Thurston Italian Vicenza Horsehide Full Grain Veg.-Tanned Horsehide for Aero Jackets

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Superfluous, May 20, 2014.

  1. Plumbline

    Plumbline One Too Many

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    I guesse it depends what finish you want ... I have a number of "Full Grain" jackets which have a distinctly inconsistent finish and which show scarring and marks. Whereas I have a topgrain goatskin jacket which is possibly the nicest aged leather you could ever imagine and shows amazing graining and texture and which is one of my favourite jackets. I also have a sanded ( topgrain) steer nubuck jacket which is simply stunning.

    Lets not get caught up on the top grain vs full grain discussion ... lets just enjoy the variety and supreme quality of the raw materials available to jacket makers and make no bones about it Shinki ( top grain or not) is AMAZING leather :D
     
  2. Monitor

    Monitor

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    It is a pointless discussion, one that will never come to a consensus, I agree. I too have a superbly made motorcycle jacket I love, that went through a slight correction process - many scars and marks are still clearly visible all over it - and is still aging beautifully. Person who made it selected this type of leather because it was, in his opinion, most weatherproof and durable he had worked with, and so far I can only agree.
     
  3. pawineguy

    pawineguy One Too Many

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    +1 - bad full gain leather looks terrible, and if all manufacturers needed to wade through full hides to find those that are not blemished... we wouldn't like the price that would warrant. Vanson comp leather is also top grain, which on that type of jacket is what you really want, an almost flawless smooth surface. On other jackets, some scarring and marks from using full grain looks amazing.
     
  4. nick123

    nick123 I'll Lock Up

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    If you were going to isolate the top vs full grain leather to a controlled scientific comparison, I think full grain has a slight edge over top. But I imagine poorly tanned full grain leather will be inferior to well tanned top grain. So a tannery like Shinki, despite having corrected leather, can still outperform a full grain leather with inferior tanning. So it probably doesn't really matter whether the leather's top or full grained.
    It's also really about preference. Some people prefer natural scars and markings, while others prefer a more uniform finish. Glad there's both.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2014
  5. mendelboaz

    mendelboaz Practically Family

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    ^Amen.
     
  6. devilish

    devilish A-List Customer

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    Having now had a long and very informative discussion with John Chapman about leather. It really comes down to the buyer (maker) and what they want. John told me a lot about what it took to get his Japanese and Italian tanneries to produce the kind of leather he wanted. Neither of them understood at first why he would want such grainy, unfinished leather. To them that was inferior, they were used to rolling the hides to a smooth finish, which is what their usual customers ask for. So the end user plays a big part in what the leather looks and feels like.
     
  7. Superfluous

    Superfluous My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    The great equalizer! Top quality tanneries can produce wildly divergent hides depending on the purchaser's unique specifications. I have seen grainy, character-rich Shinki, and I have seen smooth, flat Shinki (Flat Head comes to mind). Likewise, I have seen grainy, character-rich Full Grain leathers, and I have seen remarkably smooth, flat Full Grain leathers. I personally prefer some character/grain. Other end users prefer a smooth, flat look. Neither is "better" than the other. There is a reason why John Chapman choose Shinki and went through the trouble of specifying the particular finish he desired. Chapman has access to the Italian tanneries (and purchases from them). He has access to Full Grain and Top Grain. Yet, he selected Shinki because it is a stellar leather -- not "better," as there are other stellar leathers. I personally own both Shinki and Italian Full Grain leather -- both are great -- neither is "better."
     
  8. bretron

    bretron Call Me a Cab

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    Exactly!!!
     
  9. pawineguy

    pawineguy One Too Many

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    For those following this thread, what do you have on order in Vincenza? I've got a Sheene in Russet in for September production.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2014
  10. mowgli222

    mowgli222 One of the Regulars

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    I have got a Sheene in Seal for October delivery..
     
  11. devilish

    devilish A-List Customer

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    A Shackleton Waistcoat in Seal on the September production run.
     
  12. pawineguy

    pawineguy One Too Many

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    Very nice... will it have a lighter brown tweed back?
     
  13. devilish

    devilish A-List Customer

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    ^Yes, I believe so as that's the standard Harris Tweed color they offer and I didn't spec any different.
     
  14. pawineguy

    pawineguy One Too Many

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    No reason to tinker with what is a stunning design. Can't wait to see it.
     
  15. ProteinNerd

    ProteinNerd My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Premier Seal 30s Half Belt, can't wait!
     
  16. thor

    thor One Too Many

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    With prices for premium leather jackets being what they are, I am grateful for all the info and shared knowledge here on TFL.
     
  17. pawineguy

    pawineguy One Too Many

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    Well said.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  18. mendelboaz

    mendelboaz Practically Family

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    LOL. But, yes, word.
     
