What is a leather jacket?
A leather jacket is the must have wardrobe staple, it’s a fashion icon. In early 1900’s, brown leather flight jackets were worn by aviators and members of military. In 1928, Irving Schott designed the first motorcycle leather jacket that sold for $5.50 in Harley Davidson stores in NYC.
In 1953 the leather motorcycle jacket reached iconic status after Marlon Brando wore it in the movie “The Wild One”.
Marlon Brando 1953 Leather Jacket.
Leather jackets have become a famous item over the years and a much-loved item, with many designs available from men to ladies to children’s leather jackets in all types of styles and colours.
The first and most famous leather jacket was the type A1 flying jacket used in the army. These were issued between 1927 and 1931 and worn by the stars of the air.
Type A1 Leather Jackets
The bomber leather jacket was first developed by Dobbs industries for the US air force and navy fighter pilots. In the late 1950’s the first jacket appeared in Europe probably through surplus government stores and black market sales.
In 1963 an off shoot of Dobbs received a military contract to produce a bomber leather jacket, it was then even more where shipped to Europe and Australia.
In the 1960s the original British skinheads were among the first to adopt the leather jacket.
What are they made from?
Leather jackets are made from many different types of skins.
Leather jackets are made from lamb and pig skin, casual leather jackets are made from cowhide, pig skin and lambskin.
Sheepskin Leather Jackets
Leather motorcycle clothing is made from kangaroo leather, buffalo leather along with some jackets being made from horse leather. These are pigmented coated mainly
Leather jackets are also made of suede, being deer, lamb, pig, goat and cowhides.
Suede Leather Jackets
The leather jacket today is manufactured by many famous brands. Emporio Armani, Tom Ford, Zilli, Saint Laurent, Stefano Ricci, Balmain, Bottega Veneta, Versace, Ralph Lauren, Boss, Dolce & Gabbana, Paul Smith and many more designer brands make leather jackets today.
Cleaning and care of the leather jacket depends on the skin it’s made from, the majority of fashion jackets are semi aniline leather, and this requires a more delicate leather cleaner than a standard pigmented leather. Whereas motorcycle clothing is made from tough materials and the majority being pigmented coated can be cleaned with a standard leather cleaner as long as it does not contain any alcohol or ammonia based solution. Also check that what you’re using is safe for your leather jacket, leather jackets should never be dry cleaned even if the manufacturer says so, they should also be never steam cleaned, all these actions can cause damage to happen to the coatings applied to them resulting in restoration of your leather jacket.