We go all Sherlock Holmes to determine the production date of this beautiful Levi’s jacket
Recently, we brought you the beautifully faded Levi’s Type III Trucker jacket owned by our new mate, Nico. He was full of questions about the age of the jacket. Let’s get our Deer Stalker hat and magnifying glass and see what we can Sherlock Holmes about the jacket.
So, production date? Well, sadly the Red Tab is almost completely frayed. There is not even a hint of whether this is the coveted Big E or Small e. But we can dig a little deeper to determine roughly when this jacket was made.
There are no hand warmer pockets, meaning the jacket was produced before the mid-80s. Men were men before the mid-80s, cold hands were part and parcel.
A Stitch in Time
The Red Tab is not the only thing we can use to determine the date. We can also look at the stitching.
There are subtle differences in the stitching adjacent to the bottom buttonhole. From the mid-60s to 71, Type III’s had s single row of stitching adjacent to the buttonhole, after 71, there was a double row. This particular jacket features a single row. So, mid 60’s to 71 certainly.
Without the Red Tab, our investigation ends there. Single row stitching and a “Big E” would place the jacket from the late 50s to 71. “Small e” from the mid-60s to 71.
Findings from Fades
Take some time to savour the fades in a few days we will return to delve deeper into the details, ascertaining the approximate production date and seeing what we can assume about the previous owner.
As you can see in the pictures, the cuffs have been “cuffed” throughout most of the jackets life and the fabric has worn and torn, it is a similar story with the collar, almost worn through!
Well worn and Well Washed
There are the faintest hints of honeycombs at the elbow but the jacket has an overall “vintage” fade, making me think that although it was worn from raw, it has seen a good few washes throughout its life.
A Big Guy
Whoever wore it must have been a big guy and he liked to wear his denim tight. The mid three buttonholes are totally pulled through. Only the top and bottom buttonholes are intact. The previous owner was not one for using the chest pockets, although there is a little wear and tear, there aren’t any signs of significant use.
Hanging Out for a While
Given the fading across the shoulders, it looks like the jacket was hung for a long period of time in direct sunlight. The crisp difference in the indigo colour suggests it was hung on a hanger with the sun coming from the left-hand side.
Here and there, we see a little repair work. It is done well with a denim patch on the underside and stitching over the hole. With the differing colour threads, this may be a repair over a repair.
Sad but True
Now to the real tragedy, the Red Tab… I was a little suspicion at first that this may have been removed to try and pass it off as a Big E, but looking at the details and the way that it’s frayed, I would assume that this is just an unfortunate consequence of wear and tear. It is disappointing, but also kinda neat to have a bit of mystery.
Wear and Repair
The really cool thing is that Nico is wearing the jacket! After a bit of a chat, I persuaded him to send it in for repair to Mr Handy Denim. A lot of the damage, although very cool, means that the jacket runs the risk of disintegrating with daily wear. A little TLC now, and it’s good to go for many more years.
Some may baulk at the thought of having such a find repaired, but denim is all about putting our own narrative into a garment, Nico will be stamping his ownership and love onto the jacket, simply deepening the story, not distracting from it.