Monday, November 23, 2020

Leather Jacket

Leather Jacket   

How has a jacket that dates back to the early 1900s remained a staple in so many men's wardrobes? Usually, trends come and go, but for the last century, we haven't noticed a break in the production of leather jackets. In fact, today, more are produced than ever before.

One of the main reasons why leather jackets have remained one of the top-selling clothing items is due to their versatility. Greasers, cowboys, police, motorcyclists, punk rockers, metalheads, and so many more all enjoy a great leather jacket. While each style may be different, it's a way for people to show off their favorite bands, pay homage to their upbringing, or stay protected in their line of work. 

What is a leather jacket?

Made from the tanned hide of various animals, leather jackets are designed for many different purposes. Different styles are associated with certain subcultures regarding music, pastimes, and professions. Some leather jackets are made for protection, while others are strictly for fashion reasons. Typically, leather jackets are black or brown, but there are plenty of other color options available. You may be surprised by how many different options there are.

Bringing back old styles

The first leather jackets had nothing to do with fashion; it was all about practicality. Leather jackets first came on the scene in the early 1900s. Aviators and members of the military wore flight jackets made from brown leather. You may recognize the A1 leather jacket, created by Chapal in 1925, which later became the ever-popular "bomber jacket." The sheepskin jackets were part of the military uniform during WWII. They were crafted to keep bomber pilots safe from extreme climate conditions at high altitudes. At this time, you wouldn't see anyone who was not serving in the military wearing a leather jacket. Production of these aviator jackets slowed down after the war.

How materials/making process has changed over the years

The first "bomber jacket" we mentioned above was made from sheepskin and had a very thick fleece lining to give the pilots optimal warmth. When leather jackets started making waves in the fashion industry, many designers turned to cowhide because it was more accessible and cheaper. However, antelope, buckskin, and lambskin were all among the first widely used materials during the early rounds of leather jacket productions.

The process of making leather has not changed a whole lot throughout the last century. Usually, the skin is removed from the animal at the meat processing plant, where it's refrigerated, and preserved. After, it's off to the tannery where the hides undergo a series of processes to soften the material and prevent it from decaying. In later years, some designers have pushed the boundaries even further, making leather jackets out of ostrich leather and crocodile skin.

The construction of leather jackets has changed more than the tanning process. With new advancements in technology, leather workers were able to sew the garments quicker with better sewing machines. This made it easier for manufacturers to produce more products, and eventually, mass production began to become widely used. The sewing process has come a long way. Today, most of the leather jackets you purchase in a store were made in a factory by machines. However, if you feel like a more personal touch, there are options, like buying a custom leather jacket. Custom leather jackets are hand made to order.

Leather jacket: a fashion statement or a safety measure?

Depending on why you chose to wear a leather jacket, it can be strictly for fashion reasons, or it can add an essential layer of protection to the body. There's a massive difference between the two. Leather jackets designed for protection are often worn by motorcyclists and tend to be heavier, thicker, and may even come with built-in armor. They are crafted solely for practicality, made for people engaging in what could be a dangerous activity, like motorcycle riding. You wouldn't see a construction worker without his hard hat or a fireman without his protective uniform. For motorcyclists, leather jackets are their safety equipment. Protective leather jackets usually are equipped with heavier zippers, higher collars, and are designed to be longer in the back to help protect the kidneys.

A leather jacket primarily designed for fashion will be much lighter and won't offer protection to the wearer. However, if you're not planning on burning rubber on a motorcycle, then you don't need that extra layer. Jackets made for fashion will still give you a feeling of warmth. Jackets that are made for everyday use give designers more wiggle room to use different fabrics and create new styles without having to worry about the wearer being protected.

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