Splitting Horsehide

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Deacon211, Feb 23, 2020.

  1. Deacon211

    Deacon211 Practically Family

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    Hey guys,

    I am looking for a more experienced eye on something.

    I recently received a custom jacket that I noticed had some surface scraping at the shoulder and back seams (2 piece back split horizontally) where the back joins the sleeves in a T.

    On closer inspection I noted that, in addition to the scrapes, the leather had actually split at the fold at three of the four joins.

    My greatest concern was the integrity of the leather, though it is sewn down pretty well. Having contacted the maker, I was told that this is not uncommon, though he did apologize for not noticing during construction whereupon the cracks and scuffs would have been touched up so as to be less noticeable. I was assured that, the cracks will not compromise the integrity of the jacket.

    So I’m less concerned at this point of the seam tearing, which is a relief. But I am curious if anyone else has ever seen this, because I haven’t. I don’t have dozens of jackets. But I do have several, entirely Goat. This is my first horsehide jacket and this phenomenon puzzles me a bit.

    B77B2E53-23A1-4F21-ABE9-D1E730742D20.jpeg 64DBAFD1-D5E4-46CB-94C4-DF4878E4B199.jpeg F5089E6B-D1DC-4528-9CF0-A5D1805BFA88.jpeg

    So, what does the wisdom of the Lounge make of this?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Carlos840

    Carlos840 Call Me a Cab

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    2,745
    Location:
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    It happens when leather is folded on itself and hammered/pressed very hard.
    Some leathers are more prone to it than others, some makers are more prone to it than others.
    The thicker the leather the faster it happens.

    I would say 20% of my 25-30 jackets have that on at least one of the folded seams. It seems CXL does that a lot, all my Aero CXL jackets have it, i have also seen it on my Vansons, my Himel, Diamond Dave and a few others.

    In your case, i have to say that they are quite deep, but i don't think they have a real influence on durability.
    It doesn't look great, but it won't fall apart.

    Here are two of mine, first a Diamond Dave Shinki Horse hide on a shoulder seam, then an Aero CXL HH on a wrist seams:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
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  3. Monitor

    Monitor I'll Lock Up

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    This does happen. Often at that. Seen it on quite a few jackets though not being a tailor, I'm not sure what the cause is. I do know however that the maker is right - it shouldn't compromise the integrity of the seams and it won't be getting any worse with wear.

    If it doesn't bother you, all good. If it does bother you, well, I won't be telling you you should ignore it. It doesn't happen on ever jacket, so...
     
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  4. Deacon211

    Deacon211 Practically Family

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    974
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    Thanks Guys,

    Yeah, I have to admit that it IS a bit like your new Ferrari coming with scratches from the factory.

    The fact that people have had jackets with them that have held together does make it less of a concern.

    I kind of figure they will blend in with the rest of the jacket’s wear after awhile. I just had never seen this sort of thing before and was really curious.

    I knew someone would know here.

    Thanks again!
     
    Carlos840 likes this.
  5. zebedee

    zebedee One Too Many

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    That's normal. It doesn't affect the durability of the leather in any real way. I've had an over-enthusiastic cutter chop a little divot out of a cuff-curve, too: I was a bit surprised, but it's a small cosmetic detail you sometimes get in handmade leather goods. It isn't anything you need to worry about in terms of deepening, because it won't.

    The only jackets I've not seen it on were my thinner or cheaper ones- each horsehide Aero I own has at least one. Oddly my Aero goathide jacket has none, but I reckon it's lighter and more pliable.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
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  6. El Marro

    El Marro One Too Many

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    1,812
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    I’ve got a similar thing happening at a couple seams on a lightly used horsehide Highwayman I purchased recently. I wasn’t overjoyed to see these marks, but they do not seem to be spreading nor causing any structural problems with the jacket.
    If I were in your shoes and had purchased a jacket new I would not be very happy with these marks as they are quite noticeable.
     
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  7. Carlos840

    Carlos840 Call Me a Cab

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    2,745
    Location:
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    What is annoying is that it can be avoided, you can wet the leather before folding it, you can skive the folds, some makers find a way to completely avoid it, yet others have this kind of thing showing consistently.
    If it happened in 100% of jackets i would call it "normal", but it doesn't and for some makers it never/very rarely happens.

    It's a bit like walking foot impression on the leather surface, it's not a big deal, but it is avoidable and shouldn't be visible on a jacket of a certain standard IMO.
     
  8. zebedee

    zebedee One Too Many

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    I've never seen any further splitting- the marks in my Highwayman are the same after ten years as they were when I got it.
     
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  9. Deacon211

    Deacon211 Practically Family

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    Well, I don’t love it. But I can live with it. It’s otherwise a nice jacket.

    It’s interesting that it sounds like it happens less on goat than horse. I had always wanted to try horsehide though. So, learned something new I reckon.
     
