Leather Jacket Buying Guide:
INTRODUCTION: Buying a leather jacket seems difficult task. When you are searching online about leather jacket it is very tough to judge the quality and fitting.
For helping you in this search we have written this buying guide for your convenience. We will begin it by explaining you about different types of leather that are used in garments manufacture and we will describe you what are their strengths and weaknesses. We further discuss different styles of leather jackets that suits on particular body shapes. We are guiding you what to look for and what to avoid in buying jackets.
Some useful tips that are being highlighted about how to judge the level of care and quality that a manufacturer had made in the process.
After purchasing we hope that you will be satisfied that you have purchase a thing about which you were informed before.
This is important to remember that the type of leather that is being used in manufacturing jackets should always be dependent on the purpose and style of garments. We are awaring you about the producers who only use one type of leather in manufacturing all their jackets; it means that they don’t fully understand the characteristics and quality of the leather material.
Generally it can be said that the larger the animal, the heavier and thicker the leather will be. Major distinction between leather types originates with the animal that the hide came from.
Types of leather used in jackets:
Cow and buffalo- The toughest of the hides of cow and buffalo are used in shoe making, furnishings as well as jackets. Jackets that are made of cow hide can take a long time to wear in. but, buffalo hide is better in quality than cow hide. The leather of cow and buffalo is on the stiff side and gives good abrasion resistance and protection. You may also find it used in protective gear of motorcycle.
Sheep and lamb- They are lighter in weight than cow and finer too. They are tough and durable. Sheep hides give you a good balance between comfort, style and strength.
Sheep and lamb hides particularly suits in jacket styles where bending and moving is very easy which is important in quality of jacket such as blazers, reefers and bomber jackets.
Pig- The leather made from pig skin is very poor in durability. It is cheap and not very cheerful. The pig skin leather is thin and plasticy with a shiny finish. When price is the most important factor in purchasing, Pig skin is often used. The leather made from pig skin may have been used to keep the price down. Because the quality is not very fine its retailing price will be less than £100 ($150).
The next step after you have establish the type of hide is to look at the tanning process that has been applied to the hide. The handle and the appearance of the leather are affected when different processes produce distinct finishes.
Nappa/Napa - It is applied to full grain sheep or lamb hides. Nappa is a lengthy and complicated tanning process. This process result durability and softness. The highest grade of leather can be described as nappa and it is also very expensive due to the good quality of leather. It is something impossible that original Nappa leather are retailing for less than £100 ($150).
Aniline- This is leather which is treated with aniline. A chemical process in which a transparent chemical that allows the hide to be softened and colored and you don't need to conceal the natural tones and shades of the leather. It is applied on the hides of cow, buffalo and sheep. Its appearance is natural and mottled and the good thing is that is allows the skin to breathe. This can be said that Aniline is good for brown and tan leather jackets.
Nubuck - In the process of Nubuck manufacturing the top layer of full grain hide is buffed. It is finely sanded to produce a velvety soft finish that is very much similar to suede. The price is high because of the higher quality. Nubuck benefit from waterproof finishes and nubuck leather jackets are more liable in water staining.
Split - In split the top layer of the hide is sliced into two thin layers. It allows some retailers to market jackets at very low prices. Avoid buying such kind of leather jackets because they are not very good in quality.
Suede - In the process underside of the hide is used. It is fibrous with a matt napped finish. When contact with water it is prone to discolouration like Nubuck but there is lack of the durability.
Types of Leather Jacket:
Leather Jackets comes in various of colors and style but it is classified into foun main categories based on the garment's origins.
Leather Biker Jackets -Leather has very much toughness and resistance to wind and rain which are required while riding on a bike. The main characteristics of a leather biker are:
Zip fastenings - to protect the contents in pockets of the jacket and to prevent wind ingress.
Slim fit across the body and arms - While travelling at speed it is require for a biker to have slim fit across the body and arms so that the biker can be protected from wind buffetings.
Adjustable collars and cuffs -By using collar straps and zip cuffs, a tight fastening that prevents the wind entering the garment.
Epaulets - The press stud flaps often found on the shoulders are a useful way of securing bag straps.
Shoulder and Elbow panels - Shoulder and elbow panels are provided on the jacket for adding protection at vulnerable points on the body for safety.
Leather Bomber Jackets - Early pilots use these jackets, they needed a garment which is warm and protective. The main characteristics of Leather Bomber Jackets are:
-These jackets have longer length than biker’s jackets
-These jackets posses large patch or bellow pockets which are useful in carrying guns, flare etc.
-A looser fit around the body and arms that allows for greater insulation and room for movement.
-It was possible to use rib knit at the openings to maintain a close seal and keep heat in. Waterproof properties weren't as crucial inside a plane as on the back of a motorbike.
Leather Blazers - The blazer is a versatile garment. These leather blazers are based on traditional suit jackets. The main characteristics of a Leather Blazer are:
-Inset pockets - Inset pockets are made usually with flaps to maintain the lines clean
-Rear Vents - Should always be found on two button blazers whilst three button versions often have plain backs.
-Button front - . Two button jackets looks little slimmer as the silhouette nips in at the waist. Three button jackets are straighter throughout the body and if you have a larger waist size they are more suitable on you. Usually single breasted with either two or three buttons and notched lapels.
-Buttons at the cuff -You will see that the better quality leather blazers will feature fold over cuffs with buttons. Cheaper versions will have a plain cuff.
Reefer Jackets - They are very similar to blazers but they have casual features and thay posses a higher button break point. Characteristics they have are as follows:
Button Fastening - Four or more, often right up to the neck point
-Slanted hip pockets
How To Spot a Well Made Leather Jacket:
The things that gives you indication about good quality of manufacture are mentioned below:
YKK zips -These are the zips that are used in the jackets which are very expensive. If you see branded zip of YKK on a jacket it means that a manufacturer has highly invested in the components of jackets.
Matching panels -As we know leather is a natural product in which it varies from piece to piece. Good care has to be taken at the time of manufacturing that all the pieces that are used in manufacturing are matched with one another where as cheaper jackets may not have matching panels in them
No loose threads -The final stage of the manufacturing process is trimming. Each garment is checked over and they snipped away the loose threads. Good quality jackets do not have loose threads in them and this is the thing which shows the quality to the buyers.
Internal pockets - The manufacturer of good quality jackets give much attention on the detail of inside and outside of the product. A well made leather jacket can be spotted if internal pockets are also provided in them. Ideally zip pockets gives nice look in jackets.
Beware Cheap Imitations
And lastly, pay unique interest to the statements made by any website promoting leather jackets at 'Cheap' costs. Some will tell you that the designs they provide are at such a low cost because they want to 'pass the savings' onto you the client.
Ask yourself how possible this seems and if you have worries then need confirmation of the stated benefits before you aspect with your money. Otherwise, rather than getting a great jacket at a considerable lower cost, you may end up purchasing a low excellent jacket at an overpriced cost.