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Leather thickness and aging potential

AeroFan_07

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Iowa
To the OP - if this is your "first" leather jacket, I would cut your budget in half at least, and start with the Schott or a similar Vanson model such have been mentioned above. This will give you an idea of what you can have, will like, or will not like.

Hundreds of pages in this forum have been devoted to leather weights, usability and break-in. Each finds a slightly differently but often rather similar path.

I take it you are looking at Fine Creek through Self Edge's website?

I would look around a little more before making that your first legitimate leather jacket.

For reference, my first "new" Leather jacket purchase was in 1990 at JC Pennies in Champaign IL. on a terrible fitting bomber jacket. I paid a whopping $129 for it, which was a lot of money for me newly into college. A couple years later I picked up an Excelled "perfecto style" motorcycle jacket (which was around $85) and it's been all downhill ever since. :)
 

livioli

Familiar Face
Messages
97
To the OP - if this is your "first" leather jacket, I would cut your budget in half at least, and start with the Schott or a similar Vanson model such have been mentioned above. This will give you an idea of what you can have, will like, or will not like.

Hundreds of pages in this forum have been devoted to leather weights, usability and break-in. Each finds a slightly differently but often rather similar path.

I take it you are looking at Fine Creek through Self Edge's website?

I would look around a little more before making that your first legitimate leather jacket.

For reference, my first "new" Leather jacket purchase was in 1990 at JC Pennies in Champaign IL. on a terrible fitting bomber jacket. I paid a whopping $129 for it, which was a lot of money for me newly into college. A couple years later I picked up an Excelled "perfecto style" motorcycle jacket (which was around $85) and it's been all downhill ever since. :)
Thanks for your lengthy response man. I agree with your advice on looking harder since it's a big investment. Perhaps I should slow down a little. The thing is I checked out many Western brand designs and they seem too classic for my taste. The Leon custom is like a classic double rider but with a twist.

My only worry is the tea core. While it looks cool, I'm not sure I want my entire jacket to become completely brown too soon, or at all for that matter. I want to wear this jacket with blazers and sometimes maybe want to look smart ...
 
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AeroFan_07

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Iowa
^^ That's a good idea. Just take some time to clarify what you are looking for, what style works for you, etc.

I will not buy or wear any type of leather "bomber" jackets now (elastic waistband style of any type). I simply have no deisre for that, so styles like the ever popular A2 are out for me.

Correctly called - "Cross Zips" (we should try and eliminate the "double rider" monkier) have such history and there is literally chapters of information here on this history. If you like this sort of jacket but do not ride, they are many options that are out there for this sort of thing. Just keep looking around.

Lots of other varients, honestly it can consume a lot of your time if you let it! Keep asking good questions & considering lots of options....! :)
 

AbbaDatDeHat

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8,736
Thanks for your lengthy response man. I agree with your advice on looking harder since it's a big investment. Perhaps I should slow down a little. The thing is I checked out many Western brand designs and they seem too classic for my taste. The Leon custom is like a classic double rider but with a twist.

My only worry is the tea core. While it looks cool, I'm not sure I want my entire jacket to become completely brown too soon, or at all for that matter. I want to wear this jacket with blazers and sometimes maybe want to look smart ...
So you want to wear the cross zip Leon over a blazer also??
To size for that would seem to defeat a proper sizing for a shorter cross zip.
Not sure how one could pull of that look but please let us see if you do.
B
 

livioli

Familiar Face
Messages
97
So you want to wear the cross zip Leon over a blazer also??
To size for that would seem to defeat a proper sizing for a shorter cross zip.
Not sure how one could pull of that look but please let us see if you do.
B
Hahaha, my bad. Please pretend you never saw that. I got real confused there. I meant wearing it with suit trousers and didn't want to look too heritage.
 

Canuck Panda

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4,346
Thanks for the advice! Would you say 1.5mm is okay for an everyday jacket?
1.5mm needs some break in but it works. One thing to keep in mind is that they are advertising at the top end of the thickness, so in reality this is more 1.4mm on average, 1.3-1.5mm is the range. I have this thickness on my FH, it just needs break in but works.

The other thing is that the FCJK jackets use the old type of teacore horsehide. Different than what RMC and FW and RC are using now. The ACJK jackets are starting to use the same peanut color based Shinki the big brands are using now. They've found a loophole...

