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Underarm footballs

Hi all, I've recently acquired a Schott Perfecto 618, and was wondering, what is the difference between the 613/618 verses the 613S/519 in terms of cut? Is it just the underarm footballs that were added? And if so, is it possible to have a tailor remove them for a slimmer fit?

EDIT: Also, will the steerhide of the 618 ever break in to a point where it's as soft as say, the 118? Right now the jacket I have (while vintage) is tough as nails and squeaky as ever and a bit annoying to wear sometimes.

Gail on 04/22/16 at 08:13 AM

Since you have purchased a vintage Steerhide jacket, it is very possible the reason it is so stiff and rigid is that it has not been maintained through the years. A vintage jacket should be already broken-in unless the leather has become dried from not conditioning the leather and/or improper storage of the jacket. The jacket style 618/118 all were originally designed with the underarm footballs and were not added. The 618 when first offered in the 50's had the underarm footballs and the bi-swing back for movement when riding a motorcycle and having the arms extended. If you want the different specs for the styles you can contact Jerri in our customer service and she can send you the measuremnt specs for the styles. Please note your vintage jacket style 618 will have different specs then the updated fit of the 618 we now offer, so the specs will be different then your jacket.

In regards to removing the underarm, I do not think this is a feasible possibilty. The fit underarm would become very brinding, jackets without underarm footballs have different patterns to accommodate the fit of the jacket under the arm. 

While the 613S is a heavy Steerhide that you will need to break-in it will have the "slim" fit and "no" underarm footballs. I do not think it will be as rigid or squeaky as your current jacket, which I think was just not maintained.

Gail

Silasws77 on 04/22/16 at 08:29 AM

Gail wrote:

Since you have purchased a vintage Steerhide jacket, it is very possible the reason it is so stiff and rigid is that it has not been maintained through the years. A vintage jacket should be already broken-in unless the leather has become dried from not conditioning the leather and/or improper storage of the jacket. The jacket style 618/118 all were originally designed with the underarm footballs and were not added. The 618 when first offered in the 50's had the underarm footballs and the bi-swing back for movement when riding a motorcycle and having the arms extended. If you want the different specs for the styles you can contact Jerri in our customer service and she can send you the measuremnt specs for the styles. Please note your vintage jacket style 618 will have different specs then the updated fit of the 618 we now offer, so the specs will be different then your jacket.

In regards to removing the underarm, I do not think this is a feasible possibilty. The fit underarm would become very brinding, jackets without underarm footballs have different patterns to accommodate the fit of the jacket under the arm. 

While the 613S is a heavy Steerhide that you will need to break-in it will have the "slim" fit and "no" underarm footballs. I do not think it will be as rigid or squeaky as your current jacket, which I think was just not maintained.

Gail

Hi Gail, thanks for the quick feedback! I didn't know that the 618s were originally designed with the underarm footballs already in place, I previously thought they were similar to the 613s in that they were added later on.

I thought that too regarding the rigidness, and had already put two coats of lexol conditioner into the hide in the past two days, but it's still the same. I'll keep at it though, maybe all it needs is a few more gos spanning a couple weeks. I do believe that my prior owner hasn't really worn this much though, as we live in a tropical climate and he didn't have the foresight to change the lining as I did, so he must've only worn this on overseas trips and left it in the closet for the remainder of the months. 

I have decided to not mess with the jacket further, and hopefully not mess with its value further so that I could sell it and save up some more for a slimmer jacket and/or something in cowhide. Meanwhile I will continue caring for it in hopes it will lose its squeakiness and stiffness and break in better. Thanks.

Gail on 04/23/16 at 07:31 AM

In caring for a leather jacket we always recommend the jackwt be kept in a cool place in summer and never to cover the jacket in plastic. Since you live in a warm climate and keeping the jacket in a possibly hot closet, will contribute to the jacket's natural oils in the hide to dry up. Covering the jacket with plastic does not let the leather breathe and will also contribute to the leather becoming dry. Try a search on our blog for other posts on conditioning of jackets. Many of our members have brought old vintage leathers back to life, hopefully some of our members will posts some helpful hints to this post.

Another thought I had as to why the Lexol is not conditioning the jacket is that the previous owner may have applied a Silicone water replellent product. A silicone product seals the leather, not allowing a conditioner to be absorbed and by sealing also causing the leather to dry out. Unfortunately that is one of the downsides in purchasing a used/vintage leather jacket you never know what the history of the jacket is by the previous owner.

