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Full custom Field Leathers Idaho review

Marc mndt

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6,676
This is going to be a lengthy review but I hope you guys find it worthy to read. I think there is a lot to say about this jacket. Sometimes I just like to see the pictures so let’s start with those first.

Front.jpg

Back.jpg

Field Leathers.jpg

Handwarmer pockets.jpg

Chest pocket.jpg

Lining.jpg

Grain.jpg

Front open.jpg

labels.jpg
 

Marc mndt

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Messages
6,676
Why did I choose Field Leathers

I was in the market for a brown halfbelt. The leather had to be full aniline, it had to be a classic design and I wanted custom sizing, no off the rack. Field Leathers simply ticked all those boxes. However, Field Leathers is not an established name so having them make the jacket felt like a bit of a gamble. A big plus was that they offer Shinki leather for a very reasonable upcharge. What made me pull the trigger were the positive reviews of fellow TFL members.

Process / design

I reached out to Greg and asked him whether he was ok to do a few design changes on his basic Idaho design. He was totally ok with that so I came up with a design. As you can see I pretty much specified every single seam. I was really impressed with Greg’s double stitching like he does on his Michigan Jacket so that’s what I wanted for my Idaho.

First design.jpg


Once we agreed on the design we started discussing leather. I had already set my mind on the brown full aniline Shinki so I was rather disappointed when he told me he discontinued the brown aniline (too much variation in color and grain between hides and therefore almost impossible to match). He did have brown Shinki hide which was pigment dyed, so Greg sent me a few samples in brown, black and blackened brown. The brown wasn’t to my liking. The black full aniline was nice but I really didn’t need another black jacket so I apologized to Greg and told him I couldn’t go through. Greg fully understood but he also suggested this design would look really badass in black. I said thank you but no.

The days following, the idea of a ‘badass’ black jacket started to grow on me: a jacket without the frivolous double stitching, clean and mean. Maybe a black and red buffalo plaid lining like on those vintage Buco’s would be cool for this build. Also, the black aniline Shinki sample I received from Greg was really really nice. 1.3 mm thickness, substantially heavier than the pigment dyed samples, much nicer than the leather of any of my current jackets. I pulled the trigger.


Measurements / pattern

Because I made a custom design, Greg had to make a new pattern. What you see here is the design of the back yoke. The one on the left was what I designed. However, Greg thought a more ‘dramatic’ arch would look better so he made these two other options. I chose the one on the right.

Back design.jpg


I had trouble getting the sleeve length right. I measured the sleeve length of a couple of my current jackets but I just couldn’t get it right. Also, I couldn’t decide on the height of the front bottom hem panels. Therefore Greg suggested to make a mock-up jacket so we would be able to alter things if it wasn’t exactly to my liking. As you can see below, there were some improvements to be made.
mockup.jpg
mockup 1.jpg


There was some bulging on the front shoulder parts. I pinned the extra fabric and sent the jacket back to Greg. To be honest, this issue scared me quite a bit. I was afraid altering the pattern to address the bulging might result in a huge neck opening or some other unforeseen issue. Greg assured me he knew how to address the problem because he had done it many times before. As you can see from the end result, he clearly knows what he’s doing.

I specified 18’ shoulder width, 22’ptp and 19.5 bottom hem width. He hit all of them, spot on.


Build quality

Some say the Japanese can’t be beaten in terms of attention to detail and perfection. I don’t know whether this jacket beats those Japanese -built to perfection- jackets, but this Scottish -built to perfection- jacket certainly comes close, if not on par.

As you can clearly see, the construction is flawless. Not a single wobble, the jacket has been stitched with laser like precision.

collar stitching.jpg
Shoulder seam.jpg
Pocket detail.jpg
Center zip.jpg
Center vent stitching.jpg
Back yoke.jpg


Is there any negative

After wearing this jacket for three days, I think I have tot conclude that this jacket is perfect. Perfect fit, excellent build quality, best materials used. The jacket isn’t squeeky and doesn’t require any break-in, which of course are the perks of Shinki horsehide.

So I reached out to Greg and asked him whether he could make me another one just like this, but it had to be made out of brown aniline leather. Unfortunately for me, he explained why he probably won’t be offering brown aniline in the near future. The hides are so difficult to match that he needs several batches in order to have enough leather to maybe make three jackets, while with the same number of pigment dyed hides he might even get six jackets out of it. Therefore offering brown aniline doesn’t make sense for him as a start-up business, working with small volumes.

I hope it will make sense when he is able to order larger volumes because I definitely want another Field Leathers jacket. I’m afraid I’m spoiled now. I don’t know any other maker who offers this level of perfection at this price point, with a full custom design and pattern.
 

Marc mndt

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Messages
6,676
Very nice indeed, I can't wait to get my black shinki project going. Congratulations on your jacket living up to your expectations and wait. Wear it well, man.
Thnx! I think Greg might have raised his own bar with this excellent build. He'll be making you a jacket as well? Be warned: you might be spoiled after you got yours :p
 

Boyo

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Messages
2,210
Location
Long Island NY
WOW!.. I think it can be said that Greg is right up there with the Big Boys now!

as an aside.. his he going to offer your pattern as a full time model?
 

Jin431

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,912
Location
Bay Area CA
Thnx! I think Greg might have raised his own bar with this excellent build. He'll be making you a jacket as well? Be warned: you might be spoiled after you got yours :p

The brown aniline Route 66 should be shipped today and I ordered a 2nd jacket in black shinki too not sure yet what design but maybe a cross zip. Yep, looks like it. That jacket he made for you, suits you so well it's just crazy good
 

Marc mndt

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,676
WOW!.. I think it can be said that Greg is right up there with the Big Boys now!

as an aside.. his he going to offer your pattern as a full time model?
I don't know but I'm pretty sure he will make another one if you're interested. If you are, maybe you should ask for brown aniline. If he gets enough requests he might just order another batch :p
 

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