Discussion Starter · #1 ·
BEAUTIFUL! RARE EARLY AVIATION LEATHERCRAFT IRVIN JACKET.
With Riri zippers throughout!
c. 42, 44. Measurements:
Sleeve: 24 (c. 35 1/4 measured like a shirt)
Shoulder: 19 1/2
Length: 25 (from collar seam down the center back)
This is wonderful--a early (likely late 1970s or early 1980s) Irvin jacket made in England by Aviation Leathercraft.
Irvin designed and made the iconic sheepskin flying jackets worn by the pilots of the RAF during the Second World War. In 1976 Simon Green--an amateur pilot and the owner of a company that made steering wheels for classic British marques such as Aston Martin, Morgan, and Lotus--wanted an Irvin but found that they were no longer being produced. So he contacted Irvin GB Ltd (who were still in business making other aviation-related products) who assisted him with extensive photographs or the originals; he also contacetd one of tehri original subcontractors from WWII to secure patterns and original machinery.
Irvin were impressed by the jackets that he made, and agreed to license their name to him--making his new company Aviation Leathercraft the only one to make Irvin jackets allowed to bear the name.
At the start Aviation Leathercraft's jackets were extremely well-made and built to last a lifetime or two. This is one of thsoe early jackets.
Made from thick, luxurious sheepskin whose pile has now tamped down obver the decades to provide a lovely comfortable, warm, fleece lining on the interior, this lovely jacket has developed wonderful graining on the exterior.
As an Irvin jacket this has an oversized collar to protect against the elements while flying--or walking the dog! The collar fastens upwards by means of a leather throat strap and D-rings; these are are fully functyional and original to the jacket. It also features long zippers on the arms so that you can wear gauntlets to keep your hands and wrists warm while piloting your Spitfire, and for strngth and durability all of the exterior seams are reinforced with leather strips. The jacket has a belt to ensure that you can protect yourself from drafts with a snug fit; the buckle is solid brass. Just like the originals this jacket has panels under the arms fitted with brass grommets to allow the jacket to breathe.
The exceptionally high quality of this jacket is shown by the fact that it has Riri zippers throughout, on the front and on the sleeves--possibly the best quality zippers available (they're used mainly by extremely expensive fashion brands) these move beatifully smoothly and are extremely durable.
This was Made in England--and, as an early example of Aviation Leathercraft's Irvins, it was almost certainly made on some of the original machinery that made the original Irvins during WWII.
It carries its original Irvin label on the interior.
This jacket is in Very Good/Excellent condition. It has some minor fading from sunlight on the sheepskin at the back of the collar, but you can only see this if you're really looking for it, and then only in bright sunlight. It has a tiny flake on the exterior on one shoulder, as shown, but NO flaking or damage arnd this so it is likely the result of "bash" at some point. There is some minor greening to the zipper on one sleeve, but this can be ignored as it doesn't affect function at all. The sheepskin is beautifully supple, and ready to last you for decades! All of the stitching is firm and strong.
Good quality Irvins really hold their value over time.. but I'd like to find this one a good home!
How about $375, or offer, boxed, shipped, and insured in the USA? As always, OFFERS ARE VERY WELCOME!