The old type teacore is basically a brown jacket, sprayed black and the black fades very fast. I had a Sugarcane one and this is what it looks like after a few years.
IMG_5764.JPG


The current teacore that's used by the big brands RMC FW RC, have the peanut butter colored core, or the aged peanut butter core in the Bucos. But they are not brown jackets sprayed black, they're veg tan jackets with a black overdye. And there is an oil/wax topcoat. It has the unrivaled "wrinkle" look. This is better than the old one imo as it "fades" and not "peels". I've not see a Leon made with this peanut butter color teacore wax oil top Shinki yet. The peanut butter core wax shinki also rolls better on the sleeve. It is the king Shinki right now. Made in their flagship factory that also produces the shells.
IMG_1769.JPG


One thing to keep in mind is the Japanese brands do not compete with themselves internally in product offerings. So as long as Schott Japan is selling the 613SJH I don't think Finecreek will sell a peanut butter color teacore Shiki Leon. I don't think they will break this rule even for oversea market. Other styles yes, but not the Perfecto style. So they're doing the Fujioka deer Leon/Perfecto now.

I think if you are gonna start at the top, might as well swing up for the RMC. It's gonna be Buco D pocket style instead of Perfecto style, and is about 600 dollars more, less if you are comfortable importing it yourself from Japan. It would also make sense to try these jackets in person as they are sized smaller. Tag size equals the actual chest circumference, like jeans waist.

Or wait for the western dealers to stock the bigger sizes of the Bootes Perfecto, made with thick Badalassi. Same price as RMC though, so there goes my RMC argument again. RMC is already established brand, FC is the rising star but not quite rised all the way up yet. Better resale on established brands. Even increase value in some FW jackets.
bootes.jpg
 

livioli

Familiar Face
Messages
97
1.5mm needs some break in but it works. One thing to keep in mind is that they are advertising at the top end of the thickness, so in reality this is more 1.4mm on average, 1.3-1.5mm is the range. I have this thickness on my FH, it just needs break in but works.

The other thing is that the FCJK jackets use the old type of teacore horsehide. Different than what RMC and FW and RC are using now. The ACJK jackets are starting to use the same peanut color based Shinki the big brands are using now. They've found a loophole...

The old type teacore is basically a brown jacket, sprayed black and the black fades very fast. I had a Sugarcane one and this is what it looks like after a few years.
View attachment 543684

The current teacore that's used by the big brands RMC FW RC, have the peanut butter colored core, or the aged peanut butter core in the Bucos. But they are not brown jackets sprayed black, they're veg tan jackets with a black overdye. And there is an oil/wax topcoat. It has the unrivaled "wrinkle" look. This is better than the old one imo as it "fades" and not "peels". I've not see a Leon made with this peanut butter color teacore wax oil top Shinki yet. The peanut butter core wax shinki also rolls better on the sleeve. It is the king Shinki right now. Made in their flagship factory that also produces the shells.
View attachment 543687

One thing to keep in mind is the Japanese brands do not compete with themselves internally in product offerings. So as long as Schott Japan is selling the 613SJH I don't think Finecreek will sell a peanut butter color teacore Shiki Leon. I don't think they will break this rule even for oversea market. Other styles yes, but not the Perfecto style. So they're doing the Fujioka deer Leon/Perfecto now.

I think if you are gonna start at the top, might as well swing up for the RMC. It's gonna be Buco D pocket style instead of Perfecto style, and is about 600 dollars more, less if you are comfortable importing it yourself from Japan. It would also make sense to try these jackets in person as they are sized smaller. Tag size equals the actual chest circumference, like jeans waist.

Or wait for the western dealers to stock the bigger sizes of the Bootes Perfecto, made with thick Badalassi. Same price as RMC though, so there goes my RMC argument again. RMC is already established brand, FC is the rising star but not quite rised all the way up yet. Better resale on established brands. Even increase value in some FW jackets.
View attachment 543688
Wow, you really know your stuff. Thanks for the explanation. I still have mixed feelings about the way the old tea-core fades in the FC jackets (a little too brown and too fast? They're supposed to last me decades so maybe it's better if they fade slower?)

