Irregularities in leather - what's acceptable and what's not?

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by erikb02809, Feb 3, 2019.

  1. erikb02809

    erikb02809 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    190
    Location:
    Newport, RI
    I used to work for a couple of grouches, and always worry that what I read and what I write is going to come off grouchy because I'm so used to reading grouchy memos. I'd like to stress, I'm typing this with a conversational tone (internally), non-contentiously, and have enjoyed reading everyone's responses. I also consider myself happy generally happy w/Thurston Bros' customer service and can respect their pov on the spots, although I'm not sure I agree with it.

    Those 3 spots are through the topcoat and I'd say top "layer" of the leather, but do not pass completely though the entire hide - hard to see because of the flash, but they're the color of un-dyed leather, not brown, and are not mere indentations. The one furthest from the bottom of the jacket seems like it's some sort of funky pore, the middle one looks like a needle hole that didn't penetrate completely through, while the bottom one is almost like a small gouge. While the spacing of them gives the appearance that it was a runaway sewing machine, the difference in character of each spot when you really get your eyeball up to them in person makes me think it's not. I have no idea what is actually going on w/those spots or why they're actually there though.

    Other than those 3 spots and a couple other marks in less conspicuous spots that I think probably were made by a sewing machine, the jacket is pretty great. The fit is excellent. And I'm well aware that wear and tear, and developing a patina, is part of the appeal of having a leather jacket. And while I think leather should be sturdy (see my recent-ish comments on Jejupe's Pegasus horsehide thread, for example) - plastic perfection? Nope.

    Wear and tear is one thing. I don't expect the jacket to stay perfect forever. And handmade? Yeah, I'll buy into the fact that nothing made by hand is ever going to be perfect. There are a couple of slightly funky stitches on this one that I'm aware of, but am cool with. But I do not presently nor have I ever owned a leather jacket with 3 marks like that, especially in what I would consider a conspicuous spot (nevermind on a brand new one that cost over $1300), and I'm pretty sure no amount of wearing a jacket would result in wear and tear with marks like that. For example, I've got a beat to heck cross-zip I've had since high school (20 years ago) - it's got plenty of fading and scuffs, but zero spots like that.

    When I emailed Carrie w/my concerns about the spots, she said those were common in leather jackets (although they're the first I've encountered over 3 Vansons, 1 LW, and 2 Pegasus), and would blend in over time. The number of posters here echoing that sentiment shows that that's a reasonable stance to take, and I never thought it wasn't. However, the fair number of posters who agree that those spots shouldn't be there, especially not on a jacket at this price point, is at least re-assuring that my OCD isn't totally out of control lol.

    I'll be happy if my request for an exchange that I emailed tonight is accommodated, but will not consider it unreasonable if it is not. However, those spots really bug me. Upon reflection over the course of the evening, I'll probably end up selling the jacket at a loss if I'm stuck with it, which depending on who you ask, is more of an erikb02809 problem than it is a problem w/the jacket, lol.
     
  2. jacketjunkie

    jacketjunkie One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,673
    Location:
    Germany
    Don't worry, you didn't come off grouchy to me. I think you are more nitpicky than me or a few of us, but as this thread shows, you are not alone with that.

    And you are arguably right.. being a bit self-reflective, I have probably been around here for too long, spent too much money on this hobby and have been blunted over the years in regards to the fact how much money 1300 USD actually is for a jacket...
     
  3. Alz

    Alz One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    114
    Such jackets are handicraft but very close to art. Since old times (and still to these days) Native artists always add some minor mistakes to their artworks 'cause they say: "only god can create a perfect thing". Those are not errors but the jacket's soul.
     
    Devarika Woulf, Peacoat and Gamma68 like this.
  4. Carlos840

    Carlos840 Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,251
    Location:
    London
    Carrie is right, there is nothing you can do to fix these holes, they go through the leather.
    They happened because someone stitched the lapel too far, and then removed the thread from the stitch line, leaving the three empty holes. IMO this would count as an "oops" moment from the machinist and is not supposed to be there.

