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Hides, Rain, and Shrinkage

Seb Lucas

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,562
Location
Australia
Monitor I don't understand the shrinkage stories either. If anything a few of my jackets have stretched a bit after washing not shrunk. And I have a naked cowhide jacket that I washed and dried on a hot day. It did not change its size at all. There must be something else at work when they shrink.
 

devilish

A-List Customer
Messages
473
Location
Devon
I've never done a full on HWT to any jacket but I did buy a GW A-2 from eBay that had been given the works, super hot water and tumble dried by someone who had no real clue what they were doing. It shrank from a 48 to a largish 44. So it does happen. There loss was my gain though. The thing that suffered the most was the vintage Talon's cotton tape. I've had that replaced. The leather was a little dry but a good conditioning but that right and it is now my favorite jacket.
 
Messages
16,347
Monitor I don't understand the shrinkage stories either. If anything a few of my jackets have stretched a bit after washing not shrunk. And I have a naked cowhide jacket that I washed and dried on a hot day. It did not change its size at all. There must be something else at work when they shrink.

Yeah, exactly that. If anything, I noticed that the jacket became even roomier after the HWT. Huh...
 

Azog

Familiar Face
Messages
87
Location
Melbourne
I hope it's OK to link to other forums here. Didn't see anything about it in the rules.
Here is a link where the before and after water treatment pics are shown.
Shrinkage occurred and wavy zipper happened. Jacket changed a lot.
http://vintageleatherjackets.org/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=17598

Methinks vegetable tanning is more susceptible to shrinkage if it doesn't have some kind of water resistant coating.
 

navetsea

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,697
Location
East Java
I hope it's OK to link to other forums here. Didn't see anything about it in the rules.
Here is a link where the before and after water treatment pics are shown.
Shrinkage occurred and wavy zipper happened. Jacket changed a lot.
http://vintageleatherjackets.org/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=17598

Methinks vegetable tanning is more susceptible to shrinkage if it doesn't have some kind of water resistant coating.

it can't be opened, probably only members of that forum can view the page... I'd still love to see before and after picture though :)
 
Messages
16,347
vintageleatherjackets.org is useless. Yeah, it's visible only to the members of the forum. You can't register with that place with your public email address, such as gmail or Yahoo. They only allow registrations through your IPS given email address - provided you were even given one in the first place - which is something I neither have nor would want.
 

Big J

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,961
Location
Japan
Here's a water treatment before and after review on another forum. It's was done on a jacket I don't know anything about other than it is more expensive than jackets that get talked about here. I can't say I really like what the water did to the jacket in the after photos. The guy who did it seems happy with the results though.
http://www.stylezeitgeist.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12109

Wash a 4000 euro jacket to shrink it, instead of buying the right size in the first place (or sending it back for a size exchange)?
More money than sense. How does someone so dumb even have 4000 euros in cash anyway?
 

navetsea

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,697
Location
East Java
Well, I can see there is more going on on the sleeve seems like the creases are fatter/ rounder compared to before washing, waves along the zipper, aren't there some with pliable wire inserts along the hem and edges to emulate the wavy look on some jackets like that , and since the model is very fashionable, I guess fabricated weathering route is inevitable to get that kind of look to enjoy while the jacket is still in fashion.
 
Last edited:
Messages
16,347
Wash a 4000 euro jacket to shrink it, instead of buying the right size in the first place (or sending it back for a size exchange)?
More money than sense. How does someone so dumb even have 4000 euros in cash anyway?

lol Agreed. Worst part, jacket looked so crap before that I don't even see the difference.

I don't get it, this is just about the brand, right? In all honesty, that jacket looks like a $40 mall offering even on the official photos. Aero, GWL, RMC, etc. cost a lot of money as well but at least you get a tremendously beautiful jacket.

Bah, people...
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
24,695
Location
London, UK
Hate to say it but well made textile jackets are probably the best for foul weather.

Yes, if I was riding these days and wet weather was a distinct possibility, I'd prefer armoured, waxed cotton over leather.

I've had a FQHH Aero jacket for three years and have been caught in the rain several times. No problems at all with it, and I've never treated it with anything.

That Horween FQHH is treated to cope with wet, and not intended to have anything else on it. I believe Aero recommend waiting a couple of decades before using anything on it...

In my experience, naked cowhide (Schott jackets) will shrink even if exposed to light rain/mist. A month or so ago when it was warmer, I wore my Schott on a short ride. When I came back, I unintentionally left it on the trunk of my car overnight. The next day when I discovered it, I didn't think too much about it as there had been no precip overnight. Well, the dew was enough to have shrunk the body a size or two. The sleeves had already shrunk a bit because of light rain shower a few years ago. The jacket now fits like a 40/42 and is sized as a 46. It sometimes covers my belt if I stand up straight and pull my jeans up. Barely enough room for a thin vest underneath.

