Want to buy or sell something? Check the classifieds
  • The Fedora Lounge is supported in part by commission earning affiliate links sitewide. Please support us by using them. You may learn more here.

Sourcing your own leather

Messages
10,924
Location
SoCal
I agree that sourcing your own leather might be problematic, especially if the maker isn't familiar with it.
I prefer to find a jacketmaker who will create the jacket I want and then choose from their options. I think you'll end up with a better jacket in the long run.
 

theundeadkennedy

One of the Regulars
Messages
181
Location
Alaska
I would keep in mind that many of the people on this thread that are attempting to source leather are having jackets made by Johnson's Leather. Alan does very impressive work, but he does not have the same selection of leathers that some of the other companies do. He has a very good selection to choose from, but some people do want FQHH leathers that he does not currently carry.
 
Last edited:
Messages
10,924
Location
SoCal
I get that. Alan just did a great re-line on a jacket of mine.
He knows his stuff, but I would ask for recommendations. :)
 

Fanch

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,490
Location
Texas
I agree that sourcing your own leather might be problematic, especially if the maker isn't familiar with it.
I prefer to find a jacketmaker who will create the jacket I want and then choose from their options. I think you'll end up with a better jacket in the long run.

I would tend to agree with Handymike and go with what the jacketmaker has on hand. I realize there are exceptions to the rule, although personally I am not one of the exceptions.
 

tblay

One of the Regulars
Messages
167
Location
Bmore
Could I just add a bit here, and it is only my, very humble opinion.
But were I a jacket manufacturer, the customer supplying his own hides may be taking just a little more of my profit away from me, because there is good grounds that as being in the trade, I could purchase my materials at a better rate than Joe public, especially as I bought in bulk. So your jacket may cost more in the end as I may charge that little extra to make up my loss.
And, unless the jacket were to be made using a very unusual hide, I may even refuse to do the work because what is wrong with the hides I use?
Oh well, as I said, only my opinions.
JayTee

I completely understand that, and the last thing I'd want to do is offend Alan by, essentially, suggesting his stock hides just aren't good enough. I guess, as another user suggested, it's just that I've grown very accustomed to riding in Horween FQHH, and so I'm trying to have my cake and eat it to, to get an amazing jacket crafter to make me a jacket in what I deem an amazing leather. I don't want to be ridiculous or insinuate weird things about people who ride, but I do think that, when riding, you develop a very real intimacy with the gear you wear. You rely on that gear, not just to help you look your best, but to protect you, keep you dry, keep you warm at well below the given temperature. I can't, nor shouldn't, speak for all riders, but I know I feel this way. And, because of that relationship that develops between me and the gear I rely on, when I find something that works it's hard to let go and commit to something else.

I know this forum privileges fashion, that it isn't a motorcycle wear forum, but many of us here do ride, and I'm just suggesting this as one possible reason people want so badly to reconcile Horween FQHH and Alan's talents. At least for me, it's nothing personal about Alan's stock leathers, and I'd certainly try to make that very clear if I did bring him some FQHH to work with for my jacket. Ultimately, it would be a difficult decision for me, as I wouldn't want to insult him, in spite of my loyalty to Horween.
 

ForestForTheTrees

One of the Regulars
Messages
293
Location
Pacific Northwest
I don't think Alan is at all insulted by customers sourcing their own hides. I certainly wasn't the first one to do so. Alan was enthusiastic about the project and was obviously happy with the end result. He treated me exactly the same as he did when I purchased my first jacket from him using hides that they supplied. I think he's every bit as concerned with the satisfaction of his customers as he is with the quality of his products. It shows in both how he does business and in the products themselves.

When it comes to the jacket that I sourced my own hides for - as far as overall costs are concerned, in the end I still paid less than I would have for a comparable jacket from some of the other more popular makers mentioned around here. I now own a jacket that I prefer, purchased from a guy that I really enjoyed doing business with. I really couldn't ask for anything more. Which probably explains why I'm so content with jackets that I own and have no plans to buy more.
 

technovox

One Too Many
Messages
1,235
Location
San Francisco
I now own a jacket that I prefer, purchased from a guy that I really enjoyed doing business with. I really couldn't ask for anything more. Which probably explains why I'm so content with jackets that I own and have no plans to buy more.

Well said!
Do you have any pictures of your sourced leather/custom jacket you can post?
 

tblay

One of the Regulars
Messages
167
Location
Bmore
I don't think Alan is at all insulted by customers sourcing their own hides. I certainly wasn't the first one to do so. Alan was enthusiastic about the project and was obviously happy with the end result. He treated me exactly the same as he did when I purchased my first jacket from him using hides that they supplied. I think he's every bit as concerned with the satisfaction of his customers as he is with the quality of his products. It shows in both how he does business and in the products themselves.

