What is the current (May 2022) wait time for a jacket?
Currently, the wait time is from 2 to 6 months but it depends on what you are ordering so please email us so that we can guide you more accurately. Sometimes wait time can be about 8 months or even 12 months (again depending on what you are ordering). Why so long? you‘re wondering? Because, a) we have a long list of customers who ordered before you and b) because most of the materials we use in our jackets are custom made and they are not readily available to buy whenever we want. They have a production time which nowadays (due to Covid, wars etc) is longer than usual and transit times have become also longer. Why don’t you stock larger quantities of those materials? you ask. Simply because we stock a multitude of materials and if we were to stock larger quantities of everything that would have a pretty negative impact on the price of the jacket you are buying. So with speedy delivery comes higher price and we think you would prefer to wait a little longer in order to get a more affordable price. Right?
How does your company work?
We design and create in-house boutique quality handmade leather jackets replicas of vintage originals. We use the highest quality Italian and Japanese leathers and our other materials are all very high quality custom made stuff made in USA, UK and Japan. We offer MTO (made-to-order) and MTM (made-to-measure) jackets. Our manufacturing works 7 days a week for 11 months a year, while in August we follow what the tanneries do and close for holidays so we do NOT offer shipping during August. Depending on workload our customer service may work AOH.
Our customer service works during office hours from Monday to Friday. Please do not expect your emails to be replied during the weekend.
Do you offer Short and Long Sizes?
Yes, we can provide (S) Short and (L) Long sizes. The Short will be 1 inch shorter than the Regular size in the body and sleeves and the Long will be 1 inch longer than the Regular. We do not charge extra for Short and Long sizes but please note anything other than Regular is considered customized and hence not accepted for return or refund.
How to determine the right size for me?
Please email us the following info:
Your Chest circumference
Your Waist circumference (at belly button level) Your Shoulder circumference –With the arms relaxed and down at the sides, measure around the shoulders just above the biceps.
Also, do you want slim fit, regular fit or relaxed fit?
What kind of leathers do you use?
We make jackets with horsehide, cowhide (steerhide), goatskin, capeskin and lambskin.
How good is the quality of your leathers? Where they come from?
We pride ourselves for the quality of our leathers. They are all best quality full grain leathers hand-picked from the best tanneries in Italy. They are leathers developed by us and custom made for us. Our Japanese leathers come from Shinki Hikaku tannery.
Are your leathers vegetable tanned of chrome tanned?
All our leathers are vegetable tanned except the goatskin and lambskin which are chrome tanned.
Are your leathers aniline?
Yes, we do have aniline leathers. If you want more specific information please ask.
What is the thickness of the leathers you use?
The horsehide we use for our A-2 and civilian jackets is 3oz and the goatskin we use for the US Navy jackets is 2/64 – 3/64 inch thick.
Which leather should I choose for my A-2 jacket/Civilian jacket?
It depends. If you want total authenticity, you should go for the Liberty horsehide. We custom made this leather to be an exact match to WWII era originals. A jacket made with that will look and age exactly likd the originals did. If you like a vintage style jacket but don’t care about period accuracy, you can select any other of our high quality leathers.
I am looking for leather rich in grain, very natural looking with depth in color and undertones. Which of your leathers should I choose?
You will be fully satisfied with our second to none Victory horsehide which is the best horsehide known to man and has those exact qualities you are looking for. However, its procurement can often be a problem because of the long time required for its production. Please ask us if it is readily available or when the next batch is expected. In case, not available, the next best thing in that area is our Badalassi cowhide.
What about your Victory horsehide? Why is it so expensive?
Victory horsehide is made of the highest quality Italian Full Grain vegetable tanned leathers. It comes from a high end tannery in Italy who produces horsehide by using only with the best quality raw hides available. The tannery has revived a vintage tanning recipe to tan it. Victory horsehide is 100% natural and hand made from start to finish. Absolutely no chemicals are used in its production. It is even dyed naturally without the use of dyes. It has THE most natural and best looking grainy texture that you will ever find anywhere and at any price. Its high price relates to its superb quality, its scarcity, the handmade process, the brand of the tannery and of course the long duration of its production which can be around 6 times longer than that of other vegetable tanned leathers. Victory horsehide is the absolute best in horsehide in the world and has no equal. The second best is far behind it.