    I understand both sides of the coin here, i am pretty highly OCPD myself, and these three holes would trigger me pretty strongly, especially on a brand new jacket that you paid full price for.

    I also understand that compared to other possible QC issues this is absolutely meaningless, this is 100% cosmetic and will have no influence in the function of the jacket at all. If you wear the jacket for a year, you won't think about it anymore.

    I think nowadays i wouldn't mind, i have had enough jackets to see that you can find a lot worst "issues" and still have a great jacket. My grizzly has a similar issue, and it was made by the great Julie Leitch, maker of 10000 jackets!
    But i have to admit that if that had been my second or third jacket i probably would have sent it back for that defect.

    There is no right or wrong here.
     
  5. Carlos840

    Carlos840 Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,251
    Location:
    London
    Here is a picture of the Grizzly i mentioned above, a few empty holes, a giant stitch above everything.
    IMO this is pretty bad, and it did bother me when i first received the jacket. Three months on, i couldn't care less, this is my favourite winter jacket!

    [​IMG]
     
    erikb02809 likes this.
  6. Theodoros

    Theodoros New in Town

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Thessaloniki Greece
    I agree with you. It is not right to be these signs - holes.
    (If there are holes, they should penetrate the collar to the underside,
    it's like that? or just on the surface).
    This has escaped my attention completely.
    do not worry, send it back and we will replace it.
    It is a mistake in our production. It's not just a jacket, it's a lot, and sincerely we're totally focused on a perfect result.
    I apologise. Theodoros
     
  7. Bfd70

    Bfd70 One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,271
    Location:
    Chicago
    Spending time on TFL is an OCD magnifier. Most of us spent several decades wearing mass produced clothes with what we’d now consider unconscionable errors without a second look. I don’t think it’s a price point issue either. We’ve just conned ourselves into believing that perfection in these things can be achieved and once realized we’ll be...happy. Crafting jackets is Art not Science. Cooking not Baking.

    As they say in Watch collecting “a loupe is not you friend”
     
  8. Mich486

    Mich486 Practically Family

    Messages:
    806
    My Aero grizzly has a few minor issues as well. Here are a couple of empty holes where the cuff is sewn together with the sleeve:

    [​IMG]

    Doesn’t bother me to the point of sending it back but for the kind of money they cost I believe one shouldn’t see these things.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    erikb02809, navetsea and Carlos840 like this.
  9. Bfd70

    Bfd70 One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,271
    Location:
    Chicago
    Theodoros has said that it doesn’t meet his standards and is issuing an exchange. Very classy. That closes the case on this instance.

    However, for general discussion, i can’t help but notice how people arbitrarily, or at least very subjectively, set a price where perfection should be expected. The guy who normally buys $200 jackets might expect it at $500. Guys who routinely pay $1,200 will accept flaws at $600. The Aero/Thedi price point of about $1,000-$1,400 seems to be where it is often set. The guy in the $4,000 custom rig is shaking his head saying “ what do you expect? For a mere $1,300 you got what you paid for.”
     
  10. Carlos840

    Carlos840 Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,251
    Location:
    London
    IMO one should always strive for perfection, thus perfection should always be expected. Unfortunately not many people think that way, and "good enough" has become the norm for most things.
    I have jackets ranging from $200 to $2500, i expect the same perfection from all of them, but i will tolerate imperfection more in a cheap jacket than an expensive one.

    The only "perfect" jackets i have are my Japanese made RMC and Freewheelers and my LL Dominator, every other jacket i have has between 1 and 3 "oops" moments.
    When i first started this hobby, something like that would annoy me a lot. Nowadays i have accepted that as being part of the hand made process, i don't appreciate a jacket less for not being "perfect".

