Skin Comparison: Battle of the Favourites

We love it when you read our blog,


If you’re in England, sitting on a computer, inside your house then GO OUTSIDE.

Take the laptop, phone, (drag) the desktop, pull up a chair, pour a drink and THEN…


Those are the sunshine rules…

Here’s sunny/blue sky proof: 


Back to leather stuff, now you’re sitting comfortably in the sun that is…

Hmm, we’re not sure that sentence sounds right…

…we sell suede jackets too…

…they’re suitable for sunshine!


This blog is all about skins, we’re taking the top 5 skins and throwing them in the deep end (by deep end we mean politely and Britishly describing them in an innocent yet slightly sarcastic at times blog post).

Here are our contestants… *drum roll*

Enter number ONE, the most popular of the Indiana Jones collection, it’s inconsistent in colour but beautiful in texture….

Shrunken Lambskin

And here comes number TWO, raring for a fight and constantly trying to overtake it’s brother in the sales department…

Copper Novapelle

Don’t worry, the sensible headed brother is heading over… here’s number THREE…

Dark Brown Novapelle

Number FOUR is on it’s way, a standard and a known favourite…

Pre-distressed Hide

And last but not least number FIVE, the newbie of the group, not to be under estimated with a name that if you say it 10 times fast you’d sound intoxicated…

Heavy Duty Pre-distressed Lambskin

(p.s. if you manage to say it 10 times fast, please send a voice clip to us)


Let the fight begin.

Now we’ve successfully introduced the skins we’ll be comparing in a boxing like fashion, let’s get on with the comparison!

We’re going to cover some brief factors, this is a lot of different skins to compare and we’ll talk about just TWO skins in more detail in a later blog (if you like this one)!

Skin 1: Shrunken Lambskin


As most of you know our skin colourings change from photo to photo, you have no idea how many hours are spent trying to avoid this but unfortunately a skin is an animal and we don’t really want to sit on Photoshop and lie to you?

We don’t lie… Well maybe this one time…

We told them we would let them watch a leaked version of the 2019 Indy film…


We didn’t let them.

(just going to leave a note here about the above being a joke, please don’t take it to heart)

That sets us up nicely to talk about our very own Shrunken Lambskin

Colour-wise it is so inconsistent, the skin will arrive in dark brown all the way to light brown. The dark brown colours sell out within about 24 hours so we’re left with mediums and lights, if you order a Raiders or a Hero we DO try and give you the darkest available if you ask.

Here’s a picture of our CURRENT bundles:



With Shrunken Lambskin it’s all about the texture, the most frequently asked question is how does it get it’s grainy texture.

Well, the answer is:

Definitely not the fact that it’s SHRUNKEN…

…Oh it is? That WAS a silly question? 

Yes voice in my head, yes it was.

It’s actually Shrunken (no not in a bog standard washing machine, stop your silliness).

The skin ends up feeling very lightweight, with a strong unique grain and a stretchy feel to it. The skins end up quite small and we can’t offer the jacket in sizes above a chest 46″.

Psst… the skins end up small because they’re SHRUNK

Doesn’t it look different when we lay it flat…

(p.s. this image has a FLASH on it, so it changes colour, we’ll show you in detail at the end how this effects colours)

shrunken lamb (2)

Drape & Weight:

It’s pretty hard to show this as we don’t actually weigh our skins…

We’re not going to start weighing them either

What about measuring them?

No, leather is confusing enough. 

The skin is actually one of the lightest weight we stock, the hang is quite lose and it doesn’t grip to a jacket style. It is best of for casual styles, oversized shoulders etc. If you want a really tailored straight seam jacket you might need to go with something that has a bit more body to it…

Most popular jacket in this skin…

shrunken lamb hero raiders.jpg

A look at the drape…

shrunken lamb drape.jpg

Skin 2: Copper Novapelle

Weather update: Quite humid. Might rain. If rain occurs read article inside not outside. I repeat abort mission. ABORT.


It worries us that your favourite skins are the inconsistent ones, it’s like you’re looking for reasons to talk to us more?! This Novapelle is on the tan side, but it can range to nearly the same darkness as our dark brown Novapelle…

Before some genius asks, the difference between Dark Brown Novapelle and Copper Novapelle is that one is Dark Brown and one is Copper.

Sometimes you’ll find the colours of the two Novapelles are quite close but you can always tell by the under colour of the skin. The under side of Copper is VERY light, and this is the colour that will gradually show through as it ages, making a 5 year old Copper Novapelle a lot lighter than a 5 year old Dark Brown Novapelle.

Here’s a picture of our CURRENT bundles (leaning on the darker side but look at the under side too):



The good thing about Shrunken Lambskin is that the texture is pretty consistent even though the colour is not, unfortunately with Copper Novapelle EVERYTHING is inconsistent.