Why you call it Victory horsehide? Where did the name come from?
Because it is the best and most expensive horsehide in the world. Its quality is unbeatable and hence the name. Plus, with offering such great quality we declared victory in the war against the competition (if you believe that such things exist anyways).
What is your Liberty horsehide?
Our Liberty horsehide is specifically made to be an exact 100% match to vintage (WWII era) horsehide. The development of leather that matches the horsehide used in WWII jackets was done in a “scientific manner” by our tannery. (Some imbeciles were amused with the term “scientific manner” because they ignore that tanneries employ full time chemists [i.e. scientists] who are occupied with the making and analyzing of formulas used for tanning and the application of leather finishes). The task of recreating those leathers exactly is not an easy one. Proof of that is that nobody else has managed to recreate the look and feel of vintage leathers exactly until now. It took us 7 long years of efforts but we finally made it. We developed Liberty horsehide for the purists. For those who look to buy exact replicas of original vintage jackets. With this leather we literally resurrected vintage leather jackets and can now offer you jackets that look exactly like NOS (New Old Stock) unworn vintage jackets. This means that jackets made with this leather will appear the same and will also age the same way i.e. will quickly show edge wear and the finish will fade in the same way like vintage jackets. This is by no means a defect of the leather. We put a lot of money time and energy into recreating these effects. Liberty horsehide is something special that nobody else in the market can offer. Other makers use various kinds of leathers but their jackets never look right. They look nice but do not look like original vintage jackets. The leathers they use do not resemble the originals. We too have tried various other leathers before and of course the jackets could make came out beautiful but something was missing. It was the real vintage look. No one was able to provide that. Not until now. Liberty horsehide is tanned in the vintage way and will age just like original jackets did. Daily wear of about 6 months, or less, will be enough for the jacket to show aging of the same kind encountered on originals. Liberty horsehide is the only one in the world that resembles vintage leathers and is exclusive to Bill Kelso Mfg.
Why you call it Liberty horsehide? Where did the name come from?
For many decades vintage leather jacket aficionados were looking for a leather that would have the same qualities as vintage leathers, i.e. to look the same, and age and develop patina in the same way. Liberty horsehide does all that so with it we literally liberated all the fans that were waiting for such a leather to hit the market.
What is Full Grain leather?
Full Grain leather refers to the highest quality hides. These are the first selection hides (first grade out of 5) which maintain their original natural characteristics and grain. These hides have not been sanded, buffed, or snuffed (as opposed to Top Grain, or corrected leather) to remove imperfections (natural marks, scars, insect bites etc.) on the surface of the hide because those imperfections are from minimal to zero. The grain remains allowing the original fiber strength and durability. Rather than wearing out, Full Grain leather will develop a patina during its expected lifetime. High quality leather furniture and footwear are often made from Full Grain leather. Full Grain leathers are typically vegetable tanned and available in two finish types: aniline and semi-aniline. Full Grain leathers will develop wrinkles and become grainier with wear. The latter happens because tanneries usually iron (hot roll) leathers during production to make them smoother. With wearing and use leathers will become softer and more relaxed and the ironed grain will pop up.
Why don’t you use Shinki leathers like the Japanese and the other high-end repro makers do?
At the very early stages of our venture we considered to use Shinki horsehide, because using leathers from such a well-known tannery could give our jackets the lavish appearance and popularity of Japanese made garments. We knew that was the strategy that other North American brands had used successfully before us. Unfortunately, the import costs of Shinki leather were too high and we wanted the price of leather we would offer to our customers to reflect its real value and not be inflated by taxes and duties. For that reason, we traveled to Italy bound to find leathers of the highest quality that could be had without the heavy import costs. There, deep in the mountains of Tuscany we discovered Victory horsehide, a Full Grain leather of amazing quality used only by Italy’s most highly acclaimed fashion brands. At the time, being a newcomer in the high-end leather jacket market we needed the absolute best in raw material in order to be able to stand next to the already established giants, so the choice was clear. Victory horsehide is in fact more expensive than Shinki so we ended up paying more than originally planned but we did it without any hesitation to gain the benefit of competitive advantage by offering to our customers leathers of much greater value.
