Leather shell options subject to availability. Please check products for available shell options.
Victory horsehide is the best quality first grade Italian Full-grain Front Quarter Horsehide and most expensive in the World.
It is a pure vegetable tanned leather tanned using only natural extracts of chestnut, quebracho (tree that grows in the Gran Chaco region of South America), mimosa, gambier, sumac from Africa, caesalpinia spinosa (Molina) kuntze, commonly known as “tara” (quechua), a small leguminous tree native to Peru, and oak tree.
The vegetable tanning technique that naturally transforms raw hide into leather, a material that lasts a long time, is a process that happens slowly in wooden barrels. As it relies mainly on the slow passage of time, production of Victory horsehide requires at least six times the production time used in other leathers. Hence, to be able to produce it, our tannery has to limit the amount of its total yearly production as the hides must stay in the tanning drums much longer. This is of course reflected in the price, but the famous Italian tannery and ourselves make no compromise as regards to quality.
Victory horsehide is made strictly by hand from start to finish and no modern machinery is used throughout its production. It is the most natural horsehide known to man. Absolutely no chemicals are used in its production and even the dyes used to color it are of 100% natural ingredients. Natural dyeing of leather is a very old technique. It goes back to ancient times, but was perfected during the renaissance in Tuscany. Ever since, its tradition is protected and passes from father to son in Tuscany where only a handful of tanneries continue to apply it using the same old and authentic recipes. Our tannery is the only one in Italy and the world that applies these techniques on horsehide so we guarantee that you will not find the quality of Victory horsehide, or even close, anywhere in the world.
The leathers are immersed in huge wooden barrels and the dye used comes from extracts of chestnut and quebracho. Depending on the shade desired the extract can come either from the leaves, root, fruit, trunk or bark of those trees. Next they let the leathers be fermented for another 40 days. This time is needed so that those extracts soak through naturally into the leather and transform it into unique biologically dyed leather. This process is the only one that gives such natural hues and makes the leathers exceptional, not only in color but also in quality and grainy texture. The aroma of leather which is dyed naturally is impossible to imitate by any other dyes. Leather that has undergone natural dye has a matchless feel and astounding deep and vivid undertones while it gains more durability and resistance in water.
But the most important quality of leather that has been vegetable tanned and dyed naturally such as our Victory horsehide is that with age not only it will not deteriorate but develop a beautiful vintage look and patina. An appearance of deep, vivid colors and undertones that witness the quality of leather and its dyeing process.
Every piece of leather that has been dyed naturally is unique since natural dyeing is not a coating that covers the leather’s natural color, but rather becomes embodied and soaks through the leather. Victory horsehide is produced exclusively for Bill Kelso. It is dyed in our custom colors and is of course finished by hand. This means that no two skins will ever look the same and being unique is part of their luxurious beauty.
Natural leathers such as Victory Horsehide have a distinctive character all their own. The grainy texture, small scratches and color highlights are their stamps of authenticity.
Victory horse leathers coming from the same batch can be smooth, grainy, or with heavy grain, with wrinkles or with heavy wrinkles, shiny or dull. Moreover, the color may vary from skin to skin, or within the same skin, being uniform in some areas or displaying ‘undertones’ in other areas. This is how natural leathers are. Needless to say, we try to match the leathers to create beautiful jackets.
Victory horsehide has no peer. It is really unbeatable and hence the name. Victory horsehide will age better than any other hide you might have seen.
Jackets made with this leather will truly stand out. Buy jackets in this leather if what you are looking for is high quality and deluxe appearance second to none.
While our tannery can take unknown times (usually roughly about six months) to produce Victory horsehide, waiting for it is well worth it. Waiting is only temporary, Victory is forever.
Together with a famous Italian tannery we were able to develop Liberty Horsehide to be the closest match to vintage horsehide ever to appear in the vintage leather jacket reproduction market. We have spent considerable amounts of time, effort and money into its development as no tannery did know exactly where to start from to get it right. So, there had to be many tests made and various samples produced for us to approve. We bore all those costs and tried several trials and errors for almost 2 years until finally the tannery unlocked the secret recipe of vintage tanning and succeeded to reproduce vintage horsehide exactly. We can now offer you what is without doubt a clone of the horsehide used in those highly acclaimed vintage leather jackets. We can rightfully say that we “liberated” all those vintage leather jacket aficionados who were waiting for horsehide that would have all the qualities of vintage leathers, i.e. to look the same and develop patina in the same way. They were not waiting in vain!
Liberty horsehide is a high quality Full-grain vegetable tanned horsehide. It has the same weight, thickness, color, texture, feel and hand with vintage WWII era leathers. Its finish is also the same as we have found and followed the relevant specification they used at the time.
Liberty horsehide is specially processed so that its color will fade quickly with time and wear allowing the lighter shade of the leather underneath to show through, including scratches and scuffs etc., just like vintage jackets. THIS IS INTENTIONAL AND BY NO MEANS A DEFECT OF THE LEATHER. This way it will age exactly like originals. We have a testimony from a WWII veteran that his A-2 jacket aged and developed “patina” in only six months of light wearing inside the cockpit of his plane. We have requested our tannery to adjust their tanning technique accordingly so that our leathers can achieve the same effect in approximately the same period of time.
Buy jackets made with this leather if what you are looking for horsehide of 100% accuracy in appearance and durability with vintage originals whether TYPE A-2 or civilian styles.
