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Nate's Leather

AeroFan_07

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Interesting. One jacket - the Chicago Police style.

I have bought & sold a couple CHP style jackets - for 10% of that price. Interesting that they are making these, but I wonder how much market there really is for them? @ton312 - how often do you see Chicago Police jackets living in that area?

Got looking more into the site. This place has been in existance since 1958. They have a wealth of services, including:
Nates Leather & Police Uniform provides the following services

  • Custom made Chicago style police leather jackets with official leather patches and buttons. Leather Police jackets start at $799.95
  • Custom made leather jackets / Motorcycle jackets
  • Leather Jacket Repairs
  • Custom Body armor for Law enforcement and security
  • Custom made vest carriers
  • Custom Made Concealed carry Jackets
  • Riot gear for law enforcement
  • Aviation / Aviator Bomber Leather Jackets
  • Alterations of leather jackets
    • Make coats bigger
    • Make coats smaller
    • Shorten sleeves
    • Lengthen sleeves
  • Replace zipper on jackets
  • Recondition and cleaning of leather jacket
  • Patches sewn on motorcycle vest or jackets
  • Leather Custom Load Bearing Vests
  • Custom Leather Work
  • Custom Leather Holsters
 
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Canuck Panda

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My theory is that there are a lot of these single operator leather makers in the States. And they use to supply to retail stores like Walter Dyer. These guys would also bid on regional contracts. I would also imagine this is how Langlitz, Vanson...etc. got started, except they had better luck and grew their brand faster and bigger. There are two types of moto chap cowhide used, one is the stiffer one with a coating (like Vanson) and the other is a soft nappa (like Walter Dyer). Very solid hide.

I've looked at this Nate guy on Etsy store before. Thanks to Bahabp's posts. He has more patterns to offer. The only thing is his pricing. They are about 200 dollars more than what a stock Johnson would cost. But to be fair, the Nate jacket has a lot more details inside like pockets and fur.

There is 95% chance I will try one...
 

Fifty150

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From what I see, Nate's does 1 thing. Supply police. The photos on the website are all police officers wearing police uniforms. The website offers 2 jackets. 1 with patches. The other without patches. For a small shop, that 1 supply contract could keep them in business. Police officers usually buy with a "uniform voucher". $799 may be priced based on what the uniform vouchers allow for. This appears to be a more customized version of the jacket which Taylor sells. Probably better fitting than the generic S-M-L-XL sizing. The inside lining has a better configuration of holster, handcuff loop, pen pockets, and such.

In San Francisco, 2 leather shops supply most police agencies in Northern California. The same jacket is sold by 2 leather shops in Southern California. Logistics. No cop is going from NorCal to SoCal, or vice versa, to get a jacket fitted. Most police agencies have a uniform specification, which details the jacket. So a police jacket from Cal Leather, Johnsons Leather, San Diego Leather, or Golden Bear Sportswear would be very similar. I would guess that there are probably other mom & pop shops across the country, who supply local police, and do not even bother with retail sales.
 

JMax

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From what I see, Nate's does 1 thing. Supply police. The photos on the website are all police officers wearing police uniforms. The website offers 2 jackets. 1 with patches. The other without patches. For a small shop, that 1 supply contract could keep them in business. Police officers usually buy with a "uniform voucher". $799 may be priced based on what the uniform vouchers allow for. This appears to be a more customized version of the jacket which Taylor sells. Probably better fitting than the generic S-M-L-XL sizing. The inside lining has a better configuration of holster, handcuff loop, pen pockets, and such.

In San Francisco, 2 leather shops supply most police agencies in Northern California. The same jacket is sold by 2 leather shops in Southern California. Logistics. No cop is going from NorCal to SoCal, or vice versa, to get a jacket fitted. Most police agencies have a uniform specification, which details the jacket. So a police jacket from Cal Leather, Johnsons Leather, San Diego Leather, or Golden Bear Sportswear would be very similar. I would guess that there are probably other mom & pop shops across the country, who supply local police, and do not even bother with retail sales.