I'm new to all this. If I'm understanding correctly, the peanut butter core jackets will not turn brown but rather get wrinkled? The second jacket doesn't seem to have many brown tones ...

I would love to try the FW and RC jackets but don't know anyone who stocks them where I live.

The RMC jackets are amazing but I don't think they would suit me. I like a Perfecto style but with fewer details and a little minimalistic ...

P.S. What is ACJK btw? Don't know the brand.
 
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Aloysius

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Thanks for your lengthy response man. I agree with your advice on looking harder since it's a big investment. Perhaps I should slow down a little. The thing is I checked out many Western brand designs and they seem too classic for my taste. The Leon custom is like a classic double rider but with a twist.

My only worry is the tea core. While it looks cool, I'm not sure I want my entire jacket to become completely brown too soon, or at all for that matter. I want to wear this jacket with blazers and sometimes maybe want to look smart ...

The 'twist' that the Leon Custom has over the 613SH or standard Leon Onestar is that they've pre-cut the epaulettes and belt off, leaving a little piece of each–you could do this to a Perfecto as well, although I think it doesn't look very good on either. As someone who also wears these kinds of jackets with dress trousers and twills, not just denim, I would find the cut off epaulettes with leftover button snaps on the shoulders to look quite awkward.

But if you're not into the whole jacket turning brown, I would stay away from the Leon for sure. It is designed to be a fast fader, I'm talking more brown in weeks than an actual vintage jacket would be in decades.

Now, I actually like a bit of brown fade on many kinds of leather jackets including the vintage style Aeros like Mr Proper posted above–I have one in their blackened brown too, but to me a black Perfecto only looks right with a deep inky black. Even the more muted black of the naked cowhide doesn't look as rich as the deep black horsehide of a 613SH.
 

Aloysius

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3,714
One thing to keep in mind is the Japanese brands do not compete with themselves internally in product offerings. So as long as Schott Japan is selling the 613SJH I don't think Finecreek will sell a peanut butter color teacore Shiki Leon.

I'm not sure what you mean. Basically every Japanese brand makes a version of the Buco J-24, the Schott 613, the Lewis Lightning and Dominator, often using the exact same leathers.
 

livioli

Familiar Face
Messages
97
The 'twist' that the Leon Custom has over the 613SH or standard Leon Onestar is that they've pre-cut the epaulettes and belt off, leaving a little piece of each–you could do this to a Perfecto as well, although I think it doesn't look very good on either. As someone who also wears these kinds of jackets with dress trousers and twills, not just denim, I would find the cut off epaulettes with leftover button snaps on the shoulders to look quite awkward.

But if you're not into the whole jacket turning brown, I would stay away from the Leon for sure. It is designed to be a fast fader, I'm talking more brown in weeks than an actual vintage jacket would be in decades.

Now, I actually like a bit of brown fade on many kinds of leather jackets including the vintage style Aeros like Mr Proper posted above–I have one in their blackened brown too, but to me a black Perfecto only looks right with a deep inky black. Even the more muted black of the naked cowhide doesn't look as rich as the deep black horsehide of a 613SH.
You're right, I didn't want to admit it and accepted tea-core because it was "highly sought after"

Are there any other FC jackets without their signature fast-fading tea-core?

Now I'm unsure whether to buy the Leon anymore. I might just book a ticket to Japan at this point and get it over with. I quite like Rainbow Country's Ponyboy jacket ...
 
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Canuck Panda

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4,346
FCJK vs ACJK. FCJK jackets started off as under 150000 yen jackets, ACJK is sort of an upgrade, 180000 yen plus, better leather...etc. Higher the model number also more upgrade/updates. Bootes is another mini rebranding this coming year, they're gunning for the RMC territory now...
acjk.jpg


The Shinki teacore does not turn brown. It will "wrinkle" first, and then only in high traffic spots like cuff and zip will have the peanut butter veg tan fade, peaking through, it will not peel. The old black over brown peels.

No one is doing Perfecto styles except Schott and Finecreek. Finecreek found a loop hole the one they're making uses the old type stitching. Schott only does this on their anniversary models, and no Shinki, just steerhide, but looks very much like Shinki. If I have to guess its the same teacore steerhide on my RMC Buco J82, and not the US market steerhide.