Shinki horsehide needs no introduction. It is a high quality Japanese horsehide produced by Shinki Hikaku. Shinki Hikaku tannery established in 1951 in Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture in Japan is a small relatively unknown tannery who specialize in horsehide. They purchase their horsehides from Poland, France, and other worldwide locations. They select some of the finest grades of hides and tan them using either with vegetable, chrome or combination tan methods. Their vegetable tanned leathers can be distinguished from the characteristic leather smell associated with the vegetable tannins found in their recipe. Shinki Hikaku is also one of the few cordovan producers left in the world and their horse leathers are used for bags, leather accessories, footwear and garments. Shinki horsehide for jackets is available in pigment (opaque) finish as well as in semi-aniline finish (which is a mixture of pigment and aniline finish). Shinki leathers can be grainy or smooth (both are of the same quality) and we cannot guarantee selection of either one for your jacket as it will always be subject to availability. Japanese vintage jacket reproduction makers conveniently buy the horsehide they use from Shinki Hikaku who is their local tannery and with their exceptional creations have helped Shinki horsehide achieve the status and popularity it enjoys today. Lately they also brilliantly marketed the term ‘teacore’ which is nothing else than the base of the leather being dyed in a lighter shade than the top coating so when the finish scratches or fades with age a lighter color shows through; an effect which accentuates the aged appearance of the jacket. North American vintage reproduction jacket makers have also jumped on the same wagon of famed horsehide but they did not succeed to offer competitive prices because of the high import costs of Japan origin leather. We chose Shinki horsehide finished in pigment because it has a nice texture with pronounced grain and uniform color, but also so that we can be the only manufacturer who can offer Shinki horsehide jackets to European Union based customers relieving them from the stress and costs associated with shipping, import duties, VAT and customs clearance fees connected with purchasing expensive jackets from the United States, Canada and Japan.
Badalassi Carlo tannery has an over-40-year long specialization in vegetable-tanning, in the production of “vacchetta” leather. Its collection includes a wide range of high quality articles with sophisticated and exclusive handmade finishings.
Badalassi cowhide is a leather option that has endured the test of time in the Japanese market. Several renowned Japanese leather jacket manufacturers use it and it has proved to be very popular. Jackets made with it are often valued more than their horsehide counterparts.
Badalassi cowhide is a high quality Full-grain vegetable tanned with aniline finish. In fact, its aniline finish is one of the best we have ever seen. It gives a deep, rich and uniform color like no other that will make any garment look absolutely great. We would choose Badalassi anytime, anywhere.
We are currently the only vintage leather jacket reproduction maker in the Western hemisphere that uses Badalassi leather.
Badalassi have a large number of beautiful ready-made colors which can be used in a variety of projects. At present we use their russet and seal color only but we may expand the colors available depending on demand.
Buy jackets with this leather if what you are looking for is toughness, durability and luxurious appearance.
The goatskin we use comes from Malta origin goats which are fairly big animals producing good quality coarse grain type skins. The prevalent type. These skins are tanned in the same way (chrome tan) as prescribed by the military and the result is a nice easy wearing type of leather with the same weight and seal color as the original US Navy jackets.
Buy jackets made leather if you look for medium to light weight leathers which are tough and durable.
This medium weight goatskin is the standard quality garment type leather offered by most tanneries. We prescribed seal color and pigment finish. Goatskin of this type is durable and water resistant in the sense that the leather will not easily absorb rain water so it can be fearlessly worn in a thunderstorm. Of course be sure to let all wet leathers dry naturally and away from sources of heat. This goatskin is perfect jacket leather because it is durable as well as supple, soft to the touch, and very comfortable to wear. Jackets made with it will last long enough to be passed down from generation to generation. Like all our leathers it will look more beautiful after some wear.
Capeskin is a light flexible leather made from sheepskins with the natural grain retained, originally made from the skin of sheep from the Cape of Good Hope. The story goes that those sheep were transported there from New Zealand.
Our Victory Capeskin is imported and tanned by a specialist tanner in Europe. The tannery that produces it is very experienced and produces it as a luxury leather. It is drum dyed, aniline finished and soft to the touch.
Characteristic of these hides is the pronounced grain and the “Ribbiness” i.e. those dots where the skin generally follows the pattern of the ribs.
Victory Capeskin is the ONLY capeskin in the market that has the above characteristics; hence it is the only REAL capeskin leather available. It is also unbeatable, hence the name.
Victory Capeskin gives the authentic rugged look that we see on photos of pre WWII aviators.
Buy jackets made with this leather if what you opt for is natural looking light leathers, rugged appearance and comfort.
Our Striated Lambskin is imported from New Zealand. It is the best quality striated leather money can buy. It displays very rich grain and the right amount of “striations” to give an authentic and accurate look. It has a rugged vintage appearance right out of the box.
It doesn’t need “hot water treatment” it doesn’t need “training”, it doesn’t need to “break in”, it doesn’t need to be “shrunken”, it doesn’t need to be “crumbled”, it doesn’t need to be “pre-distressed”, it doesn’t need “artificial aging”, by neither sanding, alcohol, nor acetone. It doesn’t need anything. And the reason it doesn’t need anything is because it is the right leather you were looking for. Jackets made with this leather will give you the right “vibe” the moment you put them on. It has the right thickness, it drapes, moves and wrinkles just like the original hero jacket.
This is first grade quality lambskin for garments. It is chrome tanned, drum dyed and semi aniline finished. It has a soft hand like Nappa. Garments made with this leather will be the well-dressed type, not the best choice to go for hiking or riding a motorcycle. Our styles that would look best in this leather are the Relic Hunter, Waldo Pepper jacket, Aeronaut A-1 and of course the A-1.
Buy jackets made with this leather if what you need is soft hand, comfortable wear and delicate luxurious appearance.
The mouton fur we offer is produced from sheared sheepskin of aeronautical-clothing grade. The skins with wool attached are properly and fully tanned by chrome tannage method as specified by the military.
The shade of the fur used on USN jacket was originally brown which after prolonged exposure to sun faded to a golden color. We offer both color variations.