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Do try this at home: leather jacket repair tips

Fonzie

One Too Many
Messages
1,550
Location
Australia
Leather jacket repairs can be costly and can sometimes even exceed the jacket's value. Luckily some fixes are easy to do yourself. Let's share our experiences, tips and tricks.

Busted auto lock slider

When a zipperslider moves up or down on its own while wearing the jacket, the auto lock pin might be defect.

Based on the slider puller position, the locking pin should lock/unlock the slider:

View attachment 351521

When you look closely you can see how in this case the pin has been grinded down, which makes the slider go up or down on its own. The easiest way to fix this is by replacing the slider.

View attachment 351525

The one on the right is the old one, the one on the left the replacement. You can clearly see the locking pin on the right is shorter.

In order to replace the slider, the zipper's top stop needs to be removed. Simply use pliers and some force to pull it off, or wiggle it open using a small screwdriver. Be careful not to puncture the tape.

View attachment 351529

Once removed, the old slider comes off and the new one can be installed. Make sure the replacement fits the size of the zipper. Most vintage/repro jackets feature #5 zippers. Newer ones often come with #8 or #10 size zippers.

View attachment 351528

View attachment 351530
After installing the replacement slider, use the pliers again to reinstall the old top stop or install a new one.

View attachment 351524

Job completed. As a bonus, the Talon paperclip pull looks much nicer too.

View attachment 351531
I really love the way you explained this process, it’s super helpful.
I have to do this operation on an ELMC Windward that the slider has exploded on my hands and I feel confident to do it after seeing your instructions.

Now, please, where can I find one of those Talon paper clip sliders?

My EBay search has proved pointless the last few weeks, maybe because of my location in Australia. I’m not sure where else to look for them.
Thanks in advance.
 

Marc mndt

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,084
I really love the way you explained this process, it’s super helpful.
I have to do this operation on an ELMC Windward that the slider has exploded on my hands and I feel confident to do it after seeing your instructions.

Now, please, where can I find one of those Talon paper clip sliders?

My EBay search has proved pointless the last few weeks, maybe because of my location in Australia. I’m not sure where else to look for them.
Thanks in advance.
The zippers on the ELMC jackets aren't great, the slider on my Californian exploded as well.

The zipper on my Californian is a #5, I think the one on your Windward is too. I don't think I've ever seen a paperclip slider for a #5, they're bigger, #8 or #10.

The good news is that a vintage slider will fit your Windward. I put a 30s fan Talon on mine. Much better quality than any repro.

You can get one here.

IMG_6363.jpeg
A7678774-D219-4FD4-AF64-8AAD305D6CDF.jpeg
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Fonzie

One Too Many
Messages
1,550
Location
Australia
The zippers on the ELMC jackets aren't great, the slider on my Californian exploded as well.

The zipper on my Californian is a #5, I think the one on your Windward is too. I don't think I've ever seen a paperclip slider for a #5, they're bigger, #8 or #10.

The good news is that a vintage slider will fit your Windward. I put a 30s fan Talon on mine. Much better quality than any repro.

You can get one here.

View attachment 594790 View attachment 594787 View attachment 594788
Thanks Marc, very helpful as usual.

I ended up buying the one you linked, I would have never thought I’d pay AU$108 for a zipper slider, but seeing how good it looks on your Californian I had to.
How did you clean yours to make it look so good?

Yeah, I love ELMC jackets, but the zippers they use are crap, the one in my Black Californian also broke the same way yours did but I glued it back in a way that I can still use it, for now.
The one in the ELMC Windward is completely blown.
Sucks, but that Talon fan looks so much better, I’m excited to get it installed now.
Thanks mate.
 

Marc mndt

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,084
I would have never thought I’d pay AU$108 for a zipper slider,
It's a lot of money but vintage zippers are expensive for good reason, they're great quality.

Getting them from vintage women's purses is actually the cheapest way. When zippers like this are offered separately on eBay they're usually a lot more expensive.
How did you clean yours to make it look so good?
They came like this, from a pair of children's shoes lol.

IMG_9065.jpeg
 

TartuWolf

One Too Many
Messages
1,041
Location
Tartu, Estonia
Vinegar and toothbrush will work. Not to polish per se, though, just to remove verdigris and oxidation.
Thank you for the Vinegar tip, worked great for cleaning up the hardware of a jacket I just received from Japan.
Both snaps and zippers work and engage better after the cleaning.
No negative effect noticed on the leather or the zipper tape.
Before and after:
1709452372443.png
 

Bahabp100

Practically Family
Messages
816
The pocket flap is missing most of its topcoat.

