Monarch Half Belt Restoration

Discussion in 'Moto / Utility Jackets' started by Maverickson, Feb 14, 2017.

  1. Maverickson

    Maverickson Active Member

    Messages:
    324
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Hi All,

    Just finished up with a restoration project. In this case it was a War era Monarch half belt. Since the jacket was a borderline basket case, along the way I did some changes & upgrades.

    That jacket seen before:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    That same Monarch jacket seen after:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Among those changes was a zipper upgrade.

    [​IMG]

    I wanted to thank Steve Sellers for his help with that zip!

    Enjoy!

    Cheers Dave
     
  2. daw

    daw Member

    Messages:
    97
    Miraculous transformation! Great work.
     
  3. CBI

    CBI Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,440
    great job - my absolute favorite jacket thing - original skin, new insides - the best kind of jackets. Awesome real vintage with modern moving parts making it after to wear - congrats!
     
  4. dmar836

    dmar836 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,746
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    Nice bring-back!
     
  5. johnwayne

    johnwayne Active Member

    Messages:
    828
    Is that really the same jacket? Excellent transformation that. What did you use to rejuvenate the leather?
    Well done that man!
    Cheers
    Wayne
     
  6. Maverickson

    Maverickson Active Member

    Messages:
    324
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Hi All,

    In my mind there is no substitute to the feel of wearing an original vintage jacket. But along the way I have learned that there is a price to pay for being able to do so. Especially if a vintage jacket is used as a daily wearer, unless it has been totally made over, it presents it's self with problems. All much like living in an non up dated old house that is in constant need of repair.

    Yes, those two Monarch jacket's pictured are one and the same. When originally sourced, that half belt was quite literally falling apart at it's seams. Although missing it's label it was no doubt a Monarch. Judging by the fact it had been stitched entirely with cotton thread and the fact that it had a marked Talon zipper assembly suggested it was a in fact a War era jacket.

    This jacket was beyond well worn when received. But sized in a 42/44 with Monarch's characteristically smallish shoulders made it perfect for my frame. The jacket's original hide thicknesses were mismatched. With the heaviest (armor) being the front panels and upper sleeves. The worst panels were the jacket's back panel along the shoulders. Those shoulder had ultra thin hide to begin with and exhibited irreversible hanger damage. That thin hide was reminiscent of those WW-2 hides found one of my original Monarch A-2's. Considering the overall state of this jacket put it in dire need of an total make over.

    This half belt jacket was originally chocolate colored horsehide. To make this transformation happen I found another similar colored bagged horsehide jacket to use as a donor. Thereafter I dyed the leather from both jackets to match. Please note that I used as much of the jacket's original hides as possible when reassembling!

    All replacement hardware is in fact War era (per 1947 with the folded type reinforced 100% cotton fabric tape) that I highly polished before attaching. The difference being I asked Steve switch it out the female connection point on that main zipper assembly to that earlier Sunburst Deco type. Then added the early civilian type sliders that have the rays to both the main and cigarette pocket as an upgrade.

    On the inside, the jacket originally had a taupe colored rayon lining. That bright gold colored replacement lining is a comparable mid weight rayon material that I doubled so it would last and something I like to do to those jackets in my personal collection.

    This jacket originally had a leather lapel. Albeit, this jacket did not have a true top to bottom leather lapel panels nor map pockets as seen attached. Moreover, I just decided to do those modifications as another upgrade over the original.

    Those sleeve's cuffs were in fact originally fitted with belted type. But I switched them out for the button type. That style of buttoned cuffs just happens to be my preference. Add into the fact that I have the ability to do either made it a matter of course. Besides, I've found that Monarch did either those button or belted type cuffs (as seen on one of Silver Surfer's original Monarch half belts) as an option.

    It took almost an entire year to source everything needed to make this happen and well worth the wait. Basically, I created a one of a kind horse hide vintage half belt jacket that is 100% tailor made to my body type. In the end, this jacket turned out to be extremely comfortable and built to last.

    I'm very pleased with the results.

    Cheers, Dave
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
  7. MikeyB-17

    MikeyB-17 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,703
    Location:
    Cornwall, UK
    Whoa! Stunning! Hell of a job!
     
  8. PADDY_M

    PADDY_M Active Member

    Messages:
    501
    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    Amazing work Dave...!!!
     
  9. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    856
    Location:
    Norway
    Wow that's amazing. Looks incredible now and even better with the single yoke and half belt on the back.
     
  10. Vcruiser

    Vcruiser Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,069
    Location:
    EastCentral Indiana
    Very nice restoration. Excellent..!!
     
  11. johnwayne

    johnwayne Active Member

    Messages:
    828
    So Dave, what would you recommend to treat a half belt I own? It a Gordon & Ferguson russet coloured that I believe to be late 40's and previously owned by 2 members here and although I quite like its vintage/scuffed in places look, I question if it might look better if I treat the leather! Pecards seems to be the one often quoted here and I'm still debating whether to do anything at all but yours looks so nice I'm tempted!!
    Cheers
    Wayne
     
  12. Maverickson

    Maverickson Active Member

    Messages:
    324
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Hi Wayne,

    I suppose that you could use Pecards or Vaseline on your jackets. But while refurbishing that Monarch half belt no preservatives were used.

    My Monarch jacket's leather was dyed by me. Done while in pieces & all prior to stitching to get that color as seen.

    First and foremost, greasy preservatives are not to be mixed with dye work.

    Cheers, Dave
     
  13. ButteMT61

    ButteMT61 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,421
    Location:
    Pasadena, CA USA
    Wow - that's incredible! Thanks for posting - do you do "people" too? ;)
     
  14. photo2u

    photo2u Member

    Messages:
    40
    Dave, That is beautiful work! Thanks for educating me in the proper way to restore a classic. I was wondering if you could please let me know where I can get the lining you used in your jacket. I one jacket project in need of new lining. If you have time, please advice,

    G.
     

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