I haven't had this problem with finished hides. I will never have another naked cowhide jacket.

I've never had a problem with anything shrinking either. I can think of only one jacket I ever owned that was labelled as Naked Cowhide. Can't recall the brand name (it wasn't Schott), but it was a Perfecto style. I'm sure I remember a label claiming it was made in NYC and it certainly was very similar to a Schott, but not the sort of money they cost. It was a Christmas present when I was sixteen. Much against my folks' better judgement (Santa originally provided what I recall to be something like an Eighties Blouson reinterpretation of a Windward, but for sixteen year old me it was a P-style or nothing....). I loved it, wore it until the Summer before I turned nineteen and just couldn't get into it any more. I wore it in all weathers. I remember being caught in heavy Summer rain a few times. Never had any shrinking problems (It was still good enough to sell on when I could no longer wear it). These days, though, naked cowhide is the one that I would, as a knee-jerk reaction, be a little wary of for shrinking. That and some veg-tanned stuff (though Aero's advice on the goat they now use, veg-tanned, is that it's fine in the rain). I can see why an unifinished hide might be more of an issue. I've encountered some on jackets friends owned, which, once worn in heavy rain, were never the same. They went stiff and solid (though I think part of the problem was they tried to dry 'em out too close to a radiator). Don't recall any having that sort of shrinkage, though. Sounds like some quirk / fault in your particular jacket?

Leather will absolutely shrink. Having successfully shrunk an A2 myself I can attest to it. However, the conditions I did it under were controlled using a hot water soak then a hot tumble dryer. If a jacket gets wet in the rain, just be sure to let it dry under cool conditions. Otherwise, you'll risk having something happen like Peacoat

Definitely letting it dry at its own speed, well-aired, is the answer, not a lot of heat.

vintageleatherjackets.org is useless. Yeah, it's visible only to the members of the forum. You can't register with that place with your public email address, such as gmail or Yahoo. They only allow registrations through your IPS given email address - provided you were even given one in the first place - which is something I neither have nor would want.

I thought TFL operated the same policy? It makes sense from a forum-runner's point of view - cuts down on trolls and other trouble makers who sometimes think twice when they know they can be identified. I can certainly understand privacy concerns.

Wash a 4000 euro jacket to shrink it, instead of buying the right size in the first place (or sending it back for a size exchange)?
More money than sense. How does someone so dumb even have 4000 euros in cash anyway?

Because the free market is not a meritocracy. ;)
 

Stand By

One Too Many
Messages
1,741
Location
Canada
I've mentioned it before but a sure way to tell if a (zipper) jacket has shrunk is if the zipper goes wavy.
I bought a new Eastman house veg tanned goat A2 a few years ago which was probably the best box opening experience I've had with a jacket with their very impressive presentation and packaging. Jacket looked and smelt fantastic and had Eastman's typical precision cut and stitching.
Zipper was dead straight until I got it soaked in the rain. The veg tanned goat soaked up water like a sponge, darkened when wet but lightened again when dry. I also found the zipper became wavy when it dried. No heat or anything. I definitely preferred the jacket before getting it wet in the rain.

I'm all for wearing a jacket in all weathers as often as possible - wearing them them the way they were intended. I wore an Aviation Leathercraft A2 for 18 years and was caught in a good few downpours in that time and was always astonished by it being completely waterproof! And no, it never shrank a jot.
Later on, I wanted a proper A2 and upgraded to an ELC 352nd A2 in russet HH and, like Azog, could see that it was a much superior jacket the moment it appeared …
But as time went by and it had been out in the rain with me, when it dried (always slowly at room temp. No heat of course), I noticed the darker watermarks that were left around the sleeve cuffs and the hem on the body (and no, it didn't shrink). For that reason alone I wouldn't have another.
 

armscye

One of the Regulars
Messages
143
Location
New England
To save searching, I'll repeat what I've said in earlier posts: I've washed about 40 jackets ranging from Wilson's Mall-Hauls to postwar military A2s to Vanson competition-weight horsehide. Unless I made a vigorous, deliberate, and protracted effort to shrink the jacket, I experienced no shrinkage. I have in fact been able to extend jacket sleeves by as much as 1 1/2 inches through weighting them while thoroughly wet.
 

