Stages of Shearling Jacket Production

Buying a shearling jacket is less like a purchase and more like an investment. It can provide years - if not decades - of fashionable enjoyment. Here is how the best shearling jackets are made.

Making an excellent shearling jacket starts with the right craftsmanship. Every stage of the production process requires an expert's skill. It takes about a year from the time a trapper or farmer auctions his furs until a coat is ready for delivery.

Here are the primary stages of shearling jacket production:

1. Tailoring: For custom shearling jackets, the tailoring process includes measuring for body and arm length, as well as overall girth.

2. Fur Sizing: The template for the new jacket, based upon the measurements taken during the tailoring stage, is laid out. It outlines the shape of the jacket, resembling a snow angel that a child might make. The designer can then lay out various pieces of fur to each part of the jacket template to see how it will look.

3. Stitching: The various pieces of fur are then sewn together with the leather side of the skin to the outside and the fur to the inside. A special needle and thread are used to make concealed, overlapping or French seams. Once all of the pieces are sewn together it is then finished by adding double-top or decorative stitching depending on the distinct design of each coat.

4. Additions: Finally, exterior or interior pockets are added. And, a label is affixed to the jacket, along with buttons and button hole stitching.

The final outcome of the process - a new shearling jacket - is something to be proud of. It is something to show off and wear for years to come.