    I do however really appreciate a "perfect jacket", just because i respect the extreme attention to detail and precision needed to achieve such a thing.
     
    navetsea and Hh121 like this.
  11. dannyk

    dannyk Practically Family

    Messages:
    587
    If mine was one of those comments that seemed arbitrary I didn’t mean it to be. I suppose I meant it more like it was not a run of the mill mall jacket and was created by what is generally considered one of the best stitching makers out there, I wouldn’t like it and if it could be exchanged for one without the small flaw I would do it. But I also followed up with that if returning it wasn’t an option it would not be something that drives me nuts. It’s not defective, does not change the integrity of the jacket, something no normal person would ever notice. Even after pointing it, it’s hard to see for s lay person. A lot of the guys here even said they didn’t notice it or it wouldn’t bother them. I’d keep it and love the hell out of it. Just when you are going for s luxury, well made, top maser product in any category you of course want it to as close to perfect as possible. So my theory on this and any other minor flaw of this nature is, it never hurts to ask, but it’s not changing my mind on how much I love it/use it. I don’t know if that makes sense...it’s not necessarily the cost, or any specific number associated with cost. That’s only a minor part. It’s the cost, plus reputation of the company, plus it’s new. It’s not a used item nor an item that was sitting on a shelf for 20 years. If I take that all into account that’s where I fall, but again because the flaw is so minor it’s only an ask and see, if nothing happens I’m not pissed or sad at all about the situation. And since Thedi handled it even better for the purchaser and kudos to Thedi for taking his product so seriously!!
     
  12. Hh121

    Hh121 One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,357
    It's always positive to heard makers wants to make things right and clarify their standards.

    In the opposite example, one maker who always try to find excuse for their faulty product and bad customer service. As a result, I sold all of jacket bought from them.
     
    dannyk likes this.
  13. Mich486

    Mich486 Practically Family

    Messages:
    806
    I personally think that visible flaws shouldn’t be present at any price point. Some flaws are only cosmetic and the products are still structurally sound and can perform equally well as the same products without any flaw. Normally, these are sold as factory seconds at a reduced price.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  14. Alz

    Alz One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    114
     
    erikb02809 likes this.
  15. Gamma68

    Gamma68 One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,705
    Location:
    Detroit, MI
    I’m notoriously OCD on many things in my life. I’m probably over-the-top picky when it comes to the fit of my leather jackets. And while I agree that mistakes shouldn’t be visible in an expensive jacket, my first thought was the Native American saying quoted above.

    Once you get that first scratch or scrape on that jacket, those three small holes will disappear.
     
    Alz and dannyk like this.
  16. Why any further discussion after Theo stepped up and offered his solution to this faulty jacket situation. Just let him make it right as he is more than willing to do, then case closed.
    HD
     
    red devil, Jejupe, dan_t and 3 others like this.
  17. erikb02809

    erikb02809 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    190
    Location:
    Newport, RI
    Theodoros, thank you so much! I will definitely be in contact about the details for shipping the jacket back, and really appreciate your attention for what many people don't think is much of a problem.

    Some members suspected they're sewing machine holes, but they do not penetrate completely through to the other side. There are no holes on the back side. I think, unless it's damage somehow caused by the foot of the sewing machine, that the uniform spacing and it lining up with the lapel stitching is just a coincidence and it's not from the machine.

    I tried replicating the spots on an old wallet using the end of the file on a set of nail clippers. The thickness of the wallet is different, but even pressing the file hard into the surface of the wallet, couldn't recreate similar looking damage.
     
    dannyk likes this.
  18. Gamma68

    Gamma68 One Too Many

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    1,705
    Location:
    Detroit, MI
    Because this thread is about more than the OP’s jacket.
     
    jeo, El Marro, Hh121 and 1 other person like this.
  19. 767fo

    767fo One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    253
    Location:
    USA
    Well said!!
     
  20. sweetfights

    sweetfights Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,012
    Location:
    Canada

    You sir are a fine communicator. Well stated.
     

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