  10. Monitor

    Monitor I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,863
    Goat is much softer than horse and more stretchy thus easier to work with. While it all depends on the tannery of course, horse in general does tend to be least pliable of the lot thus prone to this sort of thing.

    But it isn't a big deal. You can always cover it up with shoe paste and forget about it. Out of sight...
     
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  11. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 Call Me a Cab

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    I do not know who made his jacket what kind of horsehide, but I would not be happy to receive a new jacket that looks like that.

    I do not understand how this is in anyway normal for a new jacket. Someone please explain that to me

    I looked at the pictures again. This jacket came out of the box this way? That's damage that's not right. It's been Nick and cut and there's no finish on it! And this is new? Not acceptable. Would you buy a pair of shoes that look like this? Probably not
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
  12. zebedee

    zebedee One Too Many

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    The pics that Carlos posted- all my Aeros except the goat have small marks like that on them. The OP's marks are bigger, granted.
     
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  13. jonbuilder

    jonbuilder One Too Many

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    You might try to color over the spits with some leather polish or leather cream. The split is not repaired but less noticeable like buffing out a scratch in car paint. An application eather conditioner should seal the raw leather. I do not think it's appropriate to expect a leather jacket finish to be held to the same standards as a fine automobile finish.
     
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  14. dan_t

    dan_t Practically Family

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    Nothing to worry about, shoe polish is your friend.
     
  15. Carlos840

    Carlos840 Call Me a Cab

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    That still doesn't make the marks OK in my opinion.
    Yes Aero has that problem, 100% of my Aero jackets show these marks at least once.
    That means Aero uses a technique that creates these problems, not that these problems are acceptable or normal.
    You won't see that on a Freewheelers or a Lost Worlds even though they are made of thicker leather.

    I would also stay well away from shoe polish, i have had regular black Kiwi shoe polish dissolve the top coat of a leather jacket and make things a lot worst.
    If you want to cover the cracks get leather paint, not something with dye in it, you want to cover the cracks on the surface, not have a dye that will seep in and leave an "ink stain" behind once the top coat has worn off.
     
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  16. zebedee

    zebedee One Too Many

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    Aero explicitly does not skive leather- I remember an interview where skiving was viewed as 'trimming down' on the leather the customer received (glue was also not used). The marks don't bother me, but I can see how some might be disappointed.
     
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  17. jacketjunkie

    jacketjunkie One Too Many

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    If I received a jacket like this, I wouldn't be happy. Have to control my Aeros, Vansons etc later, cannot recall noticing such a thing but I have never been a man for details as long as it is not in the most obvious spots.
     
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  18. Deacon211

    Deacon211 Practically Family

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    Location:
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    Well like I said, the chafing at the seam points attracted my attention since the color contrast was pretty different. If not for that I might never have noticed.

    The maker has offered to color it for me, so I assume that they know what to use. They apologized for not noticing and touching it up sooner, so they are acknowledging that it’s not an ideal circumstance. That’s not quite the same thing as addressing the damage directly as they seem to think that this is something that commonly occurs, but it’s not nothing either.

    I certainly understand that a jacket is not a car. But I do respectfully disagree that they shouldn’t come with similar expectations. Variations in the leather texture or color are reasonable (to an extent) IMO as this is an organic material. But this leather is in fact split, which I would gather is neither intended, nor desirable. Moreover, this is a defect not generally displayed in “lesser quality” jackets and is not, I gather, part of the “charm”.

    Again only IMO, if I pay for a premium item like a jacket, I generally expect it to fit no worse than one I can get off the rack and exhibit no greater defects. This is disregarding something special like a hand sewn jacket made of legendary flimsy materials.

    I will likely just live with this jacket as I have enough drama in my life. I probably wouldn’t purchase from this maker again though. Speaking more generally, I’m leaning towards this being my last custom piece. I’ve had almost comically bad luck with custom makers and the practice seems to require a level of acceptance of error that makes my pilot’s OCD twitch! LOL!

    Anyway, I appreciate the opinions and education. My thanks to you all!
     
  19. jglf

    jglf New in Town

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    If you have OCD, (I do in certain areas of my life) then I suggest that thick leather jackets from “custom” makers aren’t for you. There are too many variables when working with this type of material to make it “perfect.” All of my jackets have the same issue as yours and they haven’t gotten any worse over time. Again, if you choose goatskin or a thinner leather, you probably won’t have this problem.
     
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  20. Monitor

    Monitor I'll Lock Up

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    9,863
    Just gotta say this is an excellent post. All 100% truth.

    And I feel exactly the same about full custom jackets. I have all but given up on it forever but have recently made one last & final custom jacket but I'm definitely not nearly as enthusiastic about it as I was few years back. Also had nothing but bad luck - or just maybe I set my expectations too high - but the whole custom business is so very disappointing and not very fun, which is exactly what I believe this hobby should be all about.

    But in any case, you've got a very nice jacket there. That's a very high grade hide it's made of so at least you've nothing to second guess in that regard.
     
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