Last year on an ordinary Tuesday, our team of vintage graders were sorting through hundreds of jackets that came from our supplier in the USA. Amongst the other 60's and 70's fringe jackets, was a native jacket, with incredible beadwork and attention to detail that is thought to be more than 170 years old. We've been in the vintage business for over 15 years, and have never seen a jacket quite like this one.
We instantly knew it would have an amazing story to tell.
How much do we know about the Indigenous jacket's origins?
Considering the age and distance this jackets has travelled, it's in great condition. It's clearly been lovingly created and made to last. A lot of hours have gone into researching the jacket's possible origins, but we've been determined to discover its story.
The jacket is yet to be assessed in person by a professional, but thanks to the help of the TikTok community and experts all over the world, we've been able to narrow it down.
Certain design elements (such as the olive-green chain stitch on the pockets) indicate it was likely made around the 1850s, possibly by an artist for a family member or a fur trader. We believe its likely Métis or Cree from Western Canada (Manitoba, Saskatchewan or Alberta).
We've recently discovered that the fringe tassels are wrapped in dyed porcupine-quills too! There aren't many pieces which still exist like this in the world today, so we can't quite believe it showed up in Barnsley. The research is ongoing but we're constantly discovering something new about this incredible piece so it feels like we're one step closer every week to uncovering its history.
What's happens next on the Vintage Indigenous Jacket's journey?
We're trying not to rush anything and make sure we're being thorough so we can do right by this special jacket. We're trying to narrow down the search even further before we make any final decisions.
It feels like we're not too far away now from uncovering it's full story so watch this space!
If anyone has any more information that might help us in our search, please get in touch with us via our website. Also, you can follow us on our socials for updates (@glassonionvintage).