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Thread: Grandfather's Original B-3 - USAAF WWII Shearling Flying Jacket

  1. #1
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    Feb 2012
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    Default Grandfather's Original B-3 - USAAF WWII Shearling Flying Jacket

    I'm sure you're familiar with this type of USAAF WWII shearling jacket. It has some issues from storage. I'm now the caretaker of this piece of history.

    It has dried a little. Still flexible over 90% of the surface. Has 2 tears. One 3 inches long on the back (from the rear of the closet) and one along the shoulder seam from being on a hanger for years. I would like to condition this jacket so that it is supple enough to be patched and then place on a form to display. I can send pics. The jacket has very minimal flaking.

    What or how would you recommend it be reconditioned and do you know of a specialist in the Michigan area that could preform the patching?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Greater Vancouver, Canada.
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    Default

    >>> I would like to condition this jacket so that it is supple enough to be patched and then place on a form to display.

    The leather suppleness depends on its original fatliquor still remains on the leather structure. Just like the smoothness of engine depends on lubricants. In order to fatliquor the leather structure more efficiently with better distribution it has first need to be condition with Hydrator-3.3. Hydrator-3.3 will help to relax and separates any stick-together fiber allowing the millions of interlocking fibrillary structure acting like hinges with free movement. Before the hydrator dries up a timely Fatliquor-5.0 [ionic negative (-ve) charged fat and oil] is hydrogen bond with the ionic positive (+ve) leather protein fiber. The fat content plumps the leather with fullness and the oil lubricates the fiber with smoothness. The suppleness or softness with strength depends much on the fatliquor and averages should provides a 2000psi in tensile strength. An industrial working leather would need up to 6000psi. And astrength below 1800psi will loose its tear-strength. Suppleness and strength depends on the life-blood of leather – the fatliquor.


    >>> Has 2 tears. One 3 inches long on the back (from the rear of the closet) and one along the shoulder seam from being on a hanger for years.


    Since shearling is wool as the inner-face and nappalan on the outer-face as a single structure, repairs has to be done on the nappalan side delicately resulting looking like a natural scar as the end result. Fine needle stitches hold the tear closed and it is lay with donor suede fiber and bond with Bond-3D to becomes part of the leather, a technique similar to fiberglass construction or repair. Matching colors does the color repairs with an opaque pigment first to block and blend in the repairs and a transparent coating dyestuff to restores the beauty of depth. AnilineTop-76 seals the color and Protector-B for reduce friction rubs.


    >>> The jacket has very minimal flaking.

    Flaking is bonding weakness when the suede fibers become too weak of its fatliquor causing surface dry-rotting, just like shedding of dead cells from normal skin. Leather is recycle from the skin of animals, a holistic restoration following the original leather tannery recycle restores back to the original perpetually.


    >>> What or how would you recommend it be reconditioned and do you know of a specialist in the Michigan area that could preform the patching?


    You may do it yourself, have someone doing it or send it to me with recommendation as described.

    Roger Koh
    Leather Care System Formulator / Practitioner / Consultant / Instructor / Coach
    roger@leatherdoctor.com
    Last edited by Roger Koh; 01-08-2016 at 11:21 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Greater Vancouver, Canada.
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    4,718

    Default

    >>> What do you think the approximate cost would be to fix the tears in the pics?

    Fixing the tears for the 3” would probably takes 3 to 4 hours depends on the finest of the work.
    If the leather is too brittle to withstand needle stitching, then an alternative is to bond a sub-patch using Patch-4S about half to one inch on both sides of the tear. Bearing in mind that Patch-4S is natural chrome tanned color in bluish grey and will be too obvious of a repair. Besides the sharp line will need also be camouflage with bonding with Bond-3D + donor suede to feather out and disguise as a natural scar.

    Next is the color matching that will require the scar color differences to be block off with a “opaque” pigment color using Micro-54. Aniline-76 a “transparent” coating dyestuff brings up the beauty of depth. And the coloring is seal with AnilineTop-76, which will determine its matching luster as well. Protector-B helps reduce friction rubs that prolong the wear of the finishes. Including the matching of colors it may take another 2 to 3 hours.

    Note that new colors will be fresh and may not blend in with the existing panel as well, thus the entire jacket is recommended to be refinished as well as a better option. The holistic job will start with a) Preparatory Cleaning using Prep-4.4 > Clean-3.8 > Rinse-3.0 system. b) Leather Rejuvenating with Hydrator-3.3 > Fatliquor-5.0 > Hydrator-3.3 system. c) Repairs with Impregnator-26 for leather weakness + Adhesor-73 for surface abrasion.
    d) Tear Repairs with Bond-3D + Patch-4S + Donor Suede. e) Color Repairs with color matching Micro-54 an ‘opaque’ pigment to block out repairs and Aniline-76 a ‘transparent’ dyestuff to brings the beauty of depth, AnilineTop-76 to seals the color finishes and Protector-B to prolongs the wear of the finishes with reduce friction rubs.

    The above sequence of process is the standard procedure and also determines the scope of work desired.
    An entire holistic restoration is more practical and economical than spot repairs as the basic set up and products are already in place.
    Last edited by Roger Koh; 01-09-2016 at 10:04 AM.

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