They're doing it again this year in Japan, for the 110 year anniversay, Long version this time. Not sure about the hide, they take crappy photos. I will wait 10 years to collect another one the used market. haha...

110 anniversary (I lightened the back side so you can see the fancier stitching and paneling used on these special limited runs.
110 anniversary perfecto.jpg


I have the 100 anniversary version from 10 years ago, shorter length. Blow up the pic and see the nice construction of the back and sleeves. Schott can do this they just do it only for limited Japan runs.
100 anniversary perfecto.jpg


If you are dead set on Perfecto style and nice Shinki teacore, just wait. It is inevitable for Finecreek to make one just like that down the road, maybe for their 10th anniversary limited model, they're in their 5th year now...

The Finecreek sizing runs one smaller than the Schott sizing. Be aware...


Wow, you really know your stuff. Thanks for the explanation. I still have mixed feelings about the way the old tea-core fades in the FC jackets (a little too brown and too fast? They're supposed to last me decades so maybe it's better if they fade slower?)

I'm new to all this. If I'm understanding correctly, the peanut butter core jackets will not turn brown but rather get wrinkled? The second jacket doesn't seem to have many brown tones ...

I would love to try the FW and RC jackets but don't know anyone who stocks them where I live.

The RMC jackets are amazing but I don't think they would suit me. I like a Perfecto style but with fewer details and a little minimalistic ...

P.S. What is ACJK btw? Don't know the brand.
 

livioli

Familiar Face
Messages
97
FCJK vs ACJK. FCJK jackets started off as under 150000 yen jackets, ACJK is sort of an upgrade, 180000 yen plus, better leather...etc. Higher the model number also more upgrade/updates. Bootes is another mini rebranding this coming year, they're gunning for the RMC territory now...
View attachment 543791

The Shinki teacore does not turn brown. It will "wrinkle" first, and then only in high traffic spots like cuff and zip will have the peanut butter veg tan fade, peaking through, it will not peel. The old black over brown peels.

No one is doing Perfecto styles except Schott and Finecreek. Finecreek found a loop hole the one they're making uses the old type stitching. Schott only does this on their anniversary models, and no Shinki, just steerhide, but looks very much like Shinki. If I have to guess its the same teacore steerhide on my RMC Buco J82, and not the US market steerhide.

They're doing it again this year in Japan, for the 110 year anniversay, Long version this time. Not sure about the hide, they take crappy photos. I will wait 10 years to collect another one the used market. haha...

110 anniversary (I lightened the back side so you can see the fancier stitching and paneling used on these special limited runs.
View attachment 543792

I have the 100 anniversary version from 10 years ago, shorter length. Blow up the pic and see the nice construction of the back and sleeves. Schott can do this they just do it only for limited Japan runs.
View attachment 543794

If you are dead set on Perfecto style and nice Shinki teacore, just wait. It is inevitable for Finecreek to make one just like that down the road, maybe for their 10th anniversary limited model, they're in their 5th year now...

The Finecreek sizing runs one smaller than the Schott sizing. Be aware...
Damn. Can't believe there's no Perfecto jacket in Shinki tea-core.
 

Aloysius

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3,714
No one is doing Perfecto styles except Schott and Finecreek.

Not true, multiple Japanese brands offer them.

Schott can do this they just do it only for limited Japan runs.

Incorrect, I have US market Perfectos, both vintage and modern, with all of these features.

Damn. Can't believe there's no Perfecto jacket in Shinki tea-core.

There is. With all due respect to Canuck and his genuinely amazing collection, there is a ton of conjecture in these posts and I would argue against almost every assertion here.

The 613SJH, sold by Schott Japan, is the same pattern as the 613SH except in Shinki. (And the patterning on the Schotts is better than most of the Japanese brands cross-zip jackets). This will come across in wearing more than photos, of course, except for some obvious cases like the Japanese companies with the tiny shoulders and giant waist.

However, I really do think the black tea core version of the 613SJH is a waste. The brown one, owned by Marc on TFL, is beautiful. If you're getting it, I recommend that. I'm planning on getting one myself at some point, then selling all my black Perfectos except the 613SH.

However, if you're going to have one, or a first, Perfecto, I think black is the one to go for. The leather on the 613SH is nicer than the Shinki, speaking from owning both.
 

livioli

Familiar Face
Messages
97
Not true, multiple Japanese brands offer them.