I agree, but would say that to jacket nuts like us, there are vast differences between police jackets made by Cal, JL, GB and San Diego Leather. We are the few.
 

Fifty150

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To most of the cops who wear them, they are just uniform. And everyone has a different opinion. I personally know several guys who would rather wear those 3-in-1, removable Thinsulate liner with Gore-Tex shell. Why? Because they are lighter weight, and allegedly warmer. We are talking about less than 10 guys. But they all say that the leather jackets, from Johnson's and Golden Bear, are too heavy and not warm. I agree. They are heavy. A regular uniform jacket is lighter. And the leather jackets are not warm in winter, and too hot in summer. When the temps are below 50, and you're in the wind, the leather jacket needs more. And on any day over 70, with the sun shining, the jacket is very hot. I still wear my leather, as it protects better. During the winter, I have to layer under the jacket. During the summer, I ride with the zippers open on the sleeve, and the front of the jacket open.
 

Fifty150

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In this pic, you can see 1 guy wearing the standard issue leather, and the guy behind him wearing the standard issue soft fabric jacket. The only thing that I really liked about the issued uniform leather jacket was the fitting. I was custom fitted. I went to the shop to be measured, so that the jacket was perfect when I was in the saddle, with my arms reaching for the handlebars. Which of course means that when I'm standing, the front of the jacket is short and the arms are long.

san-francisco-california-usa-8th-dec-2013-officer-pete-richardon-was-DKYBB3.jpg
 

JMax

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I’ll speak for all of TFL when I say, the officer in front looks better.

Yeah, most of my jackets have longer sleeves than many here prefer. Perhaps longer than even I prefer. But I ride a lot and have tall bars. They have to be longer. As long as cuffs zip up tight, I’m good. I do prefer shorter jackets, so I do win there.

Like you, I’m always in leather when riding. No matter how cold or how hot.
 

Fifty150

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Hopefully, someone here will part with $800, and report back on Nate's jackets. Maybe someone could fly over there, and have a jacket made at the shop.
 

AeroFan_07

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Fifty150 - not knowing your history, it was really hard to tell what your preferances were when you started this thread. Perhaps stating that you have personal experance - and Thank You for that service by the way - might have helped with Context here.

The two Chicago Police jackets I had at various times (none recently) were very substantial and warm. I will be in that area sometime in the next week, and if I can fit it in with thier Monday - Thursday hours, I will stop by and have a look. Probably will wear the Lost Worlds J23 as that may be a conversation starter. Turns out the current shop location is ~ 15 minutes from where I lived in the central Chicago suburbs for 9 years and never knew about it.
 

AeroFan_07

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And - if you ever decide to give up your issued leather jacket (simiar to the one shown in the photo above) just let me know, would be happy to purchase it from you.
 

Fifty150

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My issued jacket is the same exact jacket. From the same place.

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camerazoom-20211212132027252-jpg.387307

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Of course it fits me perfectly, so I don't foresee a point in time in the immediate future where I would give it up. It's custom fitted, so I don't know who else would want a jacket that doesn't fit them.

An issue for me, is that if I'm riding my own bike on my own time, I don't necessarily want to wear a police uniform. Otherwise I would spend all of my time wearing those police issue wool pants, wool shirt, wool sweater......and even the uniform boots. Even though it doesn't have shoulder patches, it just screams "cop". You don't always want that. For riding my own motorcycle, on my own time, I typically wear an A-2 style pilot flight jacket, or a US Wings jacket that they call an "Adventurer". Both are good enough to offer protection from elements and pavement. I also try not to look like someone who has watched too many episodes of Sons of Anarchy. Just a personal preference. I ride a motorcycle for transportation. I don't ride a motorcycle so that other people view me as a "biker".

As a side note, there's a kid in my family who already has his eye on the jacket. He's also got his eye on my bike.
 

Fifty150

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$185 for a leather jacket. That must have been in the 80's. You can tell by the hair and fashion.

Someone should make a video like that at every leather shop. That could be a YouTube channel. Travel across the country making leather videos. One of you Fedora Lounge guys who could ask all the right questions about the hide, recommended leather care, break in tips, et cetera.
 
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