Tales From the Wardrobe: “Can you help my suede jacket..”

Can you help my suede jacket it needs some of its stitching repaired and perhaps a new lining” It was a simple enough request and we arrange for him to bring in the jacket.

When Mr Smith arrived he was carrying a well-worn tan leather jacket, with patch pockets and quite a square-cut style.

Mr Smith, probably in his late 50s, informs me that the jacket had been purchased by his father in 1939 and had been worn by him a great deal through his life. The jacket a little battered, a few beer stains here and there, but the suede was still intact and there were a few areas (around the pockets and a shoulder seam) where the stitching needed replacing. The three-quarter lining was worse for wear and needed replacing completely. We discussed what colour lining we should use and settled for a rich deep red/black 2-tone fabric.

I repaired the stitching and replaced the lining and before he collected it I gave it a serious going over with a stiff brush for several hours. (Handy hint: to lift suede and make it look close to new give it a hard brushing remember in the old days when you bought a new pair of suede shoes the shop would also sell you a little wire brush to brush them with… it works!)

The brushing worked, and when he came to collect the jacket was looking almost new and he informed me that it was now ready for him to pass on to his son, as it had been passed to him. Not bad for a 70-year-old jacket! & I reckon there’s another 70 years of wear in it still

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