Educate Me about Shearling Coats

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by M. Charles, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. M. Charles

    M. Charles Senior member

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    I saw this shearling coat on the J. Press website. Says it's made in Britain. I like the look of it, but it seems very different from what I normally associate shearling coats with--the American west. What is the history of the shearling coat? Is it Western US or is its reach farther? What should one look for in a shearling coat in terms of features/qualities?

    http://www.jpressonline.com/outerwea....php?id=ANGUSR
     


  2. Blackhood

    Blackhood Senior member

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    I would postulate that Shearling would have been used where leather wasn't warm enough. Thus northern climates as well as European climates.
     


  3. someotherstyle

    someotherstyle Senior member

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    Shearling is much the same in leather as of quality. Generally the smaller the "patch" the smaller the skin, the higher quality the animal.

    The absolute best value IMO is manufactured by Christ leathers. BUTTER soft, because they use baby peruvian lambs. Apparently the farmers just skin the ones that die in "childbirth"....[​IMG]

    Anyways, a shearling is simply a sheep or lamb skin where it is tanned on the inside of the animal, and the outer coat is next to you. Super warm. I have one and when it hits -40 celsius here I bust it out. The warmth is spectacular.

    -MK
     


  4. yellman

    yellman Senior member

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    Shearling is much the same in leather as of quality. Generally the smaller the "patch" the smaller the skin, the higher quality the animal.

    The absolute best value IMO is manufactured by Christ leathers. BUTTER soft, because they use baby peruvian lambs. Apparently the farmers just skin the ones that die in "childbirth"....[​IMG]

    Anyways, a shearling is simply a sheep or lamb skin where it is tanned on the inside of the animal, and the outer coat is next to you. Super warm. I have one and when it hits -40 celsius here I bust it out. The warmth is spectacular.

    -MK


    Holt renfrew last call always has the christ shearlings on sale at about $799 to $999. They seem to be decent quality, I do not like their styles and the wool is not that soft.
     


  5. sammyyummy

    sammyyummy Member

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    Im confused about shearling as opposed to lambskin.
    I went to a store that advertised a shearling lambskin. The sales associate told me the cuffs, collar and some other area of the coat were the only shearling; elsewhere its lambskin or sheepskin. Arent they the same?
     


  6. KObalto

    KObalto Senior member

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    Lambskin is lamb leather without the wool coat. Shearling is the whole skin including the wool which has been sheared.
     


  7. Wideknot

    Wideknot Senior member

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    ^ This. True shearling coats are amazingly warm. They are also heavy as sin. Some things to look for:
    1) Density of the fleece. Has it been sheared properly so that it is uniformly thick? And how thick is it? I've seen some shearling that was clipped to about 3/8" in height and others that was 3/4." makes a difference in how warm the coat is and how easy it is to wear.
    2) Skin quality. Is the exterior of the coat properly tanned? I've had a bargain shearling where one of the hides started peeling after one cleaning. Not good.
    3) Finishing. Seams and edges can be finished in a number of ways or left raw. What is your preference?

    Frankly, I love shearling coats and have owned few over the years but, unless you are dealing with seriously cold weather (below freezing for weeks at a time) my guess is that you will find them too warm. A classic Irving is intended for being inside an open, unpressurized aircraft at altitude dealing with temps that can hit -40 F plus wind chill. They look great but are virtually useless for most people.
     


  8. alliswell

    alliswell Senior member

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    What determines the stiffness of the finished coat? Is is the thickness of the skin? I've seen shearlings that will stand by themselves and ones that you could roll into a pillow.
     


  9. gdl203

    gdl203 Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    Amazing how 95% of shearling coats are so damn ugly. Why is it so hard to design something that looks decent, particularly when wasting an expensive animal hide?
     


  10. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Im confused about shearling as opposed to lambskin.
    I went to a store that advertised a shearling lambskin. The sales associate told me the cuffs, collar and some other area of the coat were the only shearling; elsewhere its lambskin or sheepskin. Arent they the same?


    What determines the stiffness of the finished coat? Is is the thickness of the skin? I've seen shearlings that will stand by themselves and ones that you could roll into a pillow.

    Shearling is a pelt of a sheep/lamb that has not been shorn previously. It only gets shorn during the tanning process. 'Sheepskin' as in sheepskin-coat or -rug, refers to the pelt of an older animal. It can be pretty stiff: not only is the skin thicker, the fur does not have the some silky softness as the fur of younger animals.

    The finest shearling from the top Italian tanneries can be unbelievably soft (and expensive) and is used for products by the top luxury- labels.
     


  11. alliswell

    alliswell Senior member

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    Not just shoes, B-S, right? Thanks for the education. I had used the terms interchangeably, assuming that the difference was a UK-US distinction without difference.
     


  12. Mr. Lee

    Mr. Lee Senior member

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    I like the coat well enough and it seems like a good deal, although the really good ones are usually more expensive and often a bit longer. This one doesn't radiate "plush" which is what I think shearling is all about. Mine does--it was about $3,000 but I got a wicked deal on it (I won't get into the brand) and it is ridiculously warm. Downsides are they are bulky and if you live in a shit climate, as I do, you can easily brush up against a dirty car and then you have to gently brush off the dried residue. Not the best for travel, either due to the shear bulk and weight. Perhaps shopping in person would be better, also as J. Press ain't what it used to be. Orvis has some nice high end leathers lined in shearling--not strictly shearling, more of a hybrid. Good luck!
     


  13. KObalto

    KObalto Senior member

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    I like the look of it, but it seems very different from what I normally associate shearling coats with--the American west.

    The styling on that coat is quite similar to mine. I still get cowboy comments when I wear it. [​IMG] Lighter and thinner than some shearling, mine is still very warm.
     


  14. Merlino

    Merlino Senior member

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    Amazing how 95% of shearling coats are so damn ugly. Why is it so hard to design something that looks decent, particularly when wasting an expensive animal hide?

    Amazing, isn't it? I have the same issue with cordovan shoes.. Would love to own a pair because the leather always looks great but have never found a model that is aesthetically pleasing to me.
     


  15. SpooPoker

    SpooPoker Internet Bigtimer and Most Popular Man on Campus Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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