Wet or Dry Bomber Stretch

Discussion in 'General Flight Jacket Discussion' started by Eric Fanucchi, Jan 18, 2018.

  1. Eric Fanucchi

    Eric Fanucchi New Member

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    I need to stretch a 30 year old bomber jacket. I m a bit bigger these days and it also shrunk a bit.
    Presently weighting it down for dry stretching and plan to use water or IPA or leather conditioner. Then let it dry.
    Any recommendations on best way to wet with what compound ??
     

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  2. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

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    Indian Pale Ale??!! That's a new one on me, I'd rather drink the stuff.
     
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  3. Eric Fanucchi

    Eric Fanucchi New Member

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    I will buy for the people who supply the correct answer
     
  4. Persimmon

    Persimmon Well-Known Member

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    Have you thought about selling it and purchasing a more suitable fit jacket. Is it that precious to you ?

    There are some superb jackets on the market these days. Less “ bomber “jacket more A2.

    Many of us just don’t have the body shape that we did 30 years ago and trying to squeeze ourselves in to something often does not look that good.

    In terms of water several forum members ( myself included) have used that method but it’s results are more to reduce/shrink the jacket dimensions slightly to get a more custom fit.
    I have never had a jacket got bigger thankfully.
     
  5. Rutger

    Rutger Well-Known Member

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  6. dmar836

    dmar836 Well-Known Member

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    If you ask me, it looks too big on you already.
    JMO,
    Dave
     
  7. Steve27752

    Steve27752 Well-Known Member

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  8. Thomas Koehle

    Thomas Koehle Well-Known Member

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    in the automotive industry we work with steam ...

    if it is necessary to alter a seatcover - either getting rid of wrinkles or stretch for better fit - with steam you can get leather in shape ...

    but i`d rather recommend it for experienced persons only
     
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  9. Eric Fanucchi

    Eric Fanucchi New Member

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  10. Eric Fanucchi

    Eric Fanucchi New Member

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    I would agree and think conditioning might be more in order.. I just want a little more chest area because I work out.
     
  11. Eric Fanucchi

    Eric Fanucchi New Member

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    Just need a bit more breathing area for my expanded chest.
     
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  12. Eric Fanucchi

    Eric Fanucchi New Member

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    Based on your picture .. you should buy new. Just answer the questions I posed or silence is golden and all others need not apply.
     
  13. dmar836

    dmar836 Well-Known Member

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    Wow. Here we go again. I don't think Alan meant harm. Having some experience we know there is no magic way to selectively shrink or leave one area while increasing the size of another area. There are some great deals on the secondary market and often that is a preferable start unless the jacket is indeed very special to you.
    Soak it, zip it up and stuff the chest tight with laundry and be done with it.
    Dave
     
  14. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

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    To be totally honest there's no real way to completely and effectively stretch a leather jacket. Yes you can probably get it wet and stretch it by putting it under tension by either stuffing it or pulling it with weights, etc. You might succeed in making it larger but you'll most likely succeed in doing one or more of the following: damage the drape of the leather; wreck the lining; and/or get some of the panels out of kilter with others to the detriment of fit.

    If you love it that much get a leather jacket maker to use your jacket to make a larger version of it, somebody like Wested would probably do it.

    That way you'll get a bigger jacket without ruining your old one and wasting all that IPA when you could just drink it.

    Whatever you choose to do best of luck.
     
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  15. dmar836

    dmar836 Well-Known Member

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    And if it works please send the IPA to my address!
    Dave
     
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  16. unclegrumpy

    unclegrumpy Well-Known Member

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    So keep your pants on then...
     
  17. dmar836

    dmar836 Well-Known Member

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    Go for it. You're in Austin! You might not get noticed.;)
     
  18. robrinay

    robrinay Member

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    I’ve never had much success with stretching old leather jackets as the stitching pops too easily and or the surface of the leather forms a ‘graze’ as the surface finish pulls apart. I’ve had more success with stretching tight leather boots. I soaked them with cheap vodka as recommended by a cobbler, to wet and lubricate the fibres and then inserted and gradually tightened a shoe stretcher. After an overnight drying they are much easier to pull on and off.
     
  19. MikeyB-17

    MikeyB-17 Well-Known Member

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    I tried it once with a ‘Luftwaffe’ style jacket-stitching on the shoulders ripped wide open when I next wore it. Admittedly it wasn’t a particularly expensive jacket.
     
  20. Eric Fanucchi

    Eric Fanucchi New Member

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    After just 5 days of Dry stretch .. I think its almost prefect in chest area.
    Will condition it with Honey brand and then put back in my stretcher till dry.

    FYI .. my stretcher was simply a closet clothes rod and 2 - 8 pound dumb bars.
    Put the jacket around the rod and zip the jacket closed with zipper on downside.
    Insert the weights thru the neck and rest them on chest area. Result so far is 1 inch more chest area.
    If you want more stretch .. I would recommend a vapor steamer with 50 / 50 % of water / IPA and maybe a few more days ..
    You can also do other selective areas as needed like arms tummy etc.
    I will now drink my IPA that I did not use.
    This is an expensive Pour Le Sport lambskin jacket with fine butter soft leather and now with the new custom fit.
    It is just like magic if you use your mind.
    Shrink and Strect works fine and dandy.
    Pictures will follow after Honey Brand conditioning in the weight stretcher.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018

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