Irvin jacket restoration

Irvin jacket restoration

Joined: October 23rd, 2003, 11:27 pm

March 6th, 2006, 12:36 am #1

Hi Gang,

Just a quick question (that will no doubt open a huge can of worms):

I received a wonderful Irvin that unfortunately had to be drycleaned due to the way it was stored (covered in mold in a wet basement).

After the cleaning process, the wool was amazing, retaining it's wonderful lustre and quality. Sadly, the leather suffered and much of the 'top coat' was lost. It now resembles a seude jacket with speckling bits of the original leather still visible.

Should I give up on this otherwise original (down to the zipper pulls and straps) jacket, or should I attempt a restoration? Can I dye the leather to make it look uniform? Is there a process that will recreate the top leather coat?

Any and all advice appreciated.

Bob Campbell

Fort Rodd Hill & Fisgard Lighthouse, National Historic Sites of Canada
Parks Canada
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: June 22nd, 2004, 9:49 am

March 6th, 2006, 10:43 am #2

Unfortunately drycleaning will usually completely bugger up leather so in future stay well away from having valuable leather items drycleaned.

What my be worth a crack is Pecards leather dressing. It´s used by a lot of museums for leather pieces (including Irvins!) and works wonders on old, damaged leather. Here´s a link:

http://www.antiqueleatherdressing.co.uk/index.shtml

Hope this helps!

Tim.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: July 30th, 2002, 2:28 am

March 6th, 2006, 5:35 pm #3

About fifteen years ago, before there was this forum to use as research, a fellow I knew got his hands on a late-war Irvin that was looking like what you discussed. We bought some brown boot dye, in an appropriate shade, and did it up. Two coats worked well, and then after it had set well we let the gave it a light coat of "Hyde Food" and then let that soak in for a week or so. Initially, the Hyde Food was slightly sticky, but it became smooth after a few days. The coat remained looking pretty darn good and uniform in colour for years.

Dan
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: April 13th, 2005, 10:25 pm

March 6th, 2006, 10:50 pm #4

Many RAF sheepskin flying jackets acquire a matte finish as a result of natural weathering and cleaning will hasten this process. A specialist dry cleaner should know what they are doing - it's not unusual for people to have sheepskin clothing cleaned.

I think that in your case the leather has dried out. A course of leather treatment should get back on its feet. You need to get some of the oils back into the skin. I'd recommend a liquid such as Letap, Leatherique or Lexol followed by a good rubbing with Pecards Antique Leather Dressing. If you want to restore the colour Pecards do a brown version (see their website). I'd avoid boot polish on a sheepskin flying jacket - IMO it gives an unnatural finish.

Quote
Like
Share

Joined: October 23rd, 2003, 11:27 pm

March 11th, 2006, 4:21 pm #5

Thanks to all who responded to my question.

I will consider my options and post before and after pictures when it's all over and done with.

Cheers,

Bob

Fort Rodd Hill & Fisgard Lighthouse, National Historic Sites of Canada
Parks Canada
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: August 3rd, 2006, 7:26 am

August 4th, 2006, 7:37 am #6

Hi Gang,

Just a quick question (that will no doubt open a huge can of worms):

I received a wonderful Irvin that unfortunately had to be drycleaned due to the way it was stored (covered in mold in a wet basement).

After the cleaning process, the wool was amazing, retaining it's wonderful lustre and quality. Sadly, the leather suffered and much of the 'top coat' was lost. It now resembles a seude jacket with speckling bits of the original leather still visible.

Should I give up on this otherwise original (down to the zipper pulls and straps) jacket, or should I attempt a restoration? Can I dye the leather to make it look uniform? Is there a process that will recreate the top leather coat?

Any and all advice appreciated.

Bob Campbell

Fort Rodd Hill & Fisgard Lighthouse, National Historic Sites of Canada
Parks Canada
My slide fastener is broken, rider(moving part) is completely destroy. Do you know, where is possible buy replicas or original or looking similar slide fastener? Thank you so much.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: September 14th, 2003, 9:50 pm

August 5th, 2006, 7:29 pm #7

Hi Filip,
I have replaced a few of these sliders.
It seems that there is a slight width of teeth difference on some of the zips.
Sometimes you have to bugger about with small files to get say a Lightning slider to fit on a Dot zip.
Can you let me know which ones you have, and I will see if I can help.
Cheers,
Dickie
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: August 31st, 2006, 11:55 am

August 31st, 2006, 11:59 am #8

Hello Dicky,

I have read your response to the question and I have a similar problem, mine Irvin jacket is missing the pull from the mainzip, the mainzip itself is intact.
I contactad Eastman for a repro-pull but they answered that theirs would not fit.
do you know a good substitute or do i have to look for an original pull..

Thank you, and best regards,

Floris
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: September 14th, 2003, 9:50 pm

August 31st, 2006, 9:09 pm #9

Do you know what manufacture of zip you have?
I have a spare Aero leather slider you can have, but you still need to mess around at the top end of the zip and get the two stoppers off.
Regards,
Dickie
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: August 31st, 2006, 11:55 am

September 20th, 2006, 1:36 pm #10

Hello Dicky,

I have read your response to the question and I have a similar problem, mine Irvin jacket is missing the pull from the mainzip, the mainzip itself is intact.
I contactad Eastman for a repro-pull but they answered that theirs would not fit.
do you know a good substitute or do i have to look for an original pull..

Thank you, and best regards,

Floris
Hello,

If you have time can you please send the picture from the zip please and the price?

Cheers,

Floris
Quote
Like
Share