You’re going to find some skins are very grainy and some skins are so smooth you need a magnifying glass to see the grain. We try our best to get the panels in each jacket as close as possible but when you buy Novapelle you’re sort of agreeing to it’s unique skin.

The texture and distressed feel makes Novapelle the absolute perfect skin for a vintage or distressed jacket, from day 1 of working at Wested it has been my absolute favourite and whenever a jacket is made in it it feels like an old friend from the first fitting.

Here’s a smoother, lighter finished Copper Novapelle:


Drape & Weight:

It’s a heavy one!

To be précised it’s our heaviest cowhide (yes it’s cowhide, did we mention it?)

The best thing about Novapelle is that it’s soft, like, lambskin soft. All the stiffness has been taken out of the skin which gives it a lovely drape but the weight ensures it gives a jacket a bit of body without it looking like a straight jacket!

Here it is in a jacket:

temple of doom copper novapelle.jpg

Here’s a picture of the drape:

Copper Novapelle Drape.jpg

Skin 3: Dark Brown Novapelle


Dark Brown Novapelle is a unicorn skin, completely different from Copper Novapelle in all ways and it’s even a magical shade of rainbows and…

Oh wait, no, sorry.

Just seen a pic, it’s exactly the same but in dark brown… awkward.

Dark Brown Novapelle is what it says on the tin… Dark Brown, sometimes we get strains of grey undertones and purple undertones however. It’s inconsistent like it’s brother.

Here’s a picture of our CURRENT bundles (not the under skin colour):


For those who can’t see a difference… (it’s hard, you’re not blind)

Copper Novapelle vs Dark Brown Novapelle Colour wise:

Dark Novapelle vs Copper Novapelle


This is a nightmare to write because the texture is exactly the same as Copper Novapelle.

They’re both completely matte…

They’re both grainy and smooth…

They’re both inconsistent…


Here’s a picture:

novapelle dark brown.jpg

Drape & Weight:


It’s exactly the same as Copper Novapelle.

Heavy weight, soft, lots of body, lack of stiffness.

Let’s just skip to the pictures…

In a jacket…

Russian Attack DBNovapelle.jpg

Drape check…

Dark Brown Novapelle Drape.jpg

Skin 4: Pre-distressed Hide


Colour-wise it’s between Dark Brown and Copper Novapelle.

It has very light distressing parts but then very dark parts too putting it smack bang in the middle, the under side is a bright copper so a copper colour will come through when a jacket is aged.

If you lay certain copper novapelles next to pre-distressed hide, you might not see the difference in colour. The darker Copper Novapelles are very close to it.

This skin is pretty consistent in every way, hence why it’s available in many of our standard jackets – there’s not a lot of surprises with it.

Here’s a picture of our CURRENT bundle:



Texture wise there’s not a lot to it, out of all of the skins discussed so far pre-distressed has the smoothest skin.

It has no grain at all.

Not even a little bit.

It’s a very sensible skin.

We’re struggling to add sarcasm/humour into it’s sensibleness. 

It’s slightly shiny?

Maybe we’re broken.

Here’s a picture (of the skin texture, not how broken we are):

IMG_3522.JPGWhy are you so perfect?

Drape & Weight:

We only called the subheading “Drape & Weight” because it sounds like some ludicrous pop/rap album that the likes of Kanye would release and every time we write it it makes us chuckle.

kanye west.gif

Kanye West… Kanye West-ed
Ew. Inappropriate.

Oh god, we all preferred the cat pictures.

Lily, stop sunbathing and get in here!!

Let’s just start a fresh…

Drape & Weight:

Pre-distressed Hide is actually lighter than Novapelle even though it’s part of their cow-hide family.

We use what’s called “clothing grade” skins, which basically means we don’t stock any super duper, “straight jacket” skins.

Despite being lighter in weight the Pre-distressed Hide is stiffer than all the skins listed in the blog, this means in photos it often looks like a thicker skin.

It is still soft to touch and you’ll find within 6 months of wear the skin has moulded to your body shape and is no longer stiff on you.

Here’s a picture of it in a jacket:

xmen wolverine distressed hide.jpg

1, 2, 3… DRAPE CHECK:

Pre-distressed Drape.jpg

Skin 5: Heavy Duty Pre-distressed Lambskin

It’s the newest skin with the longest darn name.


It’s difficult to describe, it’s kinda lighter than all of the skins listed, but it’s kinda just a different tone/shade than all of the skins listed.

There’s going to be comparison photos at the end of the blog, so maybe we’ll be less cryptic and confusing and just let you read until then when you can see it yourself…

It’s a beautiful colour however, a subtle distressing and when made into a jacket the seams seem to always take the lighter colour, it has come into it’s own since arriving and has sold out not once but twice! The colour is pretty consistent.

