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Natal Cafe Racer - Can anyone tell me more about this jacket?

mantf

New in Town
Messages
2
Hey everyone! Lurker for some time but first post here.

I bought this Natal leather jacket online for 60€. I thought the jacket was beautiful in the pictures so I did a little research on the brand. The only info I found about it was on this forum, and there wasn't much.

I decided to buy it and I was impressed by how heavy and thick the jacket is! It makes the schott 618 I have look like a plastic bag in comparison.

Does anyone here can tell me more about this brand? I also have another question.

Why does the leather looks different in some places of the jacket? It's damaged?

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Messages
14,416
Location
Chicago
Damaged? LOL. People are paying Fine Creek a mortgage payment for the same effect. In other words….no it’s not damaged. Varied grain on different panels. Natal (Natel) Walter Dyer and Kerr all used this type of leather and it’s brilliant and beautiful. I had one. Among the best cross zips I ever had and I sold it like a damn fool.
EAA77EF8-6021-4540-9D5F-2847C53555FF.jpeg
 
Messages
15,113
Hey.

Natal / Natel are some of my favorite leather jackets ever made. Your comparison of Schott stands and I'm sayin' that as a fan of Schott so... Yeah, in my opinion, you ain't gonna see a higher quality jacket, no matter what you pay. Some with more refined details or stitching, sure but as far as quality goes, you set.

Anyway, there's been a lot of talk on the Fedora Lounge on the history of Natal Leathers but nothing concrete has been unearthed as of yet.

My theory is that there's a connection between Natal and Walter Dyer, seeing as how these several models we see by both brands (this cafe racer, for example) are virtually identical but exactly how... Your guess is as good as mine. Occasionally, you'll see the same jacket made under the name Natel as well but that's an even bigger mystery.

What I can tell you tho is...

Why does the leather looks different in some places of the jacket? It's damaged?

...nah, that's no damage. That's the definition of a full-grain leather you're seeing there. Looks different like that 'cause it wasn't processed like most other leather out there so ironically, while these jackets sell cheap, they actually made in nicer leather than most other, pricier stuff.

In short, this is what actual leather looks like.
 
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Messages
15,113
Among the best cross zips I ever had and I sold it like a damn fool.

Literally 100% that 'cause I done the same and seeing it on you now... I just can't comprehend what the hell possessed me to think I'll ever get a comparable jacket if I sell it and I did. . .

This Natal was it.
 

Will Zach

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,575
Location
Northeast USA
The kidney panel made from a different grain is brilliant. The jacket is as solid as they come. You got yourself a real jacket for 60 euro, congrats.
 

mantf

New in Town
Messages
2
Damaged? LOL. People are paying Fine Creek a mortgage payment for the same effect. In other words….no it’s not damaged. Varied grain on different panels. Natal (Natel) Walter Dyer and Kerr all used this type of leather and it’s brilliant and beautiful. I had one. Among the best cross zips I ever had and I sold it like a damn fool.

But at the front of the jacket, at the bottom of the zipper, the texture on the right side is different from the area above that, being the same panel. Maybe I'm just used to the more "flat" looking leather from schott.
Beautiful jacket btw, fits you perfectly!

Hey.

Natal / Natel are some of my favorite leather jackets ever made. Your comparison of Schott stands and I'm sayin' that as a fan of Schott so... Yeah, in my opinion, you ain't gonna see a higher quality jacket, no matter what you pay. Some with more refined details or stitching, sure but as far as quality goes, you set.

Anyway, there's been a lot of talk on the Fedora Lounge on the history of Natal Leathers but nothing concrete has been unearthed as of yet.

My theory is that there's a connection between Natal and Walter Dyer, seeing as how these several models we see by both brands (this cafe racer, for example) are virtually identical but exactly how... Your guess is as good as mine. Occasionally, you'll see the same jacket made under the name Natel as well but that's an even bigger mystery.

What I can tell you tho is...



...nah, that's no damage. That's the definition of a full-grain leather you're seeing there. Looks different like that 'cause it wasn't processed like most other leather out there so ironically, while these jackets sell cheap, they actually made in nicer leather than most other, pricier stuff.

In short, this is what actual leather looks like.
Interesting, thanks for the infos. In your opinion what would be the best way to restore/maintain a jacket like this?

The kidney panel made from a different grain is brilliant. The jacket is as solid as they come. You got yourself a real jacket for 60 euro, congrats.
Thanks, it was really a bargain!
 

