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Eastman A-1 size 48: 2 Weeks In

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by bn1966, Jun 6, 2015.

  1. bn1966

    bn1966 Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,439
    Location:
    UK
    Just getting to grips with my Cape-skin ELC A-1 in size 48, love the classic design, tailored fit & caramel color of this jacket. It's nice to have a light weight wearer of a flight jacket in an early style that isn't automatically recognized by the lay person as a military design.

    Two weeks in and I'm at the 'breaking in' stage. Despite the hide being so soft comfort has increased with time due to the trim design. I've used the 'wet the lining' & wear method and noticed the grain 'developing' further at stress points. Today I applied ELC Leather conditioner and again wore the A-1 for several hours through a range of daily activities including driving.

    The jacket is beginning to feel like a second skin, my ELC Roughwear A-2 was a tougher battle and eventually developed a glove type fit.

    I wasn't sure about buttons at first, but quickly got used to them. Most of the time I wear the A-1 open anyway as a light layer over a T-Shirt.

    The collar is again quite different to what I'm used to, but laid down comfortably after a couple of wears.

    Pockets are low set & I can only really see them being good for my credit card & a few $$$.
     

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  2. Mark

    Mark Practically Family

    Messages:
    520
    Location:
    UK
    Very nice, like the colour. Looks so different from my BK A1 also in Capeskin (see my post) but then I have not done nothing to it other than some light wearing. Do you find the collar still sticks up a bit? Mine does.
     
  3. Bunyip

    Bunyip Call Me a Cab

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    2,064
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    Very nice. I don't know much about cape skin. Is it a tough/ strong hide?
     
  4. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    No.
     
  5. bn1966

    bn1966 Call Me a Cab

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    Tough & strong it isn't :) however it doesn't appear very fragile either.
     
  6. Dr H

    Dr H One Too Many

    Messages:
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    Somerset, UK
    I've had a lot of capeskin A-1 jackets (many from ELC and Good Wear and one from BK) and the ELC .50cal A-1 is quite different from the conventional A-1. The 'time worn' treatment toughens and strengthens the capeskin so that it's more like a light horsehide IMO. I's my 'go to' jacket during the cooler times during the summer and I wear it in all situations without worrying about damage.
     
  7. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

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    I've only ever had capeskin gloves, and they were fragile.
     
  8. pawineguy

    pawineguy One Too Many

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but Capeskin historically meant goat and evolved to mean sheepskin?
     
  9. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,739
    Location:
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    The fact that almost no A1 jackets survived intact more than hints at the strength of this hide. That said, I'm sure it is light and comfortable and if treated carefully will wear reasonably well. I would probably prefer this in goat or 2.2oz calfskin.

    Original capeskin referred to sheep from Sth Africa - Cape of Good Hope - Cape skin in its earliest incarnation is sometimes referred to as goat but I'm not sure it was. Someone may know for sure.
     
  10. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

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    2,906
    Location:
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    I'm kinda clumsy, so I'd never buy one in case I snagged it on something.
    I could go for that style in Aero's seal real deal horse.
     
  11. nick123

    nick123 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    I remember Andy remarking that the strength of capeskin all comes down to how well it's tanned.
     
  12. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    Location:
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    Yes but you can't turn sheep skin into FQHH no matter how mystical the tanning process. The best you can say is that some Cape is stronger than others but it's still a less robust product. I'm clumsy too and I'm sure I'd tear up a BK jacket on a door handle or fence fairly swiftly.
     
  13. pawineguy

    pawineguy One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,974
    Location:
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    I was just looking at a tariff summary from the early 1920s used for a Congressional bill and it defines it specifically as goat from the Cape of Good Hope. At some point that definition changed. Makes sense, as you would think that these jackets would still have been intended to be fairly sturdy.

    https://books.google.com/books?id=x...0CDcQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=capeskin goat&f=false
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2015
  14. ButteMT61

    ButteMT61

    Messages:
    10,214
    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    I sold @Worf the best looking jacket I've ever owned - a GW A-1 in Cape.
    There's pics here, but it was a one of a kind. It's not as tough as other leathers in general, but some panels on this jacket (front + back) are very strong. The sleeves less so.
    But I dare anyone to find a jacket with better color and character.
    Sad I sold it. I did so as the torso was a bit large for me. Worf, if you still have it, give me first dibs on it please!
     
  15. I agree. That was beautiful capehide grained to perfection.
    HD
     
  16. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,466
    Location:
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    BN1966, your jacket looks great! I think the leather will look fantastic with wear.

    This Capeskin A1.....
    [​IMG]
    is the best looking hide I've ever seen (pictures only, sadly).
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2015
  17. Dr H

    Dr H One Too Many

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    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    That one is either Worf's or one of my early GW A-1s. The hide is good, but looks better in the images - it can look a little '80s distressed leather in some lights.
     
  18. nick123

    nick123 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,501
    Location:
    California
    That's just GORGEOUS. Even if it tears easily, maybe life's just too short to not try the cape out.
     
  19. ButteMT61

    ButteMT61

    Messages:
    10,214
    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    That A-1 is twice your size Dr H.
    I got from another VLJ member, then sold to Worf
     
  20. Dr H

    Dr H One Too Many

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    Location:
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    Thanks Scott, thought it was probably that one. I had three (used) jackets from that batch of US domestic cape. Getting them confused :eek:
     

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