Some examples of our work...
|Custom lining using a specially printed map of the D Day invasion beaches and the movement of units in the immediate aftermath. Other wartime (and later / earlier) maps are available to order.
We use the existing lining in a jacket to make the pattern from which a replacement is made. Sometimes however the existing lining is in a somewhat compromised state which complicates things and can drive the cost up a little.
|This jacket was made in the early
1950s by Schott of New York City. It came to us with the lambskin upper
lining badly torn and moth eaten and the lower lining badly shredded. The
sheerling collar was also in need of replacement. ALL the stitching had
rotted out and the jacket had to be completely disassembled (including the
pockets) and rebuilt from the ground upwards. Two lambskins were sourced
& custom clipped and a custom quilt done for the lower lining. Pretty
much all the work was hand sewn as seam allowances were minimal. Had we
been able to source suitable horsehide we would have replaced the facings
(which had been distorted when a zip was badly replaced at some time it
the garment's history) but after treating and reshaping they actually look
pretty good. To finish we formulated a one-off leather treatment to bring
the hide back to life. This was not a cheap exercise but the jacket is probably
one of the last of it's kind still in daily use and we are rather pleased
with the result. As is the customer. :-)
As usual we didn't get "before" pictures because we were too busy working out how to reconstruct the thing as we took it apart :-)
|This is a very nice early wartime two panel back Irvin which is genuinely wearable (with care) but suffered an unfortunate ice-related accident. The damage to the right arm was too severe to be repared so we have inserted a new panel made from the back of a pair of Irvin trousers. The colour match is acceptable.
|The owner of this Aviation Leathercraft jacket drives a vintage car in all weathers and needs something a little longer that the standard waist length cut for warmth in winter. The colour is better on the left hand side. The light was a bit poor when I took the open front shot.
|The owner of this Aviation Leathercraft jacket is a very tall chap. As a result the sleeves were 4 inches (10cm) too short. So he called ALC and they gave him our number. The jacket is not new & ALC didn't have any skins to match (and they looked for us, so thank you Karen) so we also had the problem of colour matching. I think you will agree that the result is quite nice.
|Cigarette burn on back of a leather jacket. Much bigger than this and the repair will have to be patched, but for this kind of damage it is often possible to make a "patchless" repair. For some colours and for fine leather however the technique can be a little more expensive than a patch and may sill not be invisible.
|Accident damage. The shoulder had pretty much opened out when the stitching went.
|We have a standard rate for artwork (lettering) on a per letter basis. Sometimes this strays towards the "original artwork" area. This is an example which is JUST inside this boundary. It narrowly escapes a design charge. The inspiration as we received it...
|The design is then drawn out on paper. Proper "cut and paste".
|And reduced to monochrome for ease of image processing.
|And the roughed out design is then sent to the customer for approval. In the final artwork the black border will be a little wider and will improve letter definition.
|And this is the finished item..
|Irvin jackets and their relatives suffer from all the ills that beset sheepskin. Sometimes the only answer is a fluff transplant.
|The customer likes these snowboarding boots. Sadly the laces cut deeply into the tongue on one side. (the updated boots have a solid covering on the tongue). Our solution was to repair the tongue with a urethane foam and then bond knitted kevlar (tm) onto the tongue using the same urethane adhesive. Copious use of kling film ensured that the adhesive went only where it was needed and provided clamping pressure whilst the adhesive cured.
|Important seasonal job. One glove not working - the lh picture shows open circuit on the power lead. Middle picture is inside the gauntlet. The lead from power (black) has pulled through and broken where it feeds to the heater elements. A wave of the soldering iron and we have 11.5 ohms ish on the glove which is about right. Just remains to button it all back up.
|Usually it is difficult or impossible to remove paint from a leather jacket. And sometimes the gods smile upon you.
Custom jacket liner for customer. Slightly OTT but rather nice.
Another dragon jacket lining.
|No dragon, just a nice 3" quilted red satin lining.
|Lush lining in a motorcycle jacket.
Yup, that is a wedding dress in pearlized white leather.
|Outside of leg caught on the exhaust of an air cooled Beemer at a petrol station. Clean, simple repair.
|Slightly more complicated. Burn is on the inside of the leg and could easily happen again. The hole is first patched with Cordura and then a Nomex panel is overlaid to give protection.
|Dutch brandsweer (fire service) jacket brought with leather buttons from an Amsterdam flea market. Re lined, re finished and original buttons sourced and fitted. The model is some random chap off the street.
|Waistcoat before and after collar rebuild and after finishing to customer requirements.
Artwork & logo on customer's suit..
By permission of Jim "Thud" Flood
|Artwork applied to a favourite jacket, also re-lined in our most subtle style. The customer came in for a new zip - which does not show as well :-)
Single letter on suit back.
More customer artwork...
Artwork on John's jacket.
|Badges can usually be sewn on whilst you wait. Especially if you've come a loooong way...
|Artwork, black on silver. This look better "in real life". I am not a photographer, nor do I play one on TV.
|All artwork (appliqué and embroidered badges) made to customer request.
|Some guys have all the luck. GIVEN a Crowtree suit. OK, some crash damage, and the lettering was someone else's, but a real good fit all but the lower leg. Lettering replaced, crash damage repaired, some cosmetic tarting up, lower leg taken in a tad, and the man is ready to go racing.
"Byson" quilted lining for a jacket
|A broken boot zip mended as if by... hard work :-)
|Why is it invariably right foot boots that destroy their zips ?
Horse riding boot after zip replacement.
|Smart yellow boots made for a very small foot and a tiny calf (R). Modified for a more normal leg (L).
|Police boot from Silvermans. VERY high leg. In fact 3 inches too high for our customer.