View attachment 418502

I started by applying beeswax based colorless shoe cream. I chose not to use black shoe cream because I don't want the leather to look like new.

View attachment 418496
View attachment 418497

It already looks a lot better. Next step is to put on some topcoat. Once again I used colorless product.

View attachment 418498

Here's the end result. The leather reconditioned, a nice sheen but still lots of character.

View attachment 418501 View attachment 418500 View attachment 418499
Looks smooth as a baby’s bottom wow!!
 

Fonzie

One Too Many
Messages
1,550
Location
Australia
The zippers on the ELMC jackets aren't great, the slider on my Californian exploded as well.

The zipper on my Californian is a #5, I think the one on your Windward is too. I don't think I've ever seen a paperclip slider for a #5, they're bigger, #8 or #10.

The good news is that a vintage slider will fit your Windward. I put a 30s fan Talon on mine. Much better quality than any repro.

You can get one here.

View attachment 594790 View attachment 594787 View attachment 594788
I forgot to post this before, but thanks again @Marc mndt
I replaced the zipper pull with the vintage one you pointed me to and it works like a charm. It was a 10 minute process, purely because I was freaking out I’d damage it, but it’s actually a very simple replacement to do.
Here’s the result, it’s much nicer looking, efficient and stronger:
 

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PeterRocco

A-List Customer
Messages
483
Location
Staten Island New York
I forgot to post this before, but thanks again @Marc mndt
I replaced the zipper pull with the vintage one you pointed me to and it works like a charm. It was a 10 minute process, purely because I was freaking out I’d damage it, but it’s actually a very simple replacement to do.
Here’s the result, it’s much nicer looking, efficient and stronger:
Very Nice!
 

Marc mndt

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,084
I forgot to post this before, but thanks again @Marc mndt
I replaced the zipper pull with the vintage one you pointed me to and it works like a charm. It was a 10 minute process, purely because I was freaking out I’d damage it, but it’s actually a very simple replacement to do.
Here’s the result, it’s much nicer looking, efficient and stronger:
Great job. Those vintage sliders are made to last.
 
Messages
17,291
Location
Chicago
Hmm…
I need a Natal or US Made Co. those are NICE.
You really do man. I see from your handle you’re a Vanson guy, I am too and believe they make the best gear in the biz. Natal/Kerr compare very favorably in all ways. This jacket reminds me very much of the Model E, but less fussy. The fit on these is very athletic and intentionally rider built. The hide on this jacket is identical to Vansons 90’s era comp weight, but a bit thicker. It’s a no bullshit piece of gear.
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VansonRider

One of the Regulars
Messages
258
I’ll be keeping an eye out…
I just picked up a track suit (a second hand Vanson, natch) and I need to move some jackets that… let’s just say they shrank…



You really do man. I see from your handle you’re a Vanson guy, I am too and believe they make the best gear in the biz. Natal/Kerr compare very favorably in all ways. This jacket reminds me very much of the Model E, but less fussy. The fit on these is very athletic and intentionally rider built. The hide on this jacket is identical to Vansons 90’s era comp weight, but a bit thicker. It’s a no bullshit piece of gear.
View attachment 613122
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newtojackets

Practically Family
Messages
832
Just bought this vintage jacket. Leather doesn’t feel dry, but sleeves have lost some colour. Would neatsfoot oil do the trick?

IMG_6373.jpeg IMG_6372.jpeg IMG_6374.jpeg
 

VansonRider

One of the Regulars
Messages
258
You really do man. I see from your handle you’re a Vanson guy, I am too and believe they make the best gear in the biz. Natal/Kerr compare very favorably in all ways. This jacket reminds me very much of the Model E, but less fussy. The fit on these is very athletic and intentionally rider built. The hide on this jacket is identical to Vansons 90’s era comp weight, but a bit thicker. It’s a no bullshit piece of gear.
View attachment 613122
View attachment 613120
View attachment 613121


I found this for couch change!

I’m still looking for a USMCo Natel Natel cross zip, but I’ve got a weakness for the unusual, and I dig the black & tan on this coat!

These are seller pics, and it looks a thousand times better worn and in person. The contrast is a lot subtler in natural lighting.

I’ll try to get some fit pics but my wife thinks I’m weird enough just belonging to an “old clothes website” so I'm reduced to using the timer setting on my ancient Iphone...
 

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