When it comes to the jacket that I sourced my own hides for - as far as overall costs are concerned, in the end I still paid less than I would have for a comparable jacket from some of the other more popular makers mentioned around here. I now own a jacket that I prefer, purchased from a guy that I really enjoyed doing business with. I really couldn't ask for anything more. Which probably explains why I'm so content with jackets that I own and have no plans to buy more.

Good to hear. Thanks for this input.
 

ForestForTheTrees

One of the Regulars
Messages
293
Location
Pacific Northwest
Well said!
Do you have any pictures of your sourced leather/custom jacket you can post?

Sure. In the first photo you can see the hide that was leftover and sent back to me.

jlHalfBeltAndHide01_zps49755b95.jpg

jlFrontLarge01_zpsecccf008.jpg

jlHalfBeltBackLarge01_zps772de625.jpg

jlHalfBeltLiningLarge01_zpseefa7a43.jpg


More here.
 

nick123

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,362
Location
California
I've been wearing my new Johnson jacket made from the "overdye" steerhide around the house a bit. So far no black ruboff other than an accidental knick in the leather. Wonderful "stock" leather they have on hand... beautiful grainy areas scattered about different parts of the jacket. While the Horween horse has that wonderful " marbling color variation " not present in this batch of overdye leather, I don't recall this definitive "thick" graining in the horsehide. A different kind of beauty but beautiful nonetheless and recommended. The overdye process is not everyone's cup though.
 

tblay

One of the Regulars
Messages
167
Location
Bmore
I'm currently having a jacket made by Alan over at Johnson's leather, and I've been looking into alternative sources of horsehide as well. So for anyone who has experienced frustration in trying to contact The Tannery Row (Horween's custom leather division) to source some horsehide for a custom jacket, here is what I've discovered. Emailing or calling the phone numbers on Tannery Row's site did not work for me. After much research, (and patience, dead ends, and trial and error, ) I finally tracked down a viable email and contact person at Tannery Row.
Her name is Shelley and her email is: shelleyhuard@thetanneryrow.com.
Shelley has been very responsive, knowledgeable, and even promptly sent me some leather samples of some of their horsehides available- Horween's legendary Chromexcel FQHH in both brown and black. And she also included a sample of their "Vermont" line of horsehide.

Side note:
Interestingly, the "Vermont" horsehide feels far more supple, and much softer than the hide on my heavier Horween FQHH Aero jackets. So for someone like me who is looking for a mid-weight horsehide it might be a good alternative. The color of the Vermont sample she sent me is "Espresso" and looks to be somewhat of a deep cordovan/brown in shade. And it shows potentially to have some of the rich character, depth, and subtleties I see in my Aero Chromexcel FQHH brown jacket. The Vermont tanning treatment was described to me as a "combination synthetic and vegetable tanning process." (Here's a link- http://thetanneryrow.com/vermont.html)
But I'm only looking at a small sample, and I have no idea how it will hold shape, or change over time on a custom jacket. I'd love to hear from anyone else who has experience with the Vermont horsehide.

Either way, Alan estimated that I'd need approximately 35- 40 square feet of leather. The Tannery Row price quote was approximately $11.96 to $12.55 per square foot depending on the type of horsehide. (And there is the heavier Chromexcel FQHH available in brown or black.) So ultimately, that could be a considerable investment added to the overall cost of the jacket.

Hope this info helps!

I, too, contacted Shelley but my experience has been odd. In an email, I asked her about pricing brown "FQHH." Several days later, she replied that she didn't know what FQHH was. So then I emailed back, explaining I meant front quarter horsehide. She never responded. Then, I called and left her a voicemail apologizing for the confusion and explaining again what I was looking for. I haven't heard back. Maybe it's just me, but this seems strange.
 

rocketeer

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,605
Location
England
Looks like you may have just enough left over for a pair of shorts.

Ever though of a set of Front Quarter Horse lederhosen? Bet they would go down a storm at the Octoberfest in Bavaria:cool:

Either way, Alan estimated that I'd need approximately 35- 40 square feet of leather. The Tannery Row price quote was approximately $11.96 to $12.55 per square foot depending on the type of horsehide. (And there is the heavier Chromexcel FQHH available in brown or black.) So ultimately, that could be a considerable investment added to the overall cost of the jacket.

Hope this info helps!

So that is(at the high end, 40 sq ft) approximately $480 before they charge to have it made? For that the hides would have to come from a selection of Suffolk Punch that have lived full and happy lives and died naturally of old age(approx. 30 years). The horse would have had to have been grass fed and slept only on selected hay of the finest quality and only worked on sunny summer days.;)
 

Forum statistics

Threads
106,682
Messages
3,019,221
Members
52,274
Latest member
goodolddays83
Top