This jacket is 30 years old and still had it's original lining in. It is going to get new zips (5 of) new lining, pockets, re-stitch and a large dollop of TLC. So far it has been taken apart, surface cleaned and vacuumed out on the inside.
|Hmmm... The stitching was rather more perished than we thought...
|Back together, cleaned and ready for some TLC
Mark lining material out for quilting....
And assemble. Note nice new red pocket. Our relining job price ASSUMES that you will want an inside pocket for passports, vast wallet, documents, summonses and kittens.
Don't ask :-)
|And all finished & ready for the customer.
|And reunited with the owner...
|Alpinestars Jacket with damaged Keprotec panel in arm, before and after.
|A pair of custom pannier liners to fit Metal Mule luggage made to customer specification.
Jacket in for a winter refurb etc.
Before and after.
|An unloved pair of leather jeans becomes a new skirt..
Black fashion jacket. Pockets re-stitched & re-enforced, tear in right arm patched, re-coloured & conditioned.
I love my work. Sometimes its like rescuing kittens.
|Gentleman's pigskin split jacket with a badly worn collar. The colour march is not perfect but "it is what we have". Which is much less expensive than buying a whole skin to get a slightly better match. And possibly not such a close match on finish.
Jacket before (R) and after (L). The leather was very dry and fragile requiring quite drastic action to stabilize and resurface it.
|Original Second War vintage American A2 flight jacket. Re-zipped with a NOS Talon zipper as below. In nice wearable condition.
Original US B-3 flight jacket. Needs some repair work but especially a "new" zip. Existing zip is a mishmash. RHS and slider are "Talon", puller is "Conmar" and lhs of zip is ... who knows. "New" 1942-1945 manufactured "Talon" zip was sourced from Japan by us.
At left, a Bentley leather flying helmet, based we believe on a US first war issue. At right we have adapted a canoeing helmet for a customer with a vintage bike. For show use only of course.
Computer case (prototype)for carrying on a bike tour, built for customer. The carcass is constructed from body armour material to protect his laptop in case of accident.
Being brought off at 100 mph can seriously damage your leathers. The rider walked away with a penny sized friction burn on his knee. Before and after repair.
|Teknic Vogue jacket. The arms on the jacket were nearly 3 inches longer than the arms on the customer. Nice jacket this, well cut. A compromise between function and fashion.
|Stool re-covered in brown leather.
|Gloves with hard armour can be awkward to repair but each case is different. And if they are your lucky gloves...
|Pair of Canadian made summer biking gloves. Slightly worn. The palms and both index fingers were patched and the right thumb tip. After dressing the colour match was slightly better then shown here, but the main aim was to make the gloves wearable again.
|WW2 USAF Navigator's dead reckoning bag type A2. Very fragile and in a distressed state. In fact too fragile to put under a machine, so we had to hand stitch it. We kept restoration to an absolute minimum to preserve the patina. One man's patina being another woman's grott :-) Before, left & centre, after at right.
|We aren't saddlers or harness makers but we do odd bits for a neighbour. Fetlock boots relined with sheepskin. I did wonder where the skin from my footstool had vanished to...
|Fairly old and sad seaman's belt tool kit that we have copied for a customer. It was pretty sad but in (almost) 1 piece when we got it. It had to come apart so that we could see how it had been made.
|Plain black & white FT suit customized to customer specification.
Dainese jacket. Customer brought a white suit
by accident. :-)
|And boots. There were boots involved. White boots. That I also forgot to photograph before...
|Sidecar artist's "spare" suit. These get some hammer...
And some racing sidecar passengers can't find suitable kit at all. So when a good friend of ours asked us to make her one to her specifications we did. Passenger suits are a very different creature from standard solo rider kit requiring much greater flexibility and freedom of movement. Gwen went for a design emphasizing flexibility and protection. And ease of maintenance :-)
And a picture of the suit in action (courtesy of Ian Nichols)
|Another thing we don't make is pub awnings. Except in exceptional circumstances. Like its our local :-) Yes, we know it looks a bit narrow BUT it is exactly the same width as the old one.
|USAAF B3 jacket about 1943. Brought at a car boot sale and extensively restored. If you click on the thumbnail there are (for once) before & after pictures. This surface treatment is an experimental process that I would not use on a wearable wartime jacket. We don't know how robust it will be in the long term & such extensive alteration will seriously decrease the value of an historic garment. But as this one needed virtually rebuilding from the ground up...
|Close encounter of the barbed wire kind. The customer didn't want a plain patch and suggested a false pocket...
|Cirrus "Ground Crew" flying jacket. Neat little tear in right arm. When tears are this small it is pretty inexpensive to repair nicely. Jacket also needed re-dressing. Act quickly. Save cash.
|Flying jacket, field patched & dressed with No2 compound. (Dodo tears & panda fat)
Don't see many of these. Nice jacket, if a bit
fragile to wear. Date label made 1940 by Loutre AG, Sofia.
RAF flying jacket, about 1943. Hanger damage
on shoulders fixed , right arm patched, various seam damage repaired,
new half belt made all in wartime hide, sleeve zip removed & replaced
"straight". Whole jacket cleaned and reconditioned. The pictures
are IMHO a bit flattening due to flash but it is a very nice looking job.
Jacket sent back to Canada.
|Pair of Irvin trousers part-way through restoration.
|Irvin jacket. I have cleaned the left hand side. This is the start of the cleaning / stabilization process.
RAF Irvin style flying jacket (Probably original. Just a bit odd.). Also rather fragile after 70 years.