Urbanity, Technology and Primitives

Primitivism by its nature connotes a naivete, or lack of skills or knowledge as compared to a modern norm. Today's modernity is tomorrows primitive, simplistic childishness. The truth is modernity can only really go so far. The human body doesn't change its shape. Paradigms are altered by technologies and advancing materials. The great leap forward in leather came fast on the heals of the invention of the sewing machine. Before the collaborative efforts of the sewing machine, individuals had to make their own clothing. Sitting at home copying some European model of a dress or jacket, or inventing a pattern that fell nicely on the human physique the designs were intuitive and often involved practicality and issues like saving materials and keeping seams simple for ease of sewing.
With the 19th century spike of Jewish immigration to North America, people with tailoring as their skill set powered a drive that created the new technology of the zipper, sewing machine and other such innovations. This powered the engine of a commercial "schemata" business. A man or woman with many languages, a small apartment and a couple of machines could start designing and producing small lines of clothing for the waves of new immigrants and industry growing in North America. This was a golden time of innovation, where designs and ideas were discovered and helped create and standardize the roots of modern clothing. Just check out these primitive designs, there almost seems to be design progression in the clothing and its complexities.


  1. I need help with a Jacket I bought a few years back. Its a Natel Leather Mototcycle Jacket. Both it, and the liner say Natel, Made in USA. I bought it at Kelly Leathers in Richmond, Illinois. I bought it because it stuck out like a sore thumb on their rack, and just spoke to me. It was much darker black, and way way stiffer than ANY other coat they had in their shop. They said they had it for many many years but was unable to sell it due to it being so thick and stiff compared to the other coats on the rack. I fell in love with it right there have have been wearing it since. Heck, I even race in the thing. I am just wondering if this may be a horsehide jacket. I found a bit of info about Natel and goatskin jackets, but nothing to confirm my coat is either. Do you have any ideas for me?
    Thanks, Neil Weisbond

  2. Im sorry I dont know the Natel leather brand. I could well be horsehide, if you find your local leather dealer you might be able to find out more information. I will look for more information and if i come up with anything I will post it


  3. I was searching for this particular brand as well, after seeing someone with one of these coats, and they loved it. My partner and I are opening a leather goods store, if you ever find anything.. let us know.


  4. Well, I was able to stop in at Kelly's Leathers last week. I mentioned in my first post that they were the ones who sold me this jacket. The girls who sold it to me years ago actually remembered this particular jacket. They claimed they remembered it due to its unique leather qualities and dark color.....and the fact it sat for 10 years on there rack! Both the girls there looked closeley at it and again could not confirm what material it was made out of. The final descision was it was leather. From what animal, we just don't know for sure. The one lady says Natel is in fact still making jackets, but only in small quantities, and had no other info for me. So from this point on, I give up. Its the best, most rugged jacket I have ever owned and will most likeley outlast me. But just in case anyone has found any info about Natel, I would still love to hear it. Thanks.
    Neil Weisbond

  5. I still havent...but how amazing that they remember you and your jacket!


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