Five Star Leather Jackets

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead, Sep 23, 2020.

  1. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

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    5,606
    Location:
    East Java
    great write up, how about giving it a real good water bath soak, and wear it to mould over you, when it is almost dry fold and shape the lapel into a shawl, I think it will iron out some of its issues. hope it will settle the bunching of the collar at least to can push the excess material around to make it neater, imo there is some mistake between the neck hole and the collar curve perhaps a little bit too curving than the neck hole and when both part is joined it makes that rippling effect.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2021
  2. TheDonEffect

    TheDonEffect A-List Customer

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    370
    I don't think it's a mistake as much as it is a design flaw when dealing with stiff leather like this. I can get it all aligned and nice, but as you put the jacket on, move around, etc, the stiffness doesn't yielded causing the separation, same with the placard on the inside of the button hole area. Reviewing the construction, everything seems to be made as it's supposed to, but with the stiffer leather and such, perhaps more attention was needed to bond the two sides or perhaps skive the edges more or something. So there's nothing technically wrong, just not thoughtfully executed if that makes sense.
     
  3. TREEMAN

    TREEMAN One Too Many

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    Why would there be excessive formaldehyde in cheap leather ?
     
  4. TheDonEffect

    TheDonEffect A-List Customer

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    370
    Update:

    So here I am with this jacket, not much else I can do with it, meanwhile I have it sitting there next to my desk as I think about what should I do with it. It's such a pretty jacket. So my options are try to sell it but the measurements are custom and it'll be unlikely or not worth the time to find someone who this will fit. Other options of course is donate/discard it. But, the jacket is really pretty, truly I like it.

    So I judo flipped it a few more times to break it in a little, slipped it back on, my measurements are actually quite good, so as others have mentioned perhaps with some break in it'll actually be usable. The geometry on the sleeves unfortunately will also make it bunch up significantly when I raise my arms, and the collar is what it is, but maybe if I can break it in enough so that the collar will lay flat from being soft, and to the point where I'll be able to reach my neck to adjust the collar, and be able to assume the driving position comfortably, maybe I can actually use this jacket. The fit is pretty nicely tailored if if I button the cuffs to the tighter setting and cinch down the side adjusters...

    So what the heck, I have nothing to lose, sprayed it down with some water and threw it into the dryer with some tennis balls to air dry.

    Had it going for 30 minutes so far, took it out, didn't seem to soften up in any remarkable degree, but it built quite a bit of character. The top coat seems to be easily scratched/chipped, doesn't have any healing properties by rubbing it down. Encouraged, I sprayed it down with more water and threw it back in where it remain for the foreseeable future, today, lol.

    Another update, the smell of the leather is actually getting better, I don't think it'll have the "perfume" of the likes of Horween or Shinki, but it's slightly better.
     
    navetsea, Zoo, handymike and 3 others like this.
  5. TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead

    TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead One Too Many

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    1,609
    I had a couple jackets like this where something was off (the fit, the leather, extra pocket I didn't like, etc.) that I think I almost was trying to sabotage in order to justify buying something new LOL. It's surprising how much of a beating these jackets can take. Even the so called "lower quality" lines. If you think it's a breaking in issue, I'd abuse the hell out of it like you're doing. Get it wet, hang in the sun, put in the dryer, roll it up in ball, stick under the mattress and sleep on it, etc. etc. Since you've already written it off, you never know, something magically might happen one day.
     
    Jin431 likes this.
  6. TheDonEffect

    TheDonEffect A-List Customer

    Messages:
    370

    Yeah that's sorta the route I'm taking. I already wrote this one off so I figure I have nothing to lose. That said, I can't afford it to shrink if this is to have any hope of being usable.

    This jacket was constructed well, and frankly I think the leather is beautiful, and it does technically fit, so I figured I'd give it a go.
     
  7. ton312

    ton312

    Messages:
    13,133
    Location:
    Chicago
    Sometimes, if you beat it to death, a butterfly emerges from the cocoon.
    815E8F7D-8C03-403F-8F0C-D708C08B3D1F.jpeg
     
  8. Mrkurtz

    Mrkurtz New in Town

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    19
    What all did you put that jacket through?
     
    Kevin the Devon likes this.
  9. ojaw

    ojaw Familiar Face

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    Location:
    Winnipeg
    ton312 is the god of hellfire AICMFP
     
  10. TheDonEffect

    TheDonEffect A-List Customer

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    So after about...4 hours in the dryer (no heat) and spraying it down, the leather definitely softened up quite a bit. The top coat on the edges have rubbed off and a few chips throughout, but overall the look is great. Alot more graining too.

