What’s your favorite leather for a jacket?

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Fireflame, Oct 21, 2021.

  1. Fireflame

    Fireflame Familiar Face

    Messages:
    58
    Hi FL,

    Im starting to look into my next leather jacket. Was browsing around and I stopped myself to ask, “what kind of leather (and/or tannery) would I like”. Wanted to see what you guys consider your favorite and why.

    My current favorite is horsehide from Shinki. Everything from color to grain to even smell is just special. Obviously my first thought about my next jacket was another Shinki horsehide leather but I’m willing to try out another leather/tannery that’s worth it.

    cheers
     
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  2. MrProper

    MrProper One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,820
    Location:
    Europe
    My favorite leather is horse, goat, sheep, cow.
    I don't really care about the tannery. The main thing is that I like the leather.
    But I have little idea. So far I've had Horween, Shinki (but from where there?), Vicenza, Comipel and some leathers that I have no idea where they come from.
    I wouldn't get too hung up on specific tanneries.
     
  3. AeroFan_07

    AeroFan_07 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,278
    Location:
    Iowa
    Been asked many times here...

    Have you done a search yet? Lots of information out there...
     
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  4. Fireflame

    Fireflame Familiar Face

    Messages:
    58
    I’ve searched forum before which is how I discovered many cool brands and leathers. Thought I would get an updated opinion since favorites can always change. If you were to ask me a year ago, I would have said cowhide as my favorite since my jackets were mainly cow. Expanding into horsehide was a big part of finding answers here in FL.
     
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  5. Fireflame

    Fireflame Familiar Face

    Messages:
    58
    Great options. Own a Horween HH jacket and its great as well. Goat is a leather I’ve never held. Heard about it but never was able to find a store near me that might carry it to see how the feel is.
     
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  6. JMax

    JMax I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,733
    Contemporary— Lost Worlds HH.
    Vintage- early Cal Leathers HH, California Sportswear Steer, whoever made my Hercules HH.
     
  7. TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead

    TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,612
    We need more specifics. It's kind of like asking, can someone recommend a car for me?

    Maybe rank the priorities: look, feel, comfort, protection, evolution/no evolution, grain level, longevity, formal/casual, moto/fashion, etc.

    There's at least a dozen well known/discussed tanneries on these forums. A few are on opposing sides of the spectrum, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Another handful are kind of in the middle and do a lot of things well. Most of the people on these boards have a little bit of everything (or have certainly had) and there's a reason for that.
     
  8. photo2u

    photo2u Practically Family

    Messages:
    649
    Location:
    claremont california
    Regarding brands the vintage Californian horsehide jackets are my first choice. For motorcycle riding in "style" Cal leathers is a great fit, for "safety" I prefer Dainese. Regarding leathers, horsehide is my first choice, followed by goat and deer. If I had only one jacket to wear, it would be a horsehide half belt.
     
  9. Fireflame

    Fireflame Familiar Face

    Messages:
    58
    Would love to own a HH Lost Worlds jacket. Heard so much about the brand. Can never find one in my size. As soon as I do, I’ll probably try them out.
     
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  10. Fireflame

    Fireflame Familiar Face

    Messages:
    58
    I completely understand. I guess the reason I didn’t go too much into specifics was because I wanted personal opinions on why one favors a specific leather.
    To answer your question, I’m leaning towards a 30s half belt kind of jacket. what I would look for in a leather would be a nice sheen, mid grain, mid-heavy weight, would ideally wear it daily.
     
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  11. AeroFan_07

    AeroFan_07 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,278
    Location:
    Iowa
    :) This all helps out.

    I have a Lost Worlds on as I type this. 4+ Oz FQHH Chrome-tanned. It is stiff, very thick, a little bit flexible, yet the fit is excellent. I can wear it all day sitting at my desk working.

    The Pattern matters.

    If it fits you - almost any leather type/weight/finish can work well.

    If it does not fit you in a way that works for you, no matter what the leather is, it just won't work correctly.

    So yes, having more specifics really does help.
     
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  12. Fireflame

    Fireflame Familiar Face

    Messages:
    58
    From what I’ve seen, Californian HH jackets are my ideal choice for going vintage. I seen some awesome half belts that I wouldnt mind getting. I’m a size 44-46 so it’s hard to find. Would love to try them out sometime in the future.
    Deer has also peeked my interest as of late. That soft feel is very appealing. Would you happen to know of some brands make a half belt in deer? Only one that comes to mind is Freewheelers.
     
