Natal Leather

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Guppy, Nov 24, 2015.

  1. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I just picked up a cafe racer style jacket made by Natal off of eBay for $100. After reading some posts here about their quality, I had to see one for myself in person. For $100, I figured it was a pretty good risk. The styling isn't a replica of the pre-60's era, exactly, but is a fairly timeless modern style that won't be going away in any future I can foresee.

    It arrived today, and I'm very pleased at the weight and quality of the leather. It is super thick, like a baseball glove. Fits like a glove, too. It's a size lower than I normally wear, but fits very close and snug over a t-shirt. Top coat is mostly worn away and has developed a fantastic patina with plenty of grain, and a soft hand. Should be a great jacket for early fall/late summer riding.

    Only two things about it that I'd change: the inside pocket is on the right side, making it better for a left-handed wearer to reach in with their dominant hand, and not much of a storm flap behind the main zipper -- only about a quarter inch of leather behind the teeth of the zip. As quibbles go, they're both quite minor.

    These seem to be undervalued on eBay right now, but I don't see them all that often, either. If my example is representative, they're a fantastic value. I feel like this one is worth easily double again what I paid for it. From what I have been able to find, they didn't sell for much more than that new, which is astounding. Today a jacket of this quality would easily command $400-500.

    I haven't been able to determine if Natal is still in operations or if they've gone out of business. Does anyone know?
     

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  2. Monitor

    Monitor

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    12,388
    This is the exact same jacket that I've had, sans the tag name!

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    I've discovered that these are based on a Walter Dyer Cafe Racer model called Scooter jacket, perhaps possibly made at the same place. I don't know, but this same design pops up occasionally, just under different brand names. My jacket was made from an extremely thick leather, literally twice the thickness of an Aero FQHH which would put it at around 5-6oz - at least that's what I've measured it to be. It was very well made with some great features like having pockets lined in heavy duty canvas.
    Below is a comparison photo of Aero J-106 and this jacket.

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    What I didn't like about it that the leather wasn't coated with a protective film of any sort so the jacket wasn't very water resistant. Of course it ever got soaked through due to how thick it was, but it was just something I didn't like about it. Still, it was as good CR as any and three times as tough.
     
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  3. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    That does look like the same model/pattern. Sounds like yours is even heavier than mine. What size is yours? Mine's a 40. I normally wear a 42-44, sometimes 46 and sometimes a 40, just depends on how they're cut...
     
  4. Monitor

    Monitor

    Messages:
    12,388
    I didn't know this at the time but my first Natal was among the best jackets I ever owned. It was exactly the same as the one above. Later model, made from an unbelievably heavy leather that was 6-7 oz or more at places - exactly 2x Vanson or Aero - tho not the kind you'd exactly call pretty. Leather was kinda fuzzy at places, almost like suede, though most of it was really nice. Stitching was wonky, had some rouge stitch holes, etc. I didn't think much of it at the time and I considered it to be a low grade jacket. Naively believed that any Aero or Vanson or Schott or anything else would be an upgrade.

    It wasn't.

    Anyway, while the CR was really cool, figured if I was getting another Natal, I'd rather go with another style. Their classic belted diagonal zip didn't appeal to me, seemed kinda baggy in the photos, but this particular model I really liked. Clean, simple, unpretentious. So when finally one in my size appeared, I wasn't overthinking it much. Probably overpaid but I don't regret a dime.

    While sharing the design with Walter Dyer, Natal Leathers are made from even heavier hide. And yeah, they quite literally are twice the thickness of a standard Aero's CXL. I honestly believe not even LW can even touch these.

    I mean, for a jacket that barely has any hardware, I'd say that 10 lbs is a lot.

    Other than the weight, I think this particular model turned out way better than even the maker ever imagined it would. Perfectly designed and proportioned, the fit is the best I've ever seen on a cross zip. Very slim fitting jacket, even at a size 42 which is supposed to be my size which in most other brands would mean I'd have to size down. Not the case here. Tight around the waist even with the side laces completely undone, comfortable right at the chest and the shoulders. The jacket sits just below the belt at the front with the back panel being considerably longer. Deep, functional shoulder gussets, long sleeves with tight cuff openings (when zippered)... What else... Right! Hand-warmer zippers close downward which immediately speaks quality to me. I rarely see this even on a Vanson.

    Also, when you zip up the jacket all the way up, the collar completely encloses your throat - another detail cross zip fans will appreciate and one that's also rarely seen by even the best in the business.