Gail

Silasws77 on 04/23/16 at 11:31 AM

Gail wrote:

In caring for a leather jacket we always recommend the jackwt be kept in a cool place in summer and never to cover the jacket in plastic. Since you live in a warm climate and keeping the jacket in a possibly hot closet, will contribute to the jacket's natural oils in the hide to dry up. Covering the jacket with plastic does not let the leather breathe and will also contribute to the leather becoming dry. Try a search on our blog for other posts on conditioning of jackets. Many of our members have brought old vintage leathers back to life, hopefully some of our members will posts some helpful hints to this post.

Another thought I had as to why the Lexol is not conditioning the jacket is that the previous owner may have applied a Silicone water replellent product. A silicone product seals the leather, not allowing a conditioner to be absorbed and by sealing also causing the leather to dry out. Unfortunately that is one of the downsides in purchasing a used/vintage leather jacket you never know what the history of the jacket is by the previous owner.

Gail

Thank you Gail. I'm happy to note that the jacket is now much softer, although definitely not as buttery soft as my other cowhide jackets. It's still stiff and rigid feeling, but oddly flexible at the same time. Hard to describe it, really, but I do realize that the steerhide will not achieve the same suppleness of my other jackets in naked cowhide. I definitely don't cover the jacket with any plastic, as I wear it often I just place it in my closet together with my other jackets, which is probably the coolest place I could keep it.

The silicone product thing completely slipped my mind, thanks for mentioning that. I should've asked the owner prior, but now it seems all is well and there will be no need. Thank you again for the help.

Gail on 04/25/16 at 06:28 AM

I am sure the more you wear the jacket it will continue to break-in more and become less rigid. You can also try working the leather by rolling the jacket and arms up and down, movement of the leather will help it break it. The more movement of the jacket will also help the condition work more into the leather.

Gail

Silasws77 on 04/25/16 at 02:11 PM

Gail wrote:

I am sure the more you wear the jacket it will continue to break-in more and become less rigid. You can also try working the leather by rolling the jacket and arms up and down, movement of the leather will help it break it. The more movement of the jacket will also help the condition work more into the leather.

Gail

Thanks Gail, the only thing bothering me right now is the squeaking/creaking noise it makes when I move. Planning to try baby powder in the stitching as lexol only stops it for a few hours. I shall also try the rolling method as well, thanks.

Vectrex on 04/25/16 at 02:35 PM

Silasws77 wrote:
Gail wrote:

I am sure the more you wear the jacket it will continue to break-in more and become less rigid. You can also try working the leather by rolling the jacket and arms up and down, movement of the leather will help it break it. The more movement of the jacket will also help the condition work more into the leather.

Gail

Thanks Gail, the only thing bothering me right now is the squeaking/creaking noise it makes when I move. Planning to try baby powder in the stitching as lexol only stops it for a few hours. I shall also try the rolling method as well, thanks.

To my experience the squiking noise goes away if you use leather wax on the jacket. it makes the leather soft and helps with that. 

Silasws77 on 04/25/16 at 03:21 PM

Vectrex wrote:
Silasws77 wrote:
Gail wrote:

I am sure the more you wear the jacket it will continue to break-in more and become less rigid. You can also try working the leather by rolling the jacket and arms up and down, movement of the leather will help it break it. The more movement of the jacket will also help the condition work more into the leather.

Gail

Thanks Gail, the only thing bothering me right now is the squeaking/creaking noise it makes when I move. Planning to try baby powder in the stitching as lexol only stops it for a few hours. I shall also try the rolling method as well, thanks.

To my experience the squiking noise goes away if you use leather wax on the jacket. it makes the leather soft and helps with that. 

I've applied three applications of lexol leather conditioner so far as is, not including the times I applied it to the stitching to try to lubricate it. Helped for a few hours then it went back to becoming squeaky. The leather has softened up after I tried the rolling only just now. Still has a rough/dry texture in spots, but the leather itself is more flowy and drapier. Squeaking still there though, I'm planning to coat it in some more lexol in the next few days, how much depending on how it turns out in terms of the noise. Definitely don't want to oversaturate the leather, so less is more. Either way it's already breaking in very nicely, feels like it was tailor made for me, all but the sleeves for my monkey arms. Only negatives now are the rough/dry feeling in a spot or two and the squeak.

 

EDIT: I also tried the talc and immediately stopped and wiped it away. Mine is bright white and looks very jarring amongst the stitching in the underarm footballs and gussets. Will just try to break it in the regular way I guess.

Gail on 04/26/16 at 06:37 AM

You may want to check out our Leather Care Kit we sell under our Accessories. It contains a Leather Salve and a Oil for conditioning, Saddle Soap for light cleaning and a Boot Wax for boots. You can also just purchase the Oil separately if you want, but the salve may be a good product also for this jacket.