  19. Superfluous

    Superfluous My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Here we go again with Andy/Bill Kelso beating the “full grain is better than top grain” / Shinki sucks drum yet again. Give it a rest. The subject was discussed at length several months ago: http://www.thefedoralounge.com/showthread.php?77070-Full-Grain-v-Top-Grain/page2 . The consensus was that no one really cares – except Andy, who repeatedly uses the largely irrelevant distinction to unnecessarily disparage his competitors (and I use the term competitors very loosely, as Bill Kelso is hardly competing with the likes of Goodwear (two year wait list) and Real McCoys).

    I have never had a single person look at my jacket and proclaim: “holy smoke, I see hair follicles . . . that is one poor quality jacket you are wearing.” Moreover, the possible presence of tiny hair follicles, that are only visible under magnification (e.g., macro photography), does not cause me the slightest bit of concern, nor diminish my enjoyment of my jacket one iota. In other words, I do not care! If anyone else here cares, and wishes to unload their GW, RMC or other Shinki jacket because it might contain hair follicles that are visible under magnification, please send me a private message and I will gladly unburden you.

    There is also an underlying issue of semantics. For example:

    “Full Grain leather is defined by Leather Industries of America (LIA) and the American leather manufacturing industry that it represents as: ‘The grain split of a hide from which nothing has been removed except the hair and associated epidermis.’ . . . The above definition is consistent with the official definition promulgated by the International Council of Tanners (ICT), the International Union of Leather Technologists and Chemists Societies (IULTCS), and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) which is as follows: ‘Leather bearing the original grain surface as exposed by removal of the epidermis and with none of the surface removed by buffing, snuffing or splitting.’ Top Grain leather is the same as full grain leather.”

    http://www.leatherusa.org/i4a/pages/...fm?pageid=3286

    Andy will quickly dismiss the foregoing industry definition – because it does not suit his purposes – but certain jacket manufacturers use “top grain” and “full grain” interchangeably. For example: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152321857510867.1073741963.511850866&type=3 (“. . . when you use full top grain uncorrected veg tanned horsehide it . . .”).

    I am informed that Shinki uses uncorrected horse hide. In fact, Shinki purchases its horse hides from Northern Europe precisely because they have far less scarring and other imperfections and, therefore, do not require correction. Shinki pays a premium to purchase Northern European hides, as opposed to South American hides, precisely so that it can sell uncorrected horse hides.

    Andy says the mere presence of (irrelevant) hair follicles conclusively demonstrates that Shinki corrects its leather and Shinki is lying if it states to the contrary. Those far more knowledgeable than I state than Andy is mistaken, and the mere ability to see hair follicles on magnified leather does not prove that the leather has been corrected. I am not an authority on the subject and cannot resolve this disagreement. That said, I question why Shinki would pay a premium for the best available, unscarred hides from Northern Europe, that do not require correction, then correct the hides that do not require correction????

    Frankly, after the original discussion several months ago, I came to the conclusion that none of this really matters. Instead, what really matters to me is the appearance and utility of the final product. The Shinki jackets I have handled look great (microscopic hair follicles and all)! That is the ultimate litmus test. I am not purchasing laboratory experiments for microscopic examination; rather, I am purchasing jackets that I wear and enjoy without magnification.

    Andy wrote that John Chapman and David Himel use inferior leather because they cannot get anything better, they are willing to compromise and accept inferior leather, and they are riding the Japanese bandwagon. For example, Andy wrote:

    First and foremost, I commend John Chapman and David Himel for not stooping to Andy’s level by responding to his disparaging and unprofessional post. Kudos for taking the high road. Second, several of Andy’s insults are inaccurate. For example, Shinki is not a less expensive option – to the contrary, Shinki is equal to or more expensive than most Italian horse hides. More to the point, I am informed that Shinki is more expensive than Andy’s Victory hide. Thus, John and David selected Shinki not because it was a less expensive option, but rather, even though it was more expensive (because they believed in the virtues of Shinki leather). Second, the majority of these leathers are equally available to everyone. In fact, Goodwear has been offering Italian HH for quite some time, along with many other hides. Thus, John and David did not select Shinki because they had no other options, but rather, because notwithstanding the other options readily available to them, they believed that the more expensive Shinki was as good as the other available options. Finally, offering Shinki leather does not create the instant credibility that Andy suggests. To the contrary, Shinki is a relatively unknown tannery (even within repro circles). Had John and David sought instant credibility in terms of their source of leather, they would have selected Horween, which is far, far more recognized (and less expensive). Similarly, marketing "Italian" leather is generally more credible than an obscure Japanese tannery.

    Andy’s insatiable desire to levy ad hominem criticism at his competitors is rather distasteful. Again, I commend John and David for staying out of the fray. In the rare instances when John posts, he is always respectful and deferential of other jacket manufacturers. Andy could learn a thing or two from John. GW does not have a two year waiting list because John denigrates his competition. Rather, GW has a two year waiting list because, among other things, John’s respectful, professional approach is exactly the opposite of Andy.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2014
    JDelage likes this.
  20. devilish

    devilish A-List Customer

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    Word.
     

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