    So yeah, I can't say enough nice things about this jacket. Don't know who came up with this style first, WD or Natal but I do know that it's not a copy of anything nor it is a half-assed attempt at a diagonal zipper jacket that the market is full of. This is a very well executed, true and proper motorcycle jacket with every part being been thoroughly purposed and designed so that it would actually function, made from the kind of leather you might see once in a lifetime.

    They've been going for barely $100 in the past but lately the prices have picked up, considerably and understandably so because I believe more and more people are beginning to realize they truly do have something special. I personally would rate this jacket as top tier. It is, without any doubt, the heaviest and toughest on the market, sans some of those ancient CAL's, and as functional as anything Vanson ever made.

    Finally, few photos of this particular dreadnought.

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  5. ton312

    ton312

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    Man that seriously looks like real life rhino hide. I love the simple cross zip design. That is DREADNOUGHT if ever there was one. I'm on the hunt for a 44" long. Everyday.
     
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  6. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Love it! I have to find one for me!
     
  7. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

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    looks badass, congrats!!
    give it time and drum dyed fullgrain would show its character too
     
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  8. Fonzie

    Fonzie One Too Many

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    Great review, as always.

    Three things to consider:
    1. You won’t find a cross-zip jacket that fits you better than that one. Amazing stuff.
    2. Your Schott HH Cafe Racer is equally as nice fit and end gamer kind of jacket.
    3. Time to get into a different style rabbit hole, you’ve found grails in the Kaff and Perfecto styles. No need to look further.
    Congrats.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  9. AeroFan_07

    AeroFan_07 My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Really nice. Monitor, that Cross zip (Hopefully you still have it, kind of lost track in your post there) has to be one of the heaviest, thickest jacket's I've seen. I just have trouble with the name. :)
     
    Monitor likes this.
  10. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    When do we get fit pics?
     
    Monitor likes this.
  11. Monitor

    Monitor

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    I keep telling myself that, it's madness to look on further and chase something I cannot even imagine let alone name but there's always this feeling of missing out on something even greater even though that mostly always turns out to be an illusion. Jacket time is over for this year, anyway. I'll try to be happy with what I got. Thank you, though! :D

    @Guppy - That's already happened and TFL has been nice enough not to deserve such a fate twice. I've posted fit photos in the WJAYWT thread. :)

    @navetsea - Yep and I find that that kinda stuff always displays the most honest type of character. Don't ask me to describe it, though.
     
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  12. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

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    the smooth edges of worn areas, cuff, and edges that buffed by time and wear looks cool indeed
     
  13. Worf

    Worf I'll Lock Up

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    I thought "Natal" was some new kind of hide from some hitherto unknown beasty! Silly me...

    Worf
     
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  14. robrinay

    robrinay One Too Many

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    Nice one Worf - those were my first thoughts too - reminds me of the urban myth about Herman Miller chairs in the 60’s being covered in Naugahyde with lots of speculation about what a Nauga looked like.
    Rob
     
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  15. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Just scored. Incoming!

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    STOLEN for $79.99 + shipping. I can't believe no one else bid on it. Seller says it weighs in at 7.9 lbs. I can tell it's pretty thick just from the photos.

    I'm puzzled by the spelling on the label, but I've seen Natal and Natel labels on jackets before. It doesn't make sense that there would be two companies producing identical jackets with a label that is one letter off. It also doesn't make sense that they would change the spelling of the name. I can't find any information about this, though, and would love to know the story. But there's hardly any info on Natal/Natel Leather on the web that I've been able to find.

    I'll be posting a review and fit pics when it arrives.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2018
  16. Monitor

    Monitor

    Messages:
    12,388
    Stolen indeed. No one bid on it because people don't have a clue. Dude...

    Natal or Natel or Walter Dyer, anyone can see these jackets are pure quality. Just look at the leather at the belt. Must be 2.5 mm thick. Leather is very similar to my jacket. Love the correct belt buckle. This is Vanson grade jacket in both quality and design. Review is a MUST!
     
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  17. MET

    MET A-List Customer

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    You may sell it for 500 usd. Great score.
     
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  18. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Lol. I doubt. But these are seriously undervalued for their quality.
     
  19. JMax

    JMax I'll Lock Up

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    Looks like Fox Creek-type leather and overall level. Very good jackets. Heck of a score for $75.
     

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