpaper. Personally, I don't think it is a good idea as the acetone dries up the leather and the sandpaper damages the surface of the leather. This coupled with a humid environment, may result in mould growing on your leather. Regardless, such artificial distressing would imho wear away the durability of the leather. I suppose if one really wishes to artificially distress the leather using acetone and sandpaper, it has to be done in an incremental approach.

    The best way is still to wear it more often.
     

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