All You Need to Know About Leather Jackets

 What are leather jackets used for?

Leather jackets come in a great variety of styles, ranging from heavy duty motorcycle jackets designed to prevent injury, to experimental, avant-garde fashion garments.  Leather jackets are warm and windproof and aside from their use by motorcyclists they are also worn for protection during rugged outdoor activities.  Most leather jackets are now worn as everyday clothing.  The leather jacket is a very hard-wearing garment and the more worn it gets, the more attractive it becomes.  Leather jackets made from soft leather such as sheepskin, mould to your body and become highly personal prized possessions.

Who wears leather jackets?

Although the leather jacket still retains strong symbolic associations it has, over the last hundred years, become universalised.  Motorcyclists still love their leather jackets, but so do models, film stars, pregnant mums and retired teachers.  Leather jackets, in all their multitudinous variety, are worn all around the world by all kinds of people.

Are leather jackets 80s?

When punk became absorbed into mainstream fashion so too did the ubiquitous Schott ‘Perfecto’ leather jacket.  Post Blondie, the eighties saw a dramatic increase in the number of women wearing leather jackets.  Does that mean that people stopped wearing leather jackets after the eighties?  Did they stop wearing sunglasses, jeans or trainers?  Of course not.  The leather jacket carries with it a rich cultural history and each generation reinvents it in their own image.

Are leather jackets still in style?

Rihanna, Kanye West, Matthew McConaughey and Jay Z have all been photographed wearing the same style of Schott leather jacket that Marlon Brando made famous in The Wild Ones back in 1953.  Leather jackets are still very much in style.

What are good leather jacket brands?

There are hundreds of leather jacket brands to choose from.  Think about the type of jacket you want, heavy duty motorcycle gear or lightweight luxury, and think about how much you want to spend.  The Schott ‘Perfecto’ was the first purpose designed motorcycle jacket on the market and it’s still the most iconic jacket you can buy.  Yes, you can wear it while riding your motorcycle, but most people don’t.  Very functional and very retro stylish, Belstaff leather jackets have found favour with the likes of David Beckham and Brad Pitt and are a very high quality, durable product.  If money is no object, then explore the range of gorgeous leather jackets from John Varvatos but for an affordable leather jacket that doesn't compromise on quality, check out our range of leather jackets at MAHI. 

What are biker leather jackets?

As you might expect, ‘biker jackets’ are garments which were originally designed for people who ride motorcycles. This is still the case to a certain extent, but serious long-distance motorcyclists are more likely to choose heavy duty jackets, possibly with in-built armour, which are not the sort of jacket you’ll be slipping into for a night on the town.  The most famous of all biker jackets is the Schott ‘Perfecto’. Created in 1928 specifically for motorcyclists, its distinctive asymmetrical zip was designed so that riders could lean across their motorcycle without fastenings digging into them.  Marlon Brando wore one in the 1953 film ‘The Wild Ones’ and ever since its been the hippest leather jacket on the planet.  The other popular form of biker jacket is the ‘Racer’.  Lightweight and with a central zip, this style was popularised by café racers of the fifties and sixties.

When is leather jacket weather?

The answer depends on the type of leather jacket that you have in your wardrobe.  Lightweight jackets made from a lightweight leather such as sheep skin are a garment that you wear pretty much all year round.  They are obviously not beach wear, but they are great for those summer evenings when the sun goes down and the temperature drops.  Heavier jackets with more substantial linings are too warm to wear outside of autumn and winter.  Leather is a natural, permeable material so avoid exposing your jacket to prolonged heavy rain.

Are leather jackets waterproof?

All leather jackets will resist a certain amount of rain, how much will depend on the type of leather and whether the surface of the leather has been treated with a water-resistant coating or conditioner.  Leather is a natural, permeable material and therefore it will always absorb water eventually.

Can leather jackets withstand the cold?

Leather jackets are wind resistant and therefore if you layer your clothing under the jacket you will keep nice and warm.  Thick, heavy duty leather jackets are obviously warmer than lightweight fashion garments.

What is a leather jacket made of?

Leather jackets are made from a variety of animal hides, the most popular choice for heavy duty jackets is cowhide but buffalo and horse are also used.  Lightweight leather jackets are usually made using hides from sheep, pigs or goats, although more exotic leathers, such as kangaroo are also used.

What is a faux leather jacket?

A faux leather jacket is a jacket which has been constructed using an imitation leather.  There have been many forms of imitation leather which have been created over the last hundred years, most of them derived from a petro-chemical basis.  We are now seeing the development of organic leather substitutes, grown in the laboratory, although these materials are not yet widely available.

What is a PU leather jacket?

A PU leather jacket can be one of two things.  Either it has been made using low quality split leather which is then coated with a layer of polyurethane or it is made entirely of polyurethane.  It is not always clear from the label which process has been used to make the garment.  PU leather is a cheap chemical alternative to animal hide, which makes it a viable choice for vegans. PU is not biodegradable, and it contains isocyanates, a respiratory toxin.  PU is water resistant, but it is not breathable, and it does not have the durability of leather.

What is a nappa leather jacket?

Nappa leather is hide which has been put through a specialised chemical tanning process which was first developed in America in 1875.  The treatment is used on a variety of hides and the result is a luxuriously soft leather.  Nappa leather is used for fashion garments rather than utility clothing because it requires special care to maintain its appearance.

What is a vegan leather jacket?

A vegan leather jacket is one in which no animal products have been used in its manufacture.  Substitute leather materials are usually made using polyurethane although organic alternatives to leather are in development.

What is a perforated leather jacket?

Perforated leather jackets have tiny holes, spaced at regular intervals, punched in the leather to allow air to circulate around the body and keep you cool in the heat.  It is usually a feature of motorcycle jackets designed for summer riding.

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