    But, alas it's not meant to be. The jacket is definitely more wearable now, the leather softened up to the point it's pliable, but still masochistic to wear it. A new issue emerged in that it feels like the jacket has underarm footballs, but it doesn't, and lifting my hands up to say adjust the collar is like doing reps of Arnolds. The geometry of the sleeves is all wrong. It's funny because the sleeves are attached so that they sorta stick out, but the top part of the sleeve was sewn with a sharper downward rake than the bottom part of the sleeve.

    So reaching for the collar is laborous, and keeping my arms down has the leather poking into my underarm.

    This is what I mean about adding the secret sauce to a jacket to make it more wearable. I thought my JL lacked mobility but I'll never complain about it again.

    Unfortunately those issues can't be corrected, shame because the leather was breaking in nicely to the point I was becoming encouraged that I could save it, but alas it's not.
     
    Carlos840 and navetsea like this.
  11. Aloysius

    Aloysius One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    257
    Which leather was this? I got one of their goat jackets as a gift for a teenaged relative so he'll be excited to see what happened here.
     
  12. PilotJens

    PilotJens One of the Regulars

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    144
    The sleeves angle down too much .That's what seems like a problem to me .When I look at a Himmel jacket or other makers the sleeves are almost in line with the shoulder .Just a tad angled down .My Cossack fits great .I love the look .The leather is breaking in and shaping to my body but my only problem is the sleeve angle . because you can only lift your arms to the point of how much the downward angle is .If you can make the sleeves more like a T then you can comfortably pretend to be a plane and it is less restricting when you adjust your hat .Now does that might create pinching under your arms if executed poorly ? I don't know .
     
  13. ton312

    ton312

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    13,133
    Location:
    Chicago
    Everything. water soak, sandpaper, acetone and dye!

    Originally it was "russet" steer
     
    Aloysius and Jin431 like this.
  14. PilotJens

    PilotJens One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    144
    You forgot tears,blood,anger,
     
    ton312 likes this.
  15. Mrkurtz

    Mrkurtz New in Town

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    19
    Does anyone know how historically accurate the five star patterns are when it comes to the A1 jacket?
     
  16. Kevin the Devon

    Kevin the Devon New in Town

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    13
  17. Carlos840

    Carlos840 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,337
    Location:
    London
    Not historically accurate at all.
    I doubt they have ever seen/handled an original A1, and their understanding of patterns is too poor to come up with something accurate from pics IMO.
     
    red devil and MrProper like this.
  18. MrProper

    MrProper One Too Many

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    1,810
    Location:
    Europe
    5* tries for some models to obtain old originals or repros of prestigious brands to reproduce them. I have heard that this has already been done for some A-2 and Shearling (B-3 and D-1, Irvin). These copies seem to be quite good. However, I have not heard anything about an A-1 yet.
    5* is not a designer, but a contract manufacturer. The more precise the specification, the better the result. You always have to keep that in mind. Otherwise, you may be disappointed.
     
  19. TheDonEffect

    TheDonEffect A-List Customer

    Messages:
    370
    To expound on MrProper's point, looking closer at my jacket sleeves, talking about the top and bottom of the sleeve as it attaches to the jacket, the top of the sleeve has a downward slope, between arms straight out sideways and rest, so 45 degrees-ish. At that angle, the sleeve is at rest, no bunching, etc, the intended angle. The bottom of the sleeve however is the opposite, when it's somewhere between arms straight out sideways and arms straight up, more towards arms straight up.

    The result is that when the arms are at rest and by our side, there is a decent amount of bunching in the arm pit. And when you raise your arms, there's quite of bit of bunching at your shoulder.
     
    Jin431 likes this.
  20. TheDonEffect

    TheDonEffect A-List Customer

    Messages:
    370
    Also, I think I've beaten up the leather enough to the point it really isn't stiff anymore, it is almost as pliable as say a 3oz steer used for most riding jackets, almost. So this leather softens up quite a bit, relatively quick. 3 tennis balls, some water spraying, and about 4 hours in the dryer with no heat. Had it not been for the fitment quirks, this jacket would absolutely be wearable.

    The top coat has scuffed/chipped away which is a bit of a downer, but that's what overdyes more or less do, and I didn't put a cover on the jacket before throwing it into the dryer so that could've been mitigated. Even with that said, the leather imo is beautiful. I mean is it as good as say Horween? No, of course not, but if JL had this leather as one of their stock leathers, I'd buy it in a heartbeat over Horween, the price savings imo more than make up whatever aesthetic difference between CXL and CHL. I'd then ask them to tumble it for me.

    So if you know your specs and what not, don't hesitate in getting the skived CHL, it's a remarkable hide.
     
    Jin431 likes this.

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