Re: My visit to Jacket shop

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Posted by Michaelson from on April 20, 1998 at 13:47:13:

In Reply to: Re: My visit to Jacket shop posted by Michaelson on April 20, 1998 at 13:05:39:

: :
: : Hi Folks

: : I visited Wested leather a few weeks ago in London, with a view
: : to ordering a Raiders jacket. This is a garment I have admired
: : since I first saw the movie in 1981 and was further encouraged by
: : all the good reports I have read from those (many from USA) who have
: : received a jacket by mail order.

: : Folks I have to level with you....when I saw the jacket my heart sank,
: : I couldn't believe this was the same item I have been after all these
: : years. To say the materials used are thin, soft and light weight are
: : (I'm sorry) gross understatement. I'm not trying to be negative here,
: : but to those who have ever owned a leather jacket made from hide (this
: : item is made from skin), you will be very surprised at just how (dare
: : I say it) flimsy this jacket seems when viewed (and worn) at first
: : hand. Incidentally this is the "Raiders" jacket, open storm flap
: : unlike Last Crusade which had stud fasteners top and bottom.

: : On reflection it was in keeping with a similar experience I have had
: : on seeing props from movies and TV shows at exhibitions (eg Star
: : Wars, Star Trek etc)in Europe and The States. In essence what looks
: : good on the big screen, more often than not looks distictly
: : unimpressive when given close up or as in this case "hands on"
: : inspection.

: : On the plus side the staff were very friendly and helpful, and I felt
: : quite welcome to browse in the store. I realise the posts on this
: : subject have been overwhelmimgly positive and that without exception
: : other posters seem "thrilled" and "excited" etc with their jackets.
: : Perhaps it was this that threw me, and contributed to the experience
: : being such a let down. The above of course is just my opinion,
: : everyones taste being different etc but I thought I would share
: : my experience regardless.

: : Regards

: : Bob

: Bob, very sorry to hear of your bad experience regarding the jacket. Being one the recent folks receiving a jacket here in the US, I understand your surprise concerning the "light weight" condition of the leather, but let's back up a second and look at this again. I understand there are many grades of leather out there. As I understand from reading and questioning folks around here in south central Tennessee, don't be fooled by the light weight material. We have two tanneries here in Tullahoma because Worth baseball factory is based here, as well as a large leather coat factory that make Navy G-2 flight jackets as well as A2's under contract for the US government. Apparently, according to them, the "weight" doesn't denote the strength of the item. Goat skin and calf's skin (the material in the Raider's jacket) are listed as the densest animal "fiber" available for production of jacket or clothing material because of it's ability to withstand stress and abrasion. Kangaroo is listed as up there too in the exotic leathers (David Morgan's whips). Horsehide is next down (baseball/softball material), then good old cow skin, the tried and true "heavy weight" material, but least expensive of the lot. The calfskin used by Peter Botwright is the hightest quality part of the hide, and is used only in items that will experience extreme stress, and not tear or fray at seams. So while it is that tough, it also is light enough to be worn on a summer day without cooking you, as my regular cowskin A2 does. I hope this is helpful information. I thought the same thing when I received a goatskin vest as a gift, and wondered if it would even last a month considering how light and soft it was. That was 4 long years ago, and believe me, it's as tough as nails. Incidentally, it is used as motorcycle leather material, too. If that ain't tough, nothing is! Regards. Michaelson

Just noticed I kept writing calfskin, when I meant to write lambskin. Please insert lambskin everywhere calfskin appears. Sorry about that. Brain is starting to vapor lock this time of day. Regards. Michaelson

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