Best treatment for stitch holes???

Discussion in 'Care / Preservation' started by RayR, Dec 7, 2014.

  1. RayR

    RayR Member

    Messages:
    120
    I have a few ideas in mind for this, but I would really love to hear what you have tried or heard of being tried successfully by others....

    You have a great WWII A-2 (or similar) and there is a space with stitch outlines where there used to be a patch. What do you do to hide/repair it short of putting another patch in it's place.

    I'm thinking:

    * Wet the holes with a toothpick and water and try to get them to swell up.
    * get a light color (shoe polish, wood stain, etc) and touch inside the holes to darken them (fear of making whiteish stitches into darkish stitches)
    * Perhaps Pecards brown or Obenauf's Leather Oil will help camouflage it.

    What do you think? Anyone have any before/after shots?
     
  2. a2jacketpatches

    a2jacketpatches Active Member

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    Best treatment for stitch holes? Me :D

    Somewhere in this forum I posted before and after pics. I mixed a concoction of exterior grade caulking and other stuff, filled the holes with a hypodermic needle, feathered, wet sanded, primed, finish sanded, and sprayed on a top coat. Nearly impossible to fix if the leather was crushed from very tight stitching.
     
  3. dmar836

    dmar836 Well-Known Member

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    Ray,
    I have never seen an A-2 where the stitch holes were made difficult to see. Maybe I have but Sean had fixed them first.
    IMO, those holes represent the history of the jacket and the pride of the owner. They tell anyone astute enough to notice that that jacket is the real deal and has "been there".
    If I ever wanted to "fix" one like that(and I probably wouldn't), I would try to find whose it was and cover the stitches with the same patch to the best of my researching ability. I have a painted one like that but there is no name anywhere so I'll never know. I think I even left the old thread in the holes. Another was identified by another member here and the rest of his grouping was able to rejoin it. I have yet to bring myself to "restore" that jacket even though I know what it had on it and have had offers to paint proper patches for it.
    What stops me and what I urge you to consider is that we are changing history forever by covering those up.

    JMO,
    Dave
     
  4. Skip

    Skip Active Member

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    Nicely put Dave. I tOo would leave it alone, I would just hate myself if I stuffed it up
     
  5. a2jacketpatches

    a2jacketpatches Active Member

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    For the record, it was an Eastman hat I put the CBI and AAF HQ SSI on opposite the way they should have been and had to invent a way to cover what parts of the shield were sticking out. While I was at it, I had a G&B with double stitch holes and fixed it up as well. Somebody had already done the bigger patch over existing holes thing so it was in need of TLC. Came out great and you'd never know unless you had a trained eye or I handed you a magnifier and pointed it out. Almost like auto body work.

    I assumed we were talking about a repro jacket, sometimes it's easy to forget the Vintage Leather Jackets Forum has actual vintage leather jackets once in a while. :lol:
     
  6. bseal

    bseal Well-Known Member

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    Wine, candles, and Barry Manilow.
     
  7. dmar836

    dmar836 Well-Known Member

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    I'm leaving that one alone.
     
  8. 6148th T.C.Squadron

    6148th T.C.Squadron Member

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    Very funny :lol:
     
  9. RayR

    RayR Member

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    Thanks, Dave, you make good sense.
     
  10. Skip

    Skip Active Member

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    I always thought it was just an online hat show, this leather jacket things just a front. :lol:

    Wouldn't have a problem do this to a repro Sean, I'd restore an original if it was just a skin but leave the leather holes and all as they were
     
  11. a2jacketpatches

    a2jacketpatches Active Member

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    Most of the time it's repro talk here, and me being a repro MFG, I just went in that direction here in this thread.

    As for altering history / repairing originals, I've only restored one original jacket as requested by the original vet, his son, and daughters. Did it over a year ago and I made the mistake of showing it here. Lots of ruffled feathers but I assure you and others here that I don't usually do that kind of thing. IMO, the original vet that wore the thing in combat by far out ranks any other opinions. I thought to do the job using correct materials etc. as opposed to the risk of it being butchered by someone else. That jacket will remain in his family for generations to come, it is framed behind glass in a two sided shadow box. In cases like this, guess I do prefer myself doing the work much in the same way I do when managing a grouping of items from a named individual. Keep the history as intact as possible, others would break down every last piece and scatter across the globe to squeeze every last penny out of it.
     
  12. Silver Surfer

    Silver Surfer Well-Known Member

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    amen, brudda. stitch holes from where patches were on an original is but one aspect of the stitch hole conundrum. there are many cases of perfectly fine examples of originals that have had zippers replaced during or post war. sometimes the work was done poorly, and makes the otherwise good looking jacket look kinda crappy. the question then is, to do or not to do?. as to whether or not it is an impropriety may not apply in this case. should it be done, should it not be done, sure ok, but if one is to do it, how is it done?. sean is on the right track, and other experiments, failures and successes can help all of us......oh, as well with repros.
     
  13. regius

    regius Member

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    314
    Interesting thoughts shared here. I'd like to share my most recent experience in the way of a most horrendous jacket repair attempt.

    I bought a 40s HH Sears Hercules D pocket jacket, the silver Hercules label, not the Oakbrook label, very very nice horsehide in mint condition and the green wool checkered lining perfect, almost like a NOS. However, the coin pocket has a top corner ripping a bit, the thread must have rotten. Just a little, one could almost not care and wear it.

    I wanted to try out my local Italian family-owned shoe repair business called Occicones, they are rated top repairer by department stores for bags, furniturs, garment and shoes.

    I didn't really explain the "intricacies" of a D pocket, just showed them hey, the corner is coming off please sew it back.

    After one full week and $35, guess what, I was aghast to see some fool stitched the flap pocket all the way through the D pocket into the body panel, eliminating the use of the D pocket!!! It was a "WHAT THE FFFF" moment when I tried to reach into my D pocket at a gas station (I didn't examine the work at the shop a I thought this should be obvious).

    Now I managed to cut the threads from the body panel and now the flap pocket only has the hidden stitch left. Will have to send it to Johnson to fix.

    As a caveat, I tried to offer them a new business model and become partner with them, but they don't care about my idea and don't believe they have the know-how, well, so much for old Italian craftsmen in New York. They'd rather take their company to grave (a bit like my current employer...) than get a new management to take it to the next level.
     
  14. regius

    regius Member

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    314
    *Amendment: why did I post this story? Because I'm trying to fix the new stitch holes on the body panel that weren't supposed to be there.
     

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