In the recent years we have been able to include Shinki in our roster, so Medium Brown, Seal Brown and Black (teacore) colors are now available.
What is Top Grain leather?
Top Grain leather (the most common type used in high quality leather products) is the second-best quality (grades from 2 to 5) and consequently less expensive than Full Grain. It represents the second selection of hides. Its surface has been sanded by a couple of millimeters to eliminate imperfections such as natural marks, scars, insect bites etc. As a result, the whole or part of the grain has been removed. Often a finish coat is added to the surface which results in a smooth, colder, plastic feel with less breathability and will not develop a natural patina. Due to the absence of grain which is the toughest part of the epidermis Top Grain leathers are less durable than Full Grain. Top Grain leather may develop “wrinkles” with wear; however, wrinkles should not be mistaken for grain. Top Grain leather will not develop grain. Grain cannot not be developed, it’s either there or it isn’t; and in the case of Top Grain leathers, some of or all of it, has been removed. The quality of Top Grain leather is determined by the quality of raw material (i.e. which grade) and of course the extent to which its grain has been removed.
Is there any practical difference between Full Grain and Top Grain leathers? Why do I have to care?
Not much. Both hides are tough enough and both will make nice looking jackets. They will both have the exact same function, i.e. keep the cold and the wind out, etc. But then again, why don’t you buy a nice nylon jacket? or, an equally good pleather (“faux leather”) jacket. They make them really nice these days. I guess not. You are here to buy a real leather jacket. And Full Grain is leather in its purest form, its most natural form. If that’s what you are after, go for it. If you don’t care and you are fine with processed leather (Top Grain) then that’s the right one for you.
How can one tell Full Grain from Top Grain leathers?
In Top Grain leathers the grain has been removed (either fully or partially depending on the quality) and where the original grain is absent one can see the animal’s hair follicles. Hair follicles do of course exist also in Full Grain leathers but are very difficult to spot because in such leathers only the top part of the hair shaft is visible and that is ultra thin. Going down the shaft of the hair at the root of the hair the follicle’s diameter becomes wider, so if for example a millimeter or two of the top surface of the skin has been sanded off, one sees deeper in the hair follicle where the hole is wider and hence more visible.
Other makers claim that they use veg. tanned Full Grain leathers too. How does your Victory horsehide compare to theirs?
Our Victory horsehide is a vegetable tanned Full Grain leather produced with a vintage recipe and done 100% by hand. That gives beautiful natural leather which maintains all the original grain and texture and that has an appearance like no other. Other tanneries produce Full Grain veg. tanned leathers but they use modern tanning methods and machinery (i.e. not made by hand) so their leathers can never look the same or close to our Victory horsehide. Mere comparison of our Victory horsehide with any other vegetable tanned leather will be enough to show that.
How do your A-2 jackets fit in comparison to other modern reproduction A-2s?
Our A-2 jackets are exact replicas of WWII jackets which fit more slender than today’s jackets.
What is the period correct TYPE A-2 fit?
The answer is that there is no correct fit. These jackets were worn long, short, blousy, fitted, droopy shoulder and what have you. So the only correct fit would be the one YOU like.
Some school of thought believes that it should be fitted like modern jackets but we would not advise applying modern fashion rules onto a vintage utilitarian design like the TYPE A-2.
A customer referring to his ‘as worn’ photos put it very nicely by saying: “The one that looks like ‘a perfect fit’ was completely uncomfortable to live in. In the bigger one I can actually zip it and answer the phone or drive a car”.
That is indeed the major consideration, to go for looks? or for comfort? The jacket that will look better on you will restrict mobility and the one that will feel more comfortable might be a little blousy etc.
If you are not overweight, you will have less to worry about. The fitted jacket will not be as uncomfortable as if you are overweight.
To determine whether you are overweight or not please refer to the below chart from Encyclopedia Britannica.
If you are a bit overweight but in love with the fitted look, we encourage you to get the fitted jacket. The jacket should still be looking great on you but also bit restrictive for which the remedy we recommend that it’s never too late to start training to go back to a healthy weight. See? Wearing the A-2 jacket can make a positive contribution to your health.
If I want a slim fit jacket can you make it?