Incorrect, I have US market Perfectos, both vintage and modern, with all of these features.



There is. With all due respect to Canuck and his genuinely amazing collection, there is a ton of conjecture in these posts and I would argue against almost every assertion here.

The 613SJH, sold by Schott Japan, is the same pattern as the 613SH except in Shinki. (And the patterning on the Schotts is better than most of the Japanese brands cross-zip jackets). This will come across in wearing more than photos, of course, except for some obvious cases like the Japanese companies with the tiny shoulders and giant waist.

However, I really do think the black tea core version of the 613SJH is a waste. The brown one, owned by Marc on TFL, is beautiful. If you're getting it, I recommend that. I'm planning on getting one myself at some point, then selling all my black Perfectos except the 613SH.

However, if you're going to have one, or a first, Perfecto, I think black is the one to go for. The leather on the 613SH is nicer than the Shinki, speaking from owning both.
That's great!

Sorry if I'm asking too many questions but would you mind naming a few other brands that offer Perfectos in Shinki tea-core pls? Are almost all Japanese jackets made from tea-core leather? All I want is a jacket that ages beautifully, and didn't expect all this complication ahah.

As I said, I'm new to all this so I don't fully understand how the Shinki tea-core (peanut butter mentioned by Canuck) fades. Do you happen to know a few examples? I understand that with FC's spray on tea-core, the black just sort of peels off.
 

MrProper

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That's great!

Sorry if I'm asking too many questions but would you mind naming a few other brands that offer Perfectos in Shinki tea-core pls? Are almost all Japanese jackets made from tea-core leather? All I want is a jacket that ages beautifully, and didn't expect all this complication ahah.

As I said, I'm new to all this so I don't fully understand how the Shinki tea-core (peanut butter mentioned by Canuck) fades. Do you happen to know a few examples? I understand that with FC's spray on tea-core, the black just sort of peels off.
Fixated on shinki?
I've only had one jacket made of Shinki, but I don't think the leather is better than others. I think this hype about Shinki has no basis (opinion of a clueless ;)).
How about black Horween CXL? The black holds well, nevertheless, the core comes through at heavily used places... eventually.
 

Aloysius

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3,714
Are almost all Japanese jackets made from tea-core leather?
No, in fact many of my Japanese friends hate leather with a brown core. It’s promoted a lot by stores like Self Edge because they can position it as an equivalent to denim fades. Often a jacket is available in Japan with a dyed through black option but the American stockists won’t sell it because they don’t want to undermine their messaging.

Furthermore despite the ‘tea core’ marketing term that comes from Japan, it’s not an especially rare or even exclusively Japanese thing for a leather to be brown at the core with a different top coat.
All I want is a jacket that ages beautifully, and didn't expect all this complication ahah.

There’s a lot more to leather ageing and developing character than the black top fading or chipping. For example, a dyed through black Schott or Vanson leather looks stunning when it’s been worn hard and the leather has taken on a life of its own. There’s a reason why with so much else in my closet I still end up reaching for the 613SH all the time; the leather is just next level.

As I said, I'm new to all this so I don't fully understand how the Shinki tea-core (peanut butter mentioned by Canuck) fades. Do you happen to know a few examples? I understand that with FC's spray on tea-core, the black just sort of peels off.

Again I would dispute Canuck’s conjecture here. I have never heard of “peanut butter Shinki” nor is it a matter of an old type and a new type. Companies can and do order both normal black Shinki horsehide and the super fast fading type that chips off, some offering a choice. FCL favors the fast fading/chipping variety.

Also, Shinki shell being made at the same location is not an indication of quality. Shinki shell cordovan is an extremely low grade leather used for making kindergarten bags for Japanese school kids. The Shinki tannery makes good leathers and not so good leathers alike. It’s just boosted hard, to a bizarre extent, as a super-leather by much of the denim store world. I’ve had awkward conversations with stores when they’re trying to propagandize to me lol.

Shinki horsehide is good, but I don’t think it’s the best in my closet let alone in the world. I prefer Schott’s Italian tanned horsehide to it in general and Horween’s for depth of color on non black leathers.

To be clear, I don’t mean to sound combative at all. Just clarifying what are some pretty widespread misconceptions.
 

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