Cutting & Sewing. Every single Aero jacket is made from start to finish by an individual machinist, each taking immense pride in his or her work, there is no production line at Aero. Similarly every Aero jacket is individually cut and perfectly matched. We never cut (nor sew) a batch of sleeves, collars or patch pockets etc ready to add to the rest of the jacket during a production line style run. Even though it's a much more economical way to work, the risk of mismatched panels is high when compared to a jacket where each panel is matched to the next during cutting and these are kept together during the entire manufacturing process.
Needles & Stitch Size. We choose the optimum stitch size for the type and weight of leather being used, it takes 5 seconds to change the stitch size on an industrial sewing machine, each machinist resets the stitch size on his or her machine for each change in hide. While the largest stitch size we use is smaller than was average during the Golden Age of jacket making and we use a smaller stitch on our thinner hides, we will never use a stitch size so small that the perforations made by the needle are so close together that they risk the leather tearing along the stitch line under stress like on a sheet of postage stamps.
Thread. We use a heavy duty cotton thread with a poly core for extra strength. Forty years of restoring vintage jackets have shown us that the weakest point is invariably the rotting pure cotton thread. We also use a heavy duty spear point leather needle to sew our jackets. The shape of the needle point prevents fraying and thread breakages during make up and later during wear. A thinner needle and cotton thread is perfectly OK in lighter weight leathers, but using this combination in our heavy leathers gives a far higher risk of broken needles and broken thread during make up. Although this is easy to repair invisibly it can leave a hidden weak spot.
Glue. We never use glue to pre-set the fold of the hem or the front edges of the jacket alongside the zipper in preparation for topstitching. This seems quite popular amongst current Japanese manufacturers. Although this makes for a much simpler top stich when finishing the jacket, if that jacket ever needs relining or a new zipper fitted the glue residue makes the job anything from much more difficult to damn neigh impossible.
Buttons & Buttonholes All our buttons are hand sewn with a bound stem, Savile Row style. We would never consider using a button sewing machine, pull one loose thread on a button attached by machine and the thread unwinds and the button falls off. All our buttonholes are traditionally sewn on a Reece 101 Keyhole Button Hole machine
Skiving. We never skive seams. While skiving (shaving thickness from the underside of the leather) admittedly may make a neater seam, the combination of a small stitch size on a skived seam creates a potential weak point. Some makers are skiving leather that is already thinner than ours.
There are many steps involved in making one of our legendary Aero Leathers jackets which has been perfected over our many years.
Click on a thumbnail picture to enlarge it and take a peak into the factory to see how your jacket gets made.
With big thanks to Ollie at Riders Room for the excellent photographs, taken during our 2013 Trade Week.