a reply to: boymonkey74
Well, my favourite piece of clothing is currently at the dry cleaners being mended. It is an ankle length Heeli trenchcoat. It is made of black
leather, the thickest, heaviest hide I have ever seen, let alone placed across my shoulders. When I lived on the street, it was my blanket, my tent,
my pillow, my sleeping bag, and probably saved my skin more times than I have any notion of, not to mention keeping the elements away from my body
during less troubled times. I acquired it in 2003. It was the most impenetrable garment I have ever possessed.
However, as I am sure you can imagine, when one lives hard in a garment for that long, a toll is taken out upon it. In the case of this particular
coat, sleeping in it stressed the stitching between the panels at the back of the coat, which began to open up, the leather itself, despite being
treated at home on a regular although infrequent basis, began to loose its surface, to change colour, and the hem became abused by constant brushing
against steps, stairs, boulders, and other things that I climbed down whilst it was about my shoulders. The lining became worn in a couple of places,
and partially detatched from the outer, particularly around the pockets, in which I used to keep my heavy leather gloves, which rather explains the
The final insult done to this wonderous garment, was when I took it to a rock festival a couple of years ago. It was scheduled to rain heavily for a
considerable portion of the weekend, and so I packed my coat, and it was a good thing too, as during the process of getting from the car park to the
actual festival entrance, the skies were black with cloud, and the rain was falling with a will, or so I thought. It was only when the tents were up,
and my gear stowed safely within, that the heavens really opened. Visibility dropped from more than a thousand yards, to less than fifteen feet, in an
eyeblink. I dove inside my tent, mostly to keep my clothing dry, and knowing that sleeping in a tent full of water would be a sure way to ruin the
An hour and a half later, during which time my friends and I had been forced to communicate by way of opening our tents so that we could poke out our
heads, and chat without our tents becoming filled with water, the rain came to a close, leaving a muggy, sodden atmosphere behind it. I stood up from
my tent, placed my folding chair infront of it, and put my drenched coat over the chair to inspect it. It was SATURATED! We had to away to the
festival arena, to take stock and get a feel for the vendors and facilities therein, and so I had to leave my coat in my tent, since it was far too
wet to wear, as were the trousers I had been wearing so far. I changed out of my trousers and into a dry, fresh pair, and left my coat resting on a
bin bag in my tent, because there was no where else to put it, and leaving it on my backpack would have been foolish, since it would have SOAKED my
entire pack in minutes.
When we returned hours later, after the humidity had in fact increased, it was dark, and we all partied the night away, then passed out. When I awoke
the next day, I took my coat out to see if it had dried. It had, but MOULD had begun to grow upon its outer surface in the humidity and enclosed space
of the tent. I immediately went to the camp shop, purchased a vast amount of salt, poured it into a fresh bin bag, and placed my coat within, there to
remain throughout the rest of the festival. The salt dried out the mould pretty well, but the coats surface was never quite the same after that.
I had only taken the coat to a rock festival because it was already a mess, but that final abuse was something shocking. Perhaps if I had not been
partying so hard, I would have realised the risk, but alas, I was away with the metal fairies.
I recently had a very good experience with a local dry cleaning service provider, who also do alterations and indeed repairs to leather garments, and
so I have tasked them to correct as much of the damage that coat has absorbed on my behalf, as is physically possible, without actually replacing the
leather panels. The hem will have to lift by an inch or two, because the hem is so abused, and the lining will have to be re-attached with some sort
of resin, to the outer of the garment, the seams will have to be tightened or re-stitched entirely in some places (where the original stitching has
broken), and the surface will have to be treated with some sort of alchemical potion beyond my ken to improve it to a valuable degree.
But if there is a chance that it will return to me, even a shadow of its former self, then I would value that intensely. If all else fails, and it
returns to me in a less than ideal condition for normal use, then I can always start a little project on it, add some sort of armour, or a myriad of
band patches... but I would love to be able to use it for what it is for.
I love that thing so much it is silly. I just wish that life had not caught up with it so quickly. If it does return to me in a state which makes it
ideal for normal use, then I can assure you, I will be looking after that thing from now on at least as well as it has looked after me when I needed
edit on 9-10-2014 by TrueBrit because: Added detail for clarification.