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  13. ton312

    ton312

    Messages:
    13,151
    Location:
    Chicago
    For modern heavyweight leathers:
    Vanson comp weight (yeah even the new stuff), CXL (FQ or cow), LW’s 4oz plus HH. Of the three, CXL is the prettiest. LW and Vanson are sledgehammers. Neither one is all that nice to look at but they are tough as nails. CXL is simultaneously very tough, and very fragile.

    Modern lightweight: 5 Star goat, ELMC HH, Vic

    Vintage: Monarch HH (this is the nicest leather I’ve ever worn, no debate) Cali sports cow (god tier patina), Wards/Windward/Sears/Herc HH. Never had vintage goat, would like to.
     
  14. mtrlr

    mtrlr One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    240
    +1 for Vanson comp weight.

    For easier wearing, Vicenza HH, but Vanson comp weight is easy too, once broken in.
     
  15. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,154
    Location:
    SoCal
    I’m intrigued by the Badalassi hides. They are steerhide or cowhide, but the colors are fantastic and they change as the leather ages- gorgeous stuff!
    Another beautiful hide was Aero’s Connolly steer- they don’t use it anymore, but it can be found. I prefer steerhide to horsehide, but my new to me Rutland sheep is really nice too, a welcome addition to my other more rigid jackets.
     
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  16. Robbie79

    Robbie79 One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,989
    This depends on your personal preferences. Some of us do like heavy CXFQHH /CXSH other do like light/mid-weigth sheepskin, Vicenza HH, Shinki HH, Badalassi cowhide, goatskin, etc.etc. If I was you I would visit several stores to get a feeling which one you like best as some leathers do look good but are difficult to break-in like LW or heavy Horween hides. My favorite leather types are Bill Kelsos Victory HH, Badalassi cowhide and Shinki but the jacket I wear most is the Vicenza Aero Wayfarer as the leather is easy to wear even if Vicenza is positioned on the last rank of my leather jackets...I know it sounds strange but the feel /touch, smell, etc. of the leather does not really meet my personal preferences but easy to wear as no break-in is needed.
     
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  17. El Marro

    El Marro Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,849
    Location:
    California
    I think a midweight Italian horsehide like the one used by Eastman (I believe this hide is from the Victoria tannery) would be perfect for a trim half belt. This leather has a firm hand to it but drapes well and is easy to wear.
     
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  18. Carlos840

    Carlos840 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,341
    Location:
    London
    Personally i am a bit over Shinki.
    They do nice leather, but they also do average one. Now that i have handled as many jackets as i have, i see Shinki isn't nicer than any other good quality leather.
    My main problem with it is the fact that it isn't waterproof, I don't really get the point in wearing a leather jacket that won't keep me dry, it seems silly to me.
    To me Shinki made jackets (and veg tan made jackets in general) are more about style than they are funscionality, and because of that i end up wearing them less than others.

    When i think of jackets that are functional, that will keep me dry and that will save my skin if i dump my bike, my top three are:

    LW 4oz HH:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Kokkolan 5oz Moose hide:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And Vanson Comp Weight:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Canuck Panda

    Canuck Panda Practically Family

    Messages:
    666
    I like them SOFT (like chamois). I like them THICK (4.5oz plus). I like them UNUSUAL (scars and brands and color of the rainbow). Open to any place of origin/tannery, or any type of animal.

    Animals ranging in sizes:
    Leather Skins.jpg
    Most of what the consumers knows comes from what jacket maker tells us. But there are many other tanneries other than Shinki / Horween / Badalassi.
    Most of the US and Italian tanneries are century old businesses, and most of them are still kicking it old school, that means land line phones, fax, and what's email? Do you mean AOL?
    There are surprisingly large numbers of century old businesses in the tanning industry (compared to other manufacturing industries), yet no songs or books written about their history. Sigh.
     
  20. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,752
    Vegetable tanned leathers are not waterproof but some are water repellent. Last week I wetted this elmc roadstar with a spray bottle. 5 minutes later the water was still in droplets / puddles on top.

    33CE061B-8EB7-4455-83B4-38F58AA2E81D.jpeg
    I only took an 'after' pic lol.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2021

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