Sure we can.
How good are your jackets in comparison to other high end reproduction makers’ jackets?
We always believe that the best repro is a combination of 3 things. Fit, leather quality and details. There should be no question about the fit since we use original patterns which endured the test of time. Also, we use the best leather money can buy so can’t go wrong with that either. We are obsessed with details and will construct jackets with extreme attention even to the last detail. Remind you, the Devil is in the details.
That said, we GUARANTEE that you will find our jackets (both A-2 and Civilian) to be better reproductions of the originals than those made by ANY other repro maker WORLDWIDE. The reason is simply that although others may use original patterns and correct hardware, their leathers are completely off as they use the tanneries’ modern leather offerings and not leathers tanned in the vintage way, like we do. As a result, no matter how well made, their jackets will appear clearly different than originals (simple side-by-side comparison with originals is enough to show that), so a more suitable description for them would be “vintage inspired” and not exact reproductions of the originals like ours are.
Fine, but all manufacturers tell me the same story.
Thanks, we have seen jackets from all other manufacturers and know exactly what they make. We suggest you do the same. We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t think we can make great jackets. We offer satisfaction guaranteed, or your money back.
"You seem to be blowing your own trumpets a lot and putting yourselves on a pedestal over other manufacturers, isn't that bad taste?"
Every single statement made in our website is absolutely true.
Can you make fit adjustments/customizations to my jacket?
We offer Short and Long sizes without any extra cost. For a number of years we made whatever customizations free of charge unless the pattern had to be modified in which case we charged extra. At this time, we can accommodate any request for customization for an additional cost of £50.
I heard that your civilian style jackets have wide cuffs. Is it true?
Obviously not. We use original patterns and have copied the size of the cuffs exactly. Perhaps the comparison is made with modern style jackets which have very narrow sleeves/cuffs. We too like them, but chose not to alter the original vintage jacket patterns, as we prefer to remain true to the original. Because that’s what we are about, we make authentic reproductions of vintage jackets. If the sleeves or cuffs were wide on someone is probably because he might have thin arms and/or small hands. Needless to say, if a customer wants narrower cuffs or sleeves we will be happy to accommodate him.
Can I change my size/specs after I have placed my order?
You can change your size/specs within 3 days after we have received your order and your address until the order ships.
Where are your leather jackets manufactured?
Our jackets are styled in USA and made exclusively in our workshop in the old city of Athens, Greece where there is tradition in quality leather products since the ancient times. We make our jackets with leathers we import from Italy and materials we import from USA, UK and Japan.
Can I visit you to see and try on the jackets?
No sorry, we used to have a showroom but not any more. Our workshop is not open to the retail public. All sales are via this web shop.
When will my order be shipped?
The expected shipping date is different for each item because it depends on availability of materials etc. Please ask us about turnaround time before you place your order.
Can I exchange or return an item after I receive it?
Unlike other brands, we don’t carry inventory. This helps us keep our prices low, but makes exchanges a bit trickier. We’ll do our best to facilitate swapping out NOT CUSTOMIZED IN ANY WAY unworn, unwashed and unaltered items for a similar style or store credit. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to email us.
Do you ship internationally?
Absolutely – we’ve sent jackets to over 50 countries!
Will my order be affected by Brexit?
Following UK’s withdrawal from the European Union last February, goods shipped from UK to EU countries may be subject to VAT and various other import charges and fees. We would like to assure our EU based customers that our products ship from within EU so there will not be any import costs whatsoever when they land to EU countries.
Similarly, for our customers who live in the UK, our logistics partner ensures that no import costs of any kind will be due on delivery.
Do you have any items in stock that I can buy now?
Can you ship me a jacket to try on so I can figure out my size?
We might, it will depend on the size. We keep very limited inventory on hand, usually our display jackets which are all size 40.
I have an original jacket that needs repairs. Can you do that?
We used to offer free repairs for original jackets but cannot do that anymore. You will need to send us photos of your jacket so that we can determine if a repair is possible.
I have a repro jacket that needs repairs. Can you do that?
We used to repair everything but now due to time limitations have to refuse to repair any repro except if it is our make.
Why does my Bill Kelso jacket measure smaller than your advertised measurements?
