Monday, May 27, 2019
old suede / new pockets
I used to collect old jackets and coats, though I didn't always wear them. Sometimes I cut off the vintage buttons to replace ordinary buttons on sweaters I'd bought, or I cut up the fabric to use in other ways. I especially liked suede jackets. Once, when I was visiting R's parents, I saw this suede jacket on the top of a heap of clothes destined for a charity bin. I immediately scooped it up. I'm short but so were R's parents. The jacket fit. I took it with me on a trip to Europe in 1990.
When we returned home, I had to take the jacket to a cleaner because the collar was black. He wanted to know what I'd done with. I could only think of Prague where--in 1990--people heated with coal. The air was hazy with spring mist and coal dust.
R's father wore the jacket for a decade and before he got it, it belonged to his son-in-law. How long had he worn it?
I wore it for many years. When the lining ripped, I patched it. The pockets were finally so bagged-out and stretched from my fists that they gaped. I wore it till my backpack straps chafed the suede to holes. I kept the jacket to use to make patches.
The other day I started making a new bag for myself out of paisley upholstery material that I bought on St-Hubert in Montreal. I decided to add an outer suede pocket for my sunglasses. I don't know where I got the idea to press an iron onto the rectangle I'd cut from a section of sleeve. The sleeves are all that's left from the jacket. Suede is skin. It doesn't want to be ironed.
I thought I ruined it--and no doubt I did, as suede. Except that I like how it's wrinkled and warped.
I'm especially glad that I can keep the old and useless and rejected in use a bit longer.