How’s everyone doing today, out riding the Harley? I’m stuck in here, writing this post, lol. Well, now that I’ve explained how to get the best leather for a leather jacket, I’ll explain a bit about all the leather hardware that goes into a leather jacket. Hardware is anything that is sewn, stamped, snapped, crimped or otherwise attached to a leather jacket, or other leather product.
It can be the zipper, conchos, button snaps, studs, buckles, anything. There are special leather tools made to work this stuff into the leather. Anything that is just forced through the leather makes it weak and likely to tear. Leather tools cut the small holes and so on needed to attach the hardware.
Now, the last thing you want is to have your hardware rust! Not only will that render the hardware useless, it will destroy the leather around it. Real cheap leather is sometimes made with hardware that rust, I call it rustware. Also the thickness of the hardware determines how good it is. A thin cheap snap will pull out or stop snapping together.
You want all your hardware to be made out of stainless steel, nickel plated or brass. This will not rust. The most common colors are silver, gold or brass colored, and black. Snaps need to be long enough to go through the thick leather and then be crimped down. Ones that are too short will soon rip out.
Also if snaps are made out of thin stuff the snap will wear out, and soon it will not snap and stay there. A quality leather jacket will have a few extra snaps with it, as it’s hard to find ones that match several years down the road if one wears out. Next is the zippers.
I’m sure you’ve heard of YKK zippers for leather jackets. If not, then pay attention! Nothing gets me more mad then having a zipper that does not work. Zippers take a lot of punishment, get plugged up and are exposed to the elements. Also if your leather jacket has several vents, then it can have as many as 8 zippers on it!
So, it pays to get the best kind of zipper made, and the best zipper for leather is called a YKK zipper. The name YKK just refers to how it’s made. It’s rugged and made to last, will not rust and is just simply the best zipper you can get for a leather jacket. So make sure when getting your leather jacket it has a YKK zipper, at least the main one in the front.
For the vents and pockets, a chap zipper is good, but again a YKK is the best. I personally like the brass zippers best, they just seem to last longer with no problems. If your main zipper ever breaks, it’s not the end of the world. A leather repair shop can take the old one out and put in a brand new one.
There are lots of other areas on a leather jacket you find hardware. You can have a zippered inside liner, studs and decorations on the jacket, bones and beads, snap collar, snap wrist, whatever your pockets close with and finally your buckle if it comes with one.
Generally a quality brand name leather jacket will have quality hardware. And a cheap leather jacket will ALWAYS have cheap hardware! You can always add studs and designs to your jacket, or change the look of your buckle. A great place to get replacement leather hardware is this place for lots of leather hardware.
So, take a good look at the hardware on the next leather jacket you see. Look to see if the zipper says YKK. See if the snaps seem thick and solid, or do they seem thin? Do you see rust or buildup around the hardware? Soon you’ll be able to tell a real quality leather jacket.