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The Origins of The Leather Jacket

14 Jan 2011

So where has the cultural and iconic status associated with the leather jacket originated from?

Some believe Cowboys in the old west of the Americas were among the first to popularize leather garments because of its durable as well as practical qualities.

However the beginning of the 20th century saw the era of daredevil motorcycle racing. These adrenaline junkies recognized and regarded cow hide as the best way to protect themselves in one of the most dangerous sports of that epoch. Indeed today high quality motor-bike suits are made of very durable cow-hide leather and have kevlar panels inserted for added hardened protection.

The military's use of leather apparel during the First and Second World War is well documented and commonly thought to be the origin of the ‘modern day' flight jackets (aka flying jackets), or bomber jackets, were lined with sheepskin and worn by pilots and aviators as part of an overall uniform to protect these air acrobats from the hazardous elements encountered at such high altitudes in which they operated.

Full-length cow skin coats were also very orthodox amongst Russian Bolsheviks and other Russian revolutionaries in the early 20th century. The ruthless winters of Russia were uninhabitable without such attire and it's easy to see why these garments were so immensely cherished for their warmth comfort and durability. So much so, that still to this day Russia, Scandanavian, Canada and Alaska are the highest consumers of outer-wear made from leather skins and animal pelts due to the ongoing and undersandable requirement from its inhabitants to protect and sheild them selfs from the cold and harsh winter weather.

Interestingly man's love of animal skins and fur still continues today and man made immitations may have the characteristic resemblance from a distance but cannot by any stretch replicate the fantastic shielding and insulating qualities that leather and sheepskin offer, nor the comfort and longevity associated, it is no surprise that we still covet these today just as much as ever!

Mens Shearling Sheepskin Flying Jacket - Atlas in Brown Wool