What are they made from? Duffle coats then and now

The history of the duffle coat counts many decades, but over all these years the coat has retained all its excellent qualities. No doubt that the progress goes on, and the duffle coat has undergone certain improvements. The cut has remained the same; some features have changed, for example, a hood of a modern duffle coat has slightly reduced in size; the length varies today too. What can be said about the most important thing — the fabric the duffle coat is made from?

Then: pros and cons

Those original duffle coats worn by British seamen were made of a special woolen fabric, duffle, which gave the name to the coat. The fabric was created in the Belgian town of Duffel and, owing to its quality, was noticed by tailors.

Duffle was wind- and waterproof and kept warm in the most severe frosts. The only disadvantage of the fabric was its weight as warmth was provided at the expense of density and thickness of the cloth.

A coat made of this fabric was quite heavy. However dashing soldiers didn’t mind. The main thing was that it protected them from the cold. However, a modern person, wearing the bygone duffle coat, would notice that it wasn’t easy to wear such a burden.

The British military in duffle coats
British Royal Navy members in duffle coats, 1942
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Modern variants

Of course, modern duffle coats are not so light either. But, after all, their weight is not to be compared with that of the original ones. Designers make light-weight variants of the duffle coat from cashmere, for example. The high-quality models of famous brands such as Gloverall, Original Montgomery or British Duffle contain insignificant percentage of synthetic fibers.

Woolen fabric for duffle coat
Fabric texture for Original Montgomery duffle coat

Wool for duffle coats is carefully selected and undergoes special processing. Fabrics are often produced in Italy; the design and final production are made in Great Britain. The duffle coat consists of two layers of woolen fabric woven together, thus the right side and the lining of the coat are warm. Pay special attention to the composition of a model as today it is a distinctive feature of an original duffle coat, because any other jackets and coats may have similar design. But if you want a coat to keep you warm in the most sever frost, it should contain at least 70% wool. When buying a duffle coat by Gloverall, Original Montgomery or British Duffle, you can be sure of its high quality and compliance with all the necessary standards.

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