Gail

Silasws77 on 04/27/16 at 09:04 AM

Gail wrote:

You may want to check out our Leather Care Kit we sell under our Accessories. It contains a Leather Salve and a Oil for conditioning, Saddle Soap for light cleaning and a Boot Wax for boots. You can also just purchase the Oil separately if you want, but the salve may be a good product also for this jacket.

Gail

Thanks Gail, will definitely check them out!

Silasws77 on 05/01/16 at 11:32 AM

Just an update (Though I should've done this a long time ago). I finally bought Lexol Leather Cleaner and used it (I know saddle soap and stuff are highly recommended but I could only find Lexol in my local malls) and the leather just softened up like I couldn't believe. Apparently all that was needed was to clean the leather as it was probably full of dirt and grime from years of use (or unuse). Conditioned it after and the squeaking is gone, as is the stiffness. Feels amazing now and it's breaking in so perfectly. Next I'm going to attempt to remove the underarm footballs via my tailor to make the sillhouette sleeker, and make this my ultimate leather jacket for the foreseeable future. 

Gail on 05/02/16 at 06:23 AM

I am glad you have resolved the squeaking in the jacket. I think you should give some thought in having the jacket professionally cleaned. If the outside of the jacket was that dirty that it made the jacket stiff and squeaky, the lining in the jacket must need a good cleaning too. You need to remove the dirt and sweat from the previous owner so your lining and stitching does not deteriorate from the dirt, and to know the sweat and dirt has been removed before wearing the jacket.  I always recommend have used jackets professionally cleaned by the new owner.

Gail

Silasws77 on 05/04/16 at 12:14 PM

Gail wrote:

I am glad you have resolved the squeaking in the jacket. I think you should give some thought in having the jacket professionally cleaned. If the outside of the jacket was that dirty that it made the jacket stiff and squeaky, the lining in the jacket must need a good cleaning too. You need to remove the dirt and sweat from the previous owner so your lining and stitching does not deteriorate from the dirt, and to know the sweat and dirt has been removed before wearing the jacket.  I always recommend have used jackets professionally cleaned by the new owner.

Gail

Thanks Gail, turns out the squeaking was a false alarm :( It went back to squeaking within a day or two, albeit a lot less. But I did recently go to a place that sells not new but close to new Schott jackets and I had the luxury of trying them on. They were very well taken care of, as most of them were owned previously by the owners of the shop while others were left by the previous tenants of the shoplot. Turns out even the newer steerhides squeak.

The one I tried on was made in 2012 and was in amazing shape. Almost new, I'd say, but I forgot to ask so I'm hesitant to assume, and it squeaks as well. Either way although I'm much happier with the outcome of my cleaning and conditioning I think I'll still be looking to let mine go and go for something more akin to naked or lightweight leather.

 

Oh and I did bring my jacket to a professional leather cleaner but the girl at the counter told me that it was unlikely I could improve it in anyway due to the nature of the coated steerhide (which falls in line with my previous findings) and she said that I've done a pretty good job cleaning the leather and the sleeve lining (I didn't touch the body lining as it had been newly replaced) so there really wasn't much difference the professional cleaning could make and didn't recommend spending the money on it.

 

Either way my jacket will be on the for sale section with a heartwrenchingly reduced price as the shop owner of the vintage shop I went to advised me that the value would drop significantly in the absence of a belt.

Vectrex on 05/04/16 at 12:45 PM

I think a vintage jacket is a pretty cool piece of cloth to possess. I don't know why but (besides the look) it offers some untold (or told) history which you carry around. If a jacket is from the 70's..you literally care 40 years of experience with you. I would prefer a vntage jacket all the time over a new one (if it is still in a good shape).

 

But itäs sad that you don't have the belt anymore. I can understand that the value is pretty much gone without. It just adds a lot to the look for me.

Silasws77 on 05/04/16 at 01:11 PM

Vectrex wrote:

I think a vintage jacket is a pretty cool piece of cloth to possess. I don't know why but (besides the look) it offers some untold (or told) history which you carry around. If a jacket is from the 70's..you literally care 40 years of experience with you. I would prefer a vntage jacket all the time over a new one (if it is still in a good shape).

 

But itäs sad that you don't have the belt anymore. I can understand that the value is pretty much gone without. It just adds a lot to the look for me.

I feel the same way, and the amount of effort it took me to soften and 'break in' this one was although tough and time consuming, to me completely worth it even though I've decided on selling it. I didn't bother with the belt at first, which is why I bought it having foreknowledge of the fact, but the more I wear it the more I feel something is missing.

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