Natal Leather

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

  1. Monitor

    Monitor

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    My very first of these jackets was a cafe racer tagged Arizona. I later on got a Natal cafe racer which was exactly the same, down to the last stitch, made in leather that I presume came from the same tannery, except that Arizona was like 2x heavy and considering how heavy the leather Natal used work in was, I suppose you can imagine what kind of a dreadnought that was. I bought an Aero right afterwards and felt like crying because I thought I'd be getting something even heavier and instead what was, compared to that Arizona, a lightweight leather jacket.

    Leather was characteristically Natal, only thicker. It was truly insane. Stitching was aesthetically shoddy at places but considering the hide the machinist had to work with, it's no wonder.

    Then I got my Natal cross zip which I sold to fund another jacket, something that would've ended up being a huge mistake even if I wasn't scammed by a crook from New York but live and learn.

    My last Natal jacket and one that could've easily been an endgame piece, if I only had allowed it.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I went to the closet and pulled out my Natal and WD jackets to have a look at them. I have their Cafe Racer style in black and brown. The brown is my favorite, size 44, Natel label, but this time I looked at the black ones more. I have a 42, 44, and 46. I think the 46 is too big on me, but i could wear it over a sweater. They're all very close in size, hardly any difference in measurements between them, but definitely a difference between 42 and 46.

    The 42 is my favorite apart from the brown one, and it could be it's made from horsehide, given the stiff and hard handedness of the leather. The 46 feels like a different leather, super thick but more supple, and feels a bit spongey. If Natal were using deer or elk, I could believe the 46 was made from it.

    The 42 has a hem at the bottom where the unfinished edge of the leather is exposed due to the way its sewn, and using my caliper I am able to get some good measurements of its thickness. I took a few readings and averaged them out to 2.2mm. That's 5-6oz. leather, for one ply of thickness. I'm very impressed with the quality of the leather. The lining is just a typical nylon diamond quilting that is standard from jackets of the era when it was made, and the zipper is a sturdy YKK, robust enough for the leather, and would have been a de facto standard zipper to use for the time as well. I assume the ones I have were made in the 80s or 90s, but I have no real way of telling. It's hard to think of those times being an era 30-40 years ago.

    The 44 seems to be the least worn, and has the nicest looking leather if you're going by how little wear it has on it. I'm sure it's been worn, it just doesn't look like it has. Like the stuff Lost Worlds uses, it's not a leather designed to show wear and patina quickly, it's indented to last and hold up forever.

    The Walter Dyer has side laces to adjust the fit, but is otherwise the same pattern. Maybe just a tiny bit less heavy, although I didn't take the time to actually weigh any of them today.

    I also have a super heavy Natel cross-zip somewhere, which is one of my heaviest motorcycle jackets at around 8 lbs. I don't need anything heavier.

    At any rate probably all three of them are keepers, but I certainly don't need all of them. But I'd have a hard time deciding which to let go. Probably the 44, or the Walter Dyer. But I wouldn't let any of them go for what I paid for them. When I picked mine up, they were all in the $50-150 range, but they seem to be going for more than that nowadays, in some part I think likely due to this thread. They are certainly worth it. I know that Walter Dyer jackets were around $350-400 new at the time they went out of business, but you cannot easily find anything so heavy as a Natal anywhere these days, except for maybe Lost Worlds, and there you're paying $2k+. It wouldn't surprise me if Natal was a $250-300 jacket in their heyday, even $200 would not surprise me. But they are worth so much more than that if you compare them to currently made jackets. They're not really fashion items, but they're just incredible, rugged as hell, yet plain and unassuming, almost ordinary until you pick one up and feel that heft.
     
  3. Monitor

    Monitor

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    Well put, @Guppy.

    The hem on my Arizona cafe racer was also unfinished with an exposed edge - I mean, it was literally the same jacket as Natal / WD - and I measured the leather, which though soft, wasn't even spongy at that jacket, to be approx. 3 - 3.5 mm. Folds were finger thick.
     
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  4. Bad Guitarist

    Bad Guitarist New in Town

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    Guppy did you find out where Golden Bear was located?
     
  5. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    They're in San Francisco California, of course.
     
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  6. Bahabp100

    Bahabp100 A-List Customer

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    Here’s my Natal . Marked size 54 it fits like a 50 long except the arms are almost 29 inches F7D6F3C6-3739-4D1F-85E8-628B9CDFA499.jpeg 416C3432-B994-4877-87D1-2CFC4582FE4B.jpeg B45686B1-D666-4482-A9D2-FF6263F2C82D.jpeg 90FE047F-93AD-46D8-BF9F-25087B2B815E.jpeg 87892D8B-258B-4500-9C59-8C4227BEA1D8.jpeg 918E46BF-6D65-44DB-BD77-3A6C6B207808.jpeg D9B4D676-989E-45CD-B04B-97FBEDA8C005.jpeg A4E8F2E9-3440-4279-BB25-546289AC26EB.jpeg DB2DC35D-6D58-4822-B9AD-248CBF92A2A2.jpeg 8BA6AE2F-D364-4727-879F-B92BE85EDD81.jpeg
     
  7. JMax

    JMax I'll Lock Up

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  8. ton312

    ton312

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    Monitor, AeroFan_07, TREEMAN and 2 others like this.
  9. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Jesus, that's only a few inches shorter than my leg!
     
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  10. Bahabp100

    Bahabp100 A-List Customer

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    On second measure , the arms are 29 1/2 inch long, really.

    I wear a size 30 inseam in jeans . I’ve just sent it along to Arrow LeatherCare in St Louis for sleeve shortening to 25 inches and, a clean and condition inside and out and ozone . Funny thing is its in very clean condition and doesn’t smell at all but I figured what the heck , if it’s there might as well “sanitize” it and to top it off I asked for
    Zip pulls : Classic Diamond Leather pull on main front zip, and leather strip ties on all other zippers. They should get it soon and it’s usually a good 1 month return from my previous jobs. Anyway we’ll see what I will get , it’s a tank either way but will it be wearable with the sleeve shortening and tapering? I sure hope so .
    638E1059-3A48-4E59-AC0F-702841390965.jpeg 80A3C258-BFBD-4A26-9126-8E0805D143E2.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2021
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  11. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I hope they can work with that thick leather.
     
  12. Bahabp100

    Bahabp100 A-List Customer

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    When I asked them exactly how they shorten it he said They can do it, but then they told me “that if we tell you how we do it we may have to kill you” but he promised i wouldn't be able to tell . Fingers crossed .
     

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