At the Download Festival earlier this year, I saw so many metalheads wearing Battle Jackets, it was like being at a patchwork quilt convention.
I saw enough patched denim as I watched Municipal Waste in a sludge-sodden tent, that took me right back to the 80’s when I wore my own.
Now I thought, how cool that would be, if I could start my own Battle Jacket and come back next year fully patched. & since I missed having patches on my denim from way back, I went in search of inspiration.
So here’s what I’ve come up with , & if you’re looking for help starting a Battle Jacket, I hope you’ll find this post useful.
O.K, let’s get rolling with this.
A Battle Jacket is for…
The serious metalhead who pledges allegiance to their favourite bands by displaying them upon breast & back.
What you will need.
- Needle & Thread
I’ve been doing my research and listening to others. & because there’s a tonne of video’s on Battle jackets, I’ve found 2 videos uploaded by Blackmetal werewolf who basically nails it.
He’s a Canadian metalhead who’s made his own battle jacket & covers a lot of good points. If you want to go start looking at others to see how & what they’re doing, then check him out for inspiration.
He talks about..
- Hand sewing or machine?
- Dental floss or thread?
- Iron or sew on patches?
In the next vid, he talks about why the Battle vest should be personal to you, & dispells the rules of making one.
It’s just a quick and really easy way to convey what you’re into, as a heavy metal fan. If you see someone with a big ass slayer patch on the back of their jacket, it pretty obvious to tell they’re really big fans of slayer
Yeah, sounds obvious reading this, but what he means is that you give your favourite band the biggest patch. Me? It’ll defo be a big Black Sabbath patch on the back with all the classic metal bands orbiting around.
Alrighty then, now the video’s are done & dusted, I hope you’ve drawn some inspiration as I have.
Also, just lately I’ve seen a lot of metal bands gravitating towards the old style. Look at Joey Jordison now in his new band Sinsaenum all decked out in black Leather. It seems a trend now to go back to that 80’s classic era of, dare I say metal fashion.
I’m sure Denim & Leather has never really gone away, but it’s had a revival recently as Dez Fafera & Robb Flynn (remember the tracksuit days!) now look the part in denim cut-offs. But to top it all, Papa Het commands the stage strutting around in his full metal Battle Jacket.
Now that’s some inspiration!
O.K, now I’m ready to get busy…
I’m going to get the materials I need & start making my Battle Jacket. I’m sure as hell no whizz with a needle and thread, but never mind, the fun part is seeing the end result, right?
So If you’re thinking of staring your Battle Jacket like me, here’s my intend to do list. It’s just really simple instructions that you can follow along.
I’m expecting this to be fun & easy and can’t wait to get all things together.
My 4 step process will be:
- Get a Needle & Thread. – Finding a sewing kit should be easy, just ask elders or go buy one.
- Get The Denim. – Either a full sleeve which I can cut with fabric scissors, or preferably a denim vest.
- Get The Patches. – Source the best sew on patches which tell my ‘metal evolution’ story.
- Get The Stitching Done. – Hell yeah, crank the music, a live DVD, Rock Radio Station or whatever & just sew.
- Tips. Frayed ends look rad. If you can get this effect on the arm holes, go for it.
- Putting spikes on the shoulders look cool, but they might trap long hair and annoy you.
Also, the above list won’t be done in a marathon session. My battle Jacket will take form over the next few months, so I won’t get bored. Plus the total cost of one should be made more affordable by making small upgrades.
Because I get paid monthly, my Battle Jacket will get new additions only then. There’s no rush to complete a battle jacket as it should evolve & tell a story. If you’re constantly discovering new forms of metal like me all the time, I say just take your time go with the flow.
My choice of patches will be, AC/DC, Maiden, Sabbath & Motorhead, mixed with early thrash bands moving on to Pantera & Fear Factory who I love. Basically to tell a story as I’ve grown. That being said, It’s a guilty secret my first album I ever bought was Sweden’s soft hair rockers Europe. Methinks I’d better leave off the patch.
Where To Find?
Getting hold of a low-cost denim jacket should be easy. Go to any thrift or charity store and find one that you can take home and cut up. You may find Grey, Black or an even old style stonewashed one.
If you don’t fancy pawing through the racks full of dead men’s jackets, (sorry, couldn’t resist!) then just stay online & go over to eBay & have it come to your door. If you’re looking for an item that’s not changed hands then try metal mail order specialists EMP.
However, I understand, there’s an overwhelming choice of where to start looking, so I’m just gonna keep it simple & go with the big trusted places. I’ll add in some useful links below.
Alright, enough said. Let’s wrap things up here so we can both get started…
Proudly making your own Battle Jacket that is personal to you. It’s your battle vest, you can put on it whatever you want and f**k all the rest.
The laborious sewing. Especially if your mother declines or church goer Aunt Mable is unable to assist with your Battle Jacket.
It’s quite clear. Battle Jackets are worn by the most faithful and fanatical heavy metal lovers out there. It’s easy to go out and buy the tour shirt, but I reckon, when you start to make your own Battle Jacket, it really demonstrates next level dedication.
& like fingerprints, no one on this planet would or should have a Battle Jacket like yours. It distinctly says who you follow & shows dedication in your efforts to build one up.
With a Battle Jacket, you’re gonna look the meanest badass at the summer fests windmilling your long locks, clutching your Viking Drinking Horn!
So grab your Denim & Patches, Needle & Thread, & let’s get our Battle Jackets underway.
Finishing up here fellow metalheads, if you’re inspired to start a Battle Jacket or want to share your story, then hell, come & get involved in the discussion below!
I’d love to hear from ya…