AmericanIron

One of the Regulars
Messages
119
Location
United States
To save searching, I'll repeat what I've said in earlier posts: I've washed about 40 jackets ranging from Wilson's Mall-Hauls to postwar military A2s to Vanson competition-weight horsehide. Unless I made a vigorous, deliberate, and protracted effort to shrink the jacket, I experienced no shrinkage. I have in fact been able to extend jacket sleeves by as much as 1 1/2 inches through weighting them while thoroughly wet.

Haha, things are getting lively in here. Glad to have so many stories from those who have had their jackets for years and years. Love this forum and all the collective info stored in it.

I've accepted that the shrinkage I was looking for is not attainable and have since sold the jacket on ebay. I purchased a different brand entirely but the same D pocket double rider style in horsehide. Hopefully it will fit correctly and not require complex tumble dry recipes.

You guys rock, and thanks again!
 

desertdog

New in Town
Messages
6
In my experience, naked cowhide (Schott jackets) will shrink even if exposed to light rain/mist. A month or so ago when it was warmer, I wore my Schott on a short ride. When I came back, I unintentionally left it on the trunk of my car overnight. The next day when I discovered it, I didn't think too much about it as there had been no precip overnight. Well, the dew was enough to have shrunk the body a size or two. The sleeves had already shrunk a bit because of light rain shower a few years ago. The jacket now fits like a 40/42 and is sized as a 46. It sometimes covers my belt if I stand up straight and pull my jeans up. Barely enough room for a thin vest underneath.

I haven't had this problem with finished hides. I will never have another naked cowhide jacket.

Schotts naked leather will shrink big time. My Schott 125 size 48 was ruined from getting wet. It lost 1" to 1 1/2" off sleeve and body length and now fits like a size 44. The sleeve liner hangs out of the sleeves it shrunk so much. In my opinion naked cowhide is worthless as a motorcycle leather and is only good for fashion garments. In reading the Schotts forum, Schotts even warns not to get naked leather wet and to wear a rain coat over your jacket if its raining. What a worthless POS. Why would anyone make a "motorcycle" jacket outof a leather that can't handle occasionally getting wet. When you put 15, 000 to 18, 000 miles a year on a bike, its going to get wet occasionally. I will never never own a naked leather jacket again nor recommend naked leather to anyone who rides. Schotts naked leather is fashion leather only.
 

Peacoat

*
Bartender
Messages
6,269
Location
South of Nashville
Schotts naked leather will shrink big time. My Schott 125 size 48 was ruined from getting wet. It lost 1" to 1 1/2" off sleeve and body length and now fits like a size 44. The sleeve liner hangs out of the sleeves it shrunk so much. In my opinion naked cowhide is worthless as a motorcycle leather and is only good for fashion garments. In reading the Schotts forum, Schotts even warns not to get naked leather wet and to wear a rain coat over your jacket if its raining. What a worthless POS. Why would anyone make a "motorcycle" jacket outof a leather that can't handle occasionally getting wet. When you put 15, 000 to 18, 000 miles a year on a bike, its going to get wet occasionally. I will never never own a naked leather jacket again nor recommend naked leather to anyone who rides. Schotts naked leather is fashion leather only.
Thank you, DesettDog. Finally someone other than me has experienced shrinkage with naked leather. My sleeve lining also hangs out at the cuffs. You should do well here at the Lounge for telling it like it really is!
 
Messages
16,939
Location
Chicago
image.jpeg

I'm sorry. Couldn't resist. Again, sorry
 

Bern1

One of the Regulars
Messages
219
Location
West Coast
I posted earlier about my experience with my Lost Worlds Easy Ryder. I had originally reported that it had no shrinkage. ( I got caught in an intense long downpour on the bike and the jacket got soaked all the way through.)

Then in December I bought another Easy Ryder a size smaller that fit me better. While I was measuring the larger size 44 prior to posting it, I discovered it was actually smaller in a couple of dimensions than the 42 I had just bought.

Also, previously I had noticed that the vertical seam in the lining (synthetic rayon in a LW) seemed wrinkled, which I hadn't noticed before. I hadn't thought anything about it before but a comment about wavy zippers in this thread is leading me to believe that shrinkage in the leather may be the cause of the wrinkle in the seam. Also, the "new" jacket did not have a wrinkle in this spot, lending more credence to the idea the jacket actually shrank a little
I had previously chalked up the difference in the measurements of the two jackets to the hand made nature of the fabrication process but now I am not so sure. The size 44 was too big on me anyway so I never noticed if it shrank.

In addition, exposure to water is one factor. Heat and sun is another. In my case, the ride the next day was in sunny weather, not that warm but maybe enough to be a factor.

For the record, I hung the jacket on a broad wooden hanger in the garage when I got back, still wasn't sure it was dry after a week! It lives in the garage with the bike anyway, so it is never in a heated house for any length of time.
 

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