Guppy

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,909
Location
Cleveland, OH
I along with @Monitor are probably the two biggest Natal/Natel afficionados on the forum. There's a number of threads about the brand, if you search for them you can get a bit of an education and see more examples.

Not much is known for certain, they seem to have operated out of New England (Massachussets?) for a time, probably operated from around the 1970s-1990s, don't seem to be around now, and no one knows why they have two different spellings, or if there were two different companies making identical jackets with near identical names, or what the deal is.

They seem to have a connection with Walter Dyer (patterns in common, again not much known), but Walter Dyer jackets are a little bit different in some small ways. Walter Dyers are pretty good, but vary more in terms of weight and style. Walter Dyer just retired a couple of years ago and shut the business down, which is a shame, but the stuff they were making in the last couple of decades wasn't quite to the same standard that the stuff they made in the 80s and prior.

Of the examples I've handled personally, Natel/Natal are just a little bit heavier/thicker and are just about as solid as you can get. Even the heavier weight W-D jackets from the pre-80s aren't quite as thicc as a Natal.

They are built like tanks, with some of the thickest leather you'll find on a jacket. Other jackets may look "better" or more refined, or feel more comfortable, or look cooler, but I'll hold onto my Natel jackets as long as they fit.
 

Viking752

One of the Regulars
Messages
139
Location
Central Florida
I bought a Natel earlier this year and as others have said the leather is some of the thickest I have encountered. It just did not fit me and the lining too thick and warm for my liking. I released it successfully back into the Wild and I believe a fellow Lounger picked it up.

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Blackadder

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,252
Location
China
But at the front of the jacket, at the bottom of the zipper, the texture on the right side is different from the area above that, being the same panel. Maybe I'm just used to the more "flat" looking leather from schott.
Beautiful jacket btw, fits you perfectly!


Interesting, thanks for the infos. In your opinion what would be the best way to restore/maintain a jacket like this?


Thanks, it was really a bargain!
The grain (texture) would be different because it is a piece of skin with hair removed. There are marks and wounds etc on the skin like the belly part will have stretch marks etc. Matching natural grain and discarding parts with small variation would be too costly. Equally, removing the blemish by "correction" and coating etc also cost more. It is probably why often seen on these 80s good quality riders jackets are full grain dyed through chrome tanned leather without correction and/or coating. They are bound to have those mismatched grain because they cannot afford to cut and match perfectly.
Correction and/or coating are not necessarily bad, it actually add to the cost even though it reduces wastage. The problem is correction and/or coating also means that you may be getting a low cost split leather and you would have no way of knowing because the leather quality is masked by the corrected grain and/or the coating that in the case of bookbinder leather shoes, the coating masks the leather underneath. Shoemakers like Florsheim use cheap split leather with heavy masking coating on their budget bookbinder shoes while other shoemakers say Crockett and Jones bookbinder shoes use the same full grain leather and the coating is applied to hide blemish or variation, waterproof and/or for easy cleaning.
Also for example, most of Louis Vuitton leather goods are corrected so they would have uniform grain yet the leather used is still full grain or top grain leather, so they are still top quality. The correction process though cost extra do save them a lot of the time required say to pick out the blemish and match grain.
 
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Bluechel

One of the Regulars
Messages
221
I along with @Monitor are probably the two biggest Natal/Natel afficionados on the forum. There's a number of threads about the brand, if you search for them you can get a bit of an education and see more examples.

Not much is known for certain, they seem to have operated out of New England (Massachussets?) for a time, probably operated from around the 1970s-1990s, don't seem to be around now, and no one knows why they have two different spellings, or if there were two different companies making identical jackets with near identical names, or what the deal is.

They seem to have a connection with Walter Dyer (patterns in common, again not much known), but Walter Dyer jackets are a little bit different in some small ways. Walter Dyers are pretty good, but vary more in terms of weight and style. Walter Dyer just retired a couple of years ago and shut the business down, which is a shame, but the stuff they were making in the last couple of decades wasn't quite to the same standard that the stuff they made in the 80s and prior.

Of the examples I've handled personally, Natel/Natal are just a little bit heavier/thicker and are just about as solid as you can get. Even the heavier weight W-D jackets from the pre-80s aren't quite as thicc as a Natal.

They are built like tanks, with some of the thickest leather you'll find on a jacket. Other jackets may look "better" or more refined, or feel more comfortable, or look cooler, but I'll hold onto my Natel jackets as long as they fit.
Add me to the Natal/Natel aficionados club, I have four or five and the leather seems like elephant skin. I have had passing thoughts as I've "lifted" one on (I'm a size 50) that these jackets would stop a bullet!
 
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