We cut the leather pieces in the dimensions required, plus adequate allowance for the seams, so that when the jacket is assembled it will measure according to our jacket measurement tables, or the measurements you have requested. The standard seam allowance used in every seam is 3/8 of an inch. It follows that every piece is cut at least 3/4 inch LARGER than the required measurement (i.e. 3/8 inch per side where there is a seam) which simply put means that we couldn’t have made your jacket smaller.
After a jacket is sewn it might not be possible for the inexperienced to measure it correctly because it cannot be easily made completely flat to be properly measured. This is the reason why most customers take shorter measurements and think we made the jacket smaller.
Obviously it would be inappropriate to add another allowance of say ½ to 1 inch to the patterns, i.e. make the jackets bigger, to account for the incapacity of someone to measure correctly.
We can only insist on advising the customers to measure the jacket zipped up and laid on a table where it should lay completely flat. To take the measurement one should grab firmly each side of the distance being measured and pull hard to stretch the leather up to the point of no distortion. Then take the reading of the measuring tape, as follows:
-from tip to tip if measuring shoulders.
-from seam to seam if measuring armpit to armpit (provided front and back width is the same).
-from collar seam to end of leather if measuring the back (if jacket has knits, add 3 inches for waistband height).
-from shoulder seam to end of leather if measuring the sleeve, by measuring the outer side and following the curve of the sleeve (if jacket has knits, add 3 inches for cuff length).
I have an original (or other) jacket that I want reproduced. Can you do that?
For the right price, yes!
What about care and maintenance?
First of all, when you receive your jacket try not to open the box with a sharp object like a knife or cutter, but if you have to use one, take proper care not to damage the contents of the box. Clean by professional leather cleaning method only. Do not attempt to hand wash, machine wash, or clean by ordinary dry cleaning methods. If your leather jacket becomes wet, let it dry at room temperature away from sources of heat. Store your leather jacket in cool, dry places. Hang it on a wide wooden, plastic or padded hanger to help maintain its shape or preferably let it lie on a shelf unfolded. Do not put any tea leaves or other organic material on your jacket while in storage (yes, there is people who actually do that) as it may have adverse effects on the finishing. When storing, do not cover your leather jacket with plastic. The plastic will cause the leather to dry out. Avoid exposing your leather jacket to direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time. Generally we do not recommend applying any cream or other similar products on your jackets for a long time. Tanneries have produced these leathers in such a way that they do not need anything for at least 15-20 years. However, if necessary, suitable leather conditioner should be applied. Always apply with a soft cotton cloth. Before applying, ensure jacket is dust and dirt free and test in a small less visible area. If you do not notice any discoloration, or darkening of the leather, apply to the rest of the jacket. To remove any odors from the jacket, hang it outside in the fresh air for as long as possible. We do not recommend use of Hot Water Treatment (HWT) or other extreme methods of artificial aging.
I heard your customer service is the worst. What do you have to say about that?
Thanks. Over the years we have offered the following:
• Customer service in four languages, English, French, Russian and Japanese via Google translator
• Free shipping (in certain cases)
• Free shipping by courier (in certain cases)
• Free shipping to all EU customers
• Free shipping to all UK customers
• Free repairs, free alterations
• Free zipper replacement
• Free knits replacements (even for jackets not made by us)
• Free customizations, free length adjustments (up to 2 inches longer)
• Free repair parts, extra buttons, thread etc, incl. free shipping
• Customs friendly shipping service
• Full refunds including shipping costs both ways
• Free jackets for prize draw winners
• Free jackets in exchange for original patterns
• Free goods (belts etc.)
• Special offers – brand new jackets 50% price down
• Special offers – two jackets for the price of one
• Produced custom runs of parts on request (at no price surcharge)
• Produced custom color leathers on request (at no price surcharge)
• Exclusive (not available in the market) fabrics for linings on request
• Lifetime guarantee for zippers and/or sliders
• Full guidance on measurements and fit
• Provided try on jackets for fitting purposes to customers abroad, free of charge
• Provided leather samples, fabric samples, thread samples, etc
• Tailor’s personal attendance for taking customer’s measurements at their home
• Special prices for returning customers
• Discount coupons
• Accommodated changes in the specifications even after jacket construction had begun, at our loss
• Made jackets with customer supplied leather
• Made jackets of customers’ own design
• Cleaned, redyed jackets free of charge
• Attached customer’s own patches free of charge
• In length discussion about leather quality and production process
• Provided photos of jacket during construction
• Provided advice to avoid market pitfalls
• Customer service after office hours via social media
• Professional business-like conduct at all times
If you can find better service from others you are encouraged to shop from them.
