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Great Leather Blog

News and information related to Great Leather leathergoods and it's customers, as well comments and photos related to leather care, repairs, and restorations.

Great Leather Drumstick Bag Video

Dena Hamilton - Monday, April 11, 2016

I am so appreciative of the way my customers have been excited to let others know how happy they are with their Great Leather purchases! This is a video I just received from Emile de Leon at Temple Sounds

Thank you, Emile!


 

One Step Better

Dena Hamilton - Sunday, November 08, 2015

This leather jacket was sent to us as you see it on the left. Our customer had sent it to another place to fix the tear before she heard about Leather Care Specialists. There was a small tear in the leather behind the button (which we could have fixed without it being noticed) but they put a big square patch on, a different color, with different colored thread. At this point all we could do was replace the whole panel as you see the coat on the right now. We had to dye the leather to match the jacket since the first priority was the right weight and texture. The customer was VERY happy!


 


 

A Special A-2 in for Service

Dena Hamilton - Monday, October 26, 2015
This jacket was sent in along with a set of knits to replace the old worn knit. Restoring vintage jackets is something we do often since we have the skill and can also supply the correct materials. 
When I saw this particular patch I thought, "It looks like it says 509!" So I looked closer and when I saw the bomb cloud I knew it was a jacket from someone in the 509th squadron, and that was my dad's unit. They flew the Enola Gay which dropped the first Atomic Bomb. I had never seen one of their jackets because my dad didn't have one. He was on the ground crew (responsible for every nut and bolt on that plane) and it was hot on Tinian Island. 
I'm very curious which of the airmen this belonged to. I'll have to ask my customer how he came to have it.








 

Zipper Replacement Stitching

Dena Hamilton - Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Can we hit the same holes when replacing a zipper?

I find that what customers usually mean when they say the "same stitch holes" is the "same stitching line" - which is doable. This may not be perfect every inch of the way, but at Leather CARE Specialists we're pretty good at compensating for leather layer movement. But to say, and mean, "hit the same stitch holes", that's probably not doable for the entire length of the zipper. Oddly enough, this is especially true for the best made jackets. That's because the better the jacket was made, the harder it is to get apart.

Whenever you have to pull something apart the leather stretches and pattern pieces separate. So when we tape the pieces to the new zipper, we'll ease the leather back in here and there for a consistent look. When we sew it, we set the stitch length to what it was originally and start out hitting the original holes. Then whenever the stitching gets off because everything has shifted, we'll make an adjustment and move forward again. All with care and caution. 

Also, and maybe it goes without saying, but since we are sewing the facing blind, it almost always reflects a new row of stitches. When taping the back of the zipper to the facing underneath, we do try to place it so that the needle will hit it's original stitch line as well. (Unless the zipper was not put in well to begin with. It may very well have crooked stitching originally, sometimes two lines if there's been a previous repair). If the zipper wasn't put in very well to begin with, we may try to correct it's placement, intentionally throwing the facing's new stitch line off of it's original one). This is tricky and takes some time.

Ultimately, the leather we can see and have the most control over, should look pretty great. The hidden piece, probably not so much. Obviously since we have to make a choice about which piece of leather will look the best- front panel or facing -it has to be the piece that shows. (Sometimes you'll want the facing to look the best for some inches, on coats where the collar folds over. In which case we'll stitch with the facing on top to the point where the stitch is hidden at the fold, and then stop and turn the jacket over and continue stitching with the front panel on the top). 

As for functionality, the zipper needs to be set far enough away from the leather that the pull will slide easily and not rub the leather, while not being set so far out that the tape is overly exposed, or not caught. The placement of the zipper between the leather layers where the zipper's box and pin are is critical, and is calculated to a 1/16 of an inch. If it's too close to - or -too far from these mechanisms (even if the tape is caught securely), it will be problematic for both the simplicity of use and the life of the zipper. 
 

Mr. G - Geir Åge Johnsen

Dena Hamilton - Thursday, March 19, 2015
Happy Birthday to Mr. G - best Drummer in Norway!

Here's a pic of Mr. G's great leather. His Great Leather iPad case, Drumstick Bag, and Tom Protector.


 

Drummer Kathleen Steahle

Dena Hamilton - Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Great Leather Drummer Kathleen Steahle. 
Isn't she terrific?!!!


The British Tan looks awesome with her kit!


Great Leather Drumstick Bag #117

Thanks for the great photos, Kathy!

 

Great Leather Drumstick Bag gets even better!

Dena Hamilton - Wednesday, September 24, 2014
We have just added a pencil pocket to the inside of our Great Leather Drumstick Bag! What do you think?

 

Replacing a Zipper in a Leather Jacket

Dena Hamilton - Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Over the years, I've had a question come up more than once. Usually customers have had a bad experience getting zippers replaced and they want to know if I can "hit the same stitch holes" when I replace a zipper. 

I find that what customers usually mean when they say the "same stitch holes" is the "same stitching line" - which is doable. This may not be perfect every inch of the way, but at Leather CARE Specialists we're pretty good at compensating for leather layer movement. But to say, and mean, "hit the same stitch holes", that's probably not doable for the entire length of the zipper. Oddly enough, this is especially true for the best made jackets. That's because the better the jacket was made, the harder it is to get apart.

Whenever you have to pull something apart the leather stretches and pattern pieces separate. So when we tape the pieces to the new zipper, we'll ease the leather back in here and there for a consistent look. We set the stitch length to what it was originally and start out hitting the original holes. Then whenever the stitching gets off because everything has shifted, we'll make an adjustment and move forward again. All with care and caution. 

Also, and maybe it goes without saying, but since we are sewing the facing blind, it almost always reflects a new row of stitches. When taping the back of the zipper to the facing underneath, we do try to place it so that the needle will hit it's original stitch line as well. (Unless the zipper was not put in well to begin with. If it wasn't, we will correct it's placement, intentionally throwing the facing's new stitch line off of it's original one). This is tricky and takes some time.

Ultimately, the leather we can see and have the most control over, should look pretty great. The hidden piece, maybe not as good. Obviously since we have to make a choice about which piece of leather will look the best- front panel or facing -it has to be the piece that shows. (Sometimes you'll want the facing to look the best for some inches, on coats where the collar folds over. In which case we'll stitch with the facing on top to the point where the stitch is hidden at the fold, and then stop and turn the jacket over and continue stitching with the front panel on the top). 

As for functionality, the zipper needs to be set far enough away from the leather that the pull will slide easily and not rub the leather, while not being set so far out that the tape is overly exposed, or not caught. The placement of the zipper between the leather layers where the zipper's box and pin are is critical, and is calculated to a 1/16 of an inch. If it's too close to - or -too far from these mechanisms (even if the tape is caught securely), it will be problematic for both the simplicity of use and the life of the zipper. 

Thanks for reading!
Dena Hamilton


 

Mouton Fur

Dena Hamilton - Monday, June 02, 2014
 

TIme for Leather Jacket Repairs and Moisture

Dena Hamilton - Thursday, April 03, 2014
Before you put your leather coat in the back of the closet this spring, be sure to look your jacket over and see if it needs any repairs or recoloring. In the fall when you take it out, you'll be happy to have it new again! Here's a before and after that Frances Cecil did. She has it down!!! Frances found this at a resale shop and it was pretty beat up. Now look at it! Call us - Leather Care Specialists 309-465-9216