The name trench coat comes from the English word “trench” which means “trench” or “ditch”. The coat was commissioned by the British Army as an alternative to thick woolen coats and after WWII it became popular as an everyday garment for both men and women.
Its creator was Thomas Burberry, an entrepreneur from England, who previously sewed civilian raincoats. In 1879, he patented a special weave of woolen fabric, which ensured waterproofness. This is how gabardine was created, which was later used not only by soldiers, but also by airmen, polar explorers and mountaineers. Gabardine was a fabric with a twill weave, which resulted in unique properties. Tight weave and impregnation of fibers with lanolin gave gabardine resistance to creases and water. Thanks to these features, it quickly found application on a wide market.
The trench coat commissioned by the British Army needed to be equipped with:
– double-breasted cut, providing better protection from the rain,
– the cape in the back facilitating the dripping of water,
– tabs that allowed the sleeves to be pulled down so that the soldiers could use the binoculars without rain dripping down their hands,
– gun flap on the right shoulder,
– iron d-rings on the belt, to which they could attach items of equipment,
– epaulettes to attach insignia or wear maps and gloves under them,
– deep pockets that housed the necessary items.
As you can see, these characteristics remained the insignias of a trench, although today they play a more aesthetic than practical role.
Made to measure gives you a great opportunity to choose the fabric of your trench. Conventionally, it should be cotton, but not just any type. At Ferala, for our trenches, we use the bundle “The Trench Collection” by Holland & Sherry, created especially for this purpose. This collection