I recently read in an online forum that you...
Please note we do not manipulate/subsidize/sponsor web chat groups/internet forums/blogs for shilling, deceit, slandering or personal attack.
FYI: Shilling is called when a person (the shill) is engaged in covert advertising. The shill attempts to spread buzz by personally endorsing the product in public forums with the pretense of sincerity, when in fact he is being paid for his services.
This is contemptible but unfortunately a standard practice in the market.
Please do not believe whatever myths you read online. Do not let them decide for you what leather jacket you should or should not buy. Do as much research as you can. Ask the manufacturers, listen to the manufacturers replies and consider. See photos, try to compare products. Get the facts. Mind you, opinions are most of the times subjective. Photos aren’t.
Is your Aeronaut jacket a copy of Himel’s heron jacket?
No it is not. We have been falsely quoted as saying “David Himel is angry because we copied his Heron jacket.” while the real comment we made was “David Himel is angry because he thought we copied his Heron jacket.”
The truth is that a number of brands had released similar jackets before us, and amongst them were some of the famous brands around these circles, as well as others less famous (and less costly) and also several Japanese brands, but Himel Bros were indifferent because all those jackets (with the exception of the Japanese) looked very much like inferior copies of his. Fans seemed to agree with “inferior copies” and nobody was accusing anyone for copying someone else.
We were one of the last brands (followed by others later) to introduce a shawl collar jacket and Himel Bros became upset because our jacket was the only one of the same (or perhaps higher) quality, fit and design as his, with whatever consequences that might have.
The true inspiration to create our jacket was a Block Bilt jacket that appears on page 55 of Lightning vol. 99 Vintage Leather Jacket book and shortly after, with the help from a collector, we had in our hands an original unlined russet horsehide Block Bilt jacket with more rounded collar which we incorporated in our design.
We never handled a Himel jacket, neither a Heron nor any other style and we are not in the business of copying reproduction jackets from others. If you are looking for such jackets perhaps you should consider Himel’s Frobisher jacket which was released shortly after our Wingman jacket. We only offer reproductions of originals.
How can you say that your jackets are of equal or better quality than jackets made by other makers when others sell at much higher prices than yours?
Do NOT think for 1 second that because our jackets are cheaper they are of inferior quality. This is a common mistake people make. We GUARANTEE you that our jackets are of the same or better quality than those of other makers that sell at higher prices. Please do not confuse value with price. Price is not determined only by the cost of the materials that go into the jacket. There are other overheads that have to be considered. The size of one’s operation can hugely affect those overheads. We can increase our prices tomorrow morning to match those of the other makers, we have no problem doing that since we sell the same quality product with them. But we have a different business strategy, we prefer to benefit from a larger volume of sales that will keep us busy than earn the same money by selling fewer jackets. In other words we use the lower price to stimulate higher demand. We are also price sensitive as we want to help the average fellow enthusiast who can’t afford to spend a fortune for a leather jacket. But, let me repeat again, just because you buy it cheaper here, it doesn’t mean it’s of inferior quality. We GUARANTEE you that.
For years the Japanese leather jacket makers have dominated the market with their intimidating prices making (most probably unintentionally) everybody think that since their products are the most expensive around they got to be the best. Sure, their jackets are very well made and of very high quality but the fact that they are very highly priced doesn’t mean that they are better than some others European or American made. Once again, higher price doesn’t necessarily mean higher quality. Let me give you an example. A Big Mac hamburger costs 3.90 euros in Paris, 7.00 euros in Geneva (CHF 7.20) and only 1.55 euros in Moscow (140 rubles – price 1 year before the Ukrainian crisis). So you see, the exact same item can be priced differently depending on location and Japan has always been in the list of the most expensive places to live.
What do I buy for the money that I pay you when I order one of your jackets?
