Once a jacket has been cut and all the pieces checked for quality, the assemblage of the body can commence. Typically the seam allowance for a leather jacket is 3/8ths; this helps save on very expensive leather wastage. Our jackets are sewn with two types of thread. The inner seams are synthetic for strength and the top stitching is done in cotton thread for both beauty and authenticity. As a jacket wears the cotton thread tends to protect the leather from wear and tear. The strain on the stitch holes can lead to a sawing effect with nylon thread so rather than experience that kind of wear over time the more authentic cotton thread which was used in the 1930s and 1940s is preferred. Thread gauge and stitch counts are maintained to the original jackets of the 1930s. We had to overcome many technical difficulties in order to use cotton. The main one being that the sewing has to be slowed down in order to not constantly break the thread as the needle penetrates the very tough beautiful horsehides.
When sewing, the body is sewn first separate from the sleeves and the collar. Any external hard wear and straps like the nickel d-rings are attached to the body of the jacket. Inner seams are sewn, first maintaining the seam allowance and then the top stitching is applied to finish the seam. We keep our top stitching accurate to the widths of the original jackets. In order to maintain flat seams and smooth stitching, seams need to be tamped or hammered as the sewing progresses. As well anywhere where there are multiple folds and seams that are joined, the seam allowance needs to be cut away and often edges get skived down. Skiving is a process of shaving down the leather in order to minimize the thickness. As typical in the shoe industry, jackets made with real horsehide leather would be too thick on seams where leather can be folded over up to 8 times. 8 times of 1.1 mm leather makes for an almost 1 cm thick seam to top stitch over. High quality sewing leads to very nice flat seams on these joins. This takes time and the sewing techniques of very skilled craftspeople.
Whenever pieces of the body are joined together, we finish each seam with a knot. Few manufacturers would take the extra time to do
this. By hand knotting the seam the likelihood of ever coming unstitched is minimized and creates an extra strong seam!