Here’s a picture of the soon-to-be most popular newbie:



It was too good to be true…

We’ll say it quickly… like ripping off a plaster…



Yes, that’s right, some bundles will have huge striations (wrinkles) and some bundles will be as smooth as regular Authentic Lambskin. Our job is to ensure the whole jacket matches, which is relatively easy using this skin…

The only issue is if you buy two jackets in this skin, one may be smoother than the other, do try and tell us before your order so we can try and get the best skin for you.

The skin has a subtle shine but it is definitely more MATTE than shiny.

Here’s a picture of the smoother vs a grainier: Heavy Duty Lamb.jpg

Drape & Weight:

Weight is REALLY important on this skin, it’s called HEAVY DUTY lambskin for a reason. It’s about double the weight of Shrunken lambskin and sits in the medium-weight category with Pre-distressed Cow Hide.

The skin is very softer and hangs like Novapelle, plenty of body but not a hint of stiffness in it. This is what we call a “photogenic” skin, aka, it looks good in any jacket.

What a jacket…

Skyfall Jacket 1 Pre Distressed LambskinAnd here’s your last drape picture:

Heavy Duty Lambskin Drape.jpg

So, that’s the skins done… so lets do a few comparisons, we hope you’re learning…:

Comparison 1: Shrunken Lamb vs Heavy Duty Lambskin

(FYI: Heavy Duty Pre-distressed is often shortened to Heavy Duty Lamb, HD Lamb, Distressed Lamb, that lamb that feels like cow)

Colour wise because one is distressed and the other isn’t it’s too different to compare. Your main difference is that the Heavy Duty Lambskin acts a lot like cowhide whereas the Shrunken Lambskin is very much a lightweight skin, true to it’s lambskin family.

It’s like Heavy Duty Lambskin is Shrunken Lamb’s tough older brother.

Heavy Duty Lambskin has a Copper undertone, Shrunken Lambskin has a mid-brown so over time, the jackets made in each skin will look like polar opposites.

Technically they’re both of the same skin family, but physically they’re completely different.

SL vs HDL.jpg

Comparison 2: Copper Novapelle vs Dark Brown Novapelle

We put this in here to make a point.

The point is this:


Novepelle Dark And Novepelle Copper.jpg

There’s now a surcharge of £1 for everyone that asks this question…

…So yeah, now I’m rich, figure the comparison yourself.


I’m kidding, would I leave you to do it yourself in exchange for millions of pounds?

Wait, what?

Can I do that?

Boss: No. 

Okay, so our last comparison, number 3… (with extra enthusiasm)

Comparison Three: Photography

There’s method in the madness. It may not be directly about skins but it will help more than you could ever realise…

Photography and lighting plays a huge part in what colour you see on screen, all the pictures in this blog are untouched (baring a bit of cropping) but just so you can see yourself I’ve got THREE pictures of all the skins, some inside, some outside…

This one is taken inside, just indoor lights, it’s probably the truest:

All skins 1.jpg

Putting a flash on the camera in exactly the same environment changes them drastically, the Shrunken Lambskin, which is the furthest away from the flash is the only one that stays slightly true to its colour…

All skins 2.jpg

And finally, photos taken in direct sunlight… they are true to colour but only if you’ve gone out in the winter sun with your jacket…

All skins 3.jpg

As you can see, leather not only changes in real life but in changes in pictures too.

When you’re looking at our website please consider this, we try our best to keep the pictures fair but realistically every jacket is different…

…But that’s a good thing.

It’s unique for YOU.

Aww, shucks, I think I’m gonna cry

…So in summary

Lightest in weight with a heavy grain and stretchy feel:

Shrunken Lambskin

Medium in weight, unique distressing but super soft and not quite a cowhide:

Heavy Duty Lambskin

Medium in weight but stiff:

Pre-distressed Cow Hide

Heavy, beautiful, soft, perfect, grainy, not at all biased:

Novapelle (both) 

*cough* Go buy a novapelle *cough*

Until next time!

Keep searching for those unicorn hides…

…We’ll keep throwing the pixie dust about!

Disclaimer: all pictures were taken in May 2016, skins vary so please don’t base purchases directly off of the skins you see. If you ask us for a picture of the current bundle we’ll say this “We can send you it, but we can’t promise you’ll get it as you can’t reserve skins” (truth hurts, we’re sorry in advance, we’re just trying to be fair). This material is a natural one and it’s very hard to control all the variables… like a Disney movie trying to teach you it’s okay to be different we’re trying to teach you that your jacket needs to have the same choice #jacketshaverightstoo #nakedjacketprotest #justkiddingnoprotestsplease


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