First of all let us point out that you are not just buying a product. Instead, you are hiring us to create a product for you, therefore you are paying for our services.
With the price paid you buy the years of intensive research, planning and developing that result to a flawless execution of the jacket. You pay for our meticulous and continuous work to improve our products and for the years of endless efforts to find the right suppliers for all the materials (believe us, it’s not easy), to design specifications and order custom products that go into the jackets we make so that we can fulfill our goal to offer you the best reproduction jacket out there. You pay for the several man-hours that go in the making of your jacket, which exceed by far those needed for a mall or a designer jacket. You pay for the scarcity of the original patterns. You pay for the level of detail that goes into the replicating of the original jacket. You pay for the quality of materials that are second to none. Indeed, we use the best materials available in the world. We buy only the best, regardless of price. You pay for the fact that we spare no money and no effort to present you with the best vintage leather jacket reproduction you can get. Finally, you pay for our vast expertise and experience that took years to build.
If still don’t get it please read the following story.
A ship engine failed, NO ONE could fix it.
Then they brought in a man with 40 years on the job.
He inspected the engine carefully.
Then reached into his bag and pulled out a small hammer.
He gently tapped a spot.
Immediately, the engine rocked into life. It was fixed!
7 Days later, the owners got his bill for $10,000.
‘What?!’ the owners exclaimed.
‘He scarcely did anything.’
They asked for an itemized bill.
“Tapping with a hammer = $2
Knowing where to tap = $9,998″
Lesson: Don’t ever underestimate experience!
Why are your A-2 jackets so short?
“Why is the length of your Rough Wear 27752 size 44 so short, only 25.25 inches, while the same contract jacket I have from another UK manufacturer is 26 inches long?” Simple. The original example of Rough Wear 27752 size 42 measures 25 inches back length thus size 44 back length can only be 25.25 inches. That is because according to the US Army specifications the length per size had to increase in increments of ¼ of an inch. The same rule still holds true in the current USAAF specification for A-2 jackets, namely the A-A-55265 (contact us for a copy). This way you know that the other UK manufacturer does not use the original patterns as he advertises. Needless to say we can make the jacket as long as you wish.
I would like to have the Air Forces decal on the left shoulder, but in your price list the cost is listed as GBP 100. Is this correct? I am just confused as to why a decal would be more expensive than all your patches.
Thanks for asking about the decal. Yes the price is correct and it’s actually cheap considering the risks involved. The reason for the high price is that the decal itself is very fragile and a lot of things can go wrong during its application. If something does go wrong, it’s impossible to remove the decal from your jacket to apply a new one, so the only remedy is to replace the jacket’s sleeve. The cost to replace the sleeve exceeds GBP 100 as we need to calculate one wasted sleeve and one new sleeve and of course the extra work to our loss. Moreover, to replace the sleeve we must sew the new sleeve using the original stitch holes. That is a very difficult and time consuming operation and it may not be 100% successful, in which case we lose the jacket. If the decal was any cheaper, everybody would be asking for one and we would have to deal with all those risks and possible losses more often.
I keep hearing that your jackets are made in Pakistan. Is it true?
No, and if you can find anyone in Pakistan who can make jackets of the same quality as ours please let us know. Please don’t believe such rumors, talking is cheap.
I would like to distress my jacket with alcohol/acetone, what do you advise?
We would generally advise against artificial distressing because whatever you do to your jacket cannot be undone. Our Liberty horsehide is fixed so that it will naturally age fast. For this reason we do not encourage the use of alcohol. You can use water instead. It’s the HWT (Hot Water Treatment) method. Using a spray bottle, lightly mist the leather with warm water until damp. While the leather is still damp, crease, crumple, and knead the leather. This is how to distress leather with the well-worn look of lines and folds on the surface. Wait until the jacket becomes dry and repeat. 3 times. If you want to distress the edges, seams and the points of natural wear, you better use a Scotch-Brite instead of sandpaper. While the jacket is damp, rub very lightly those areas. You want to wait until it becomes dry to see if it worked because the effect will not be visible when the leather is wet. So try in a small area first, to see if you are happy with the result and then go on. You will need to do this in order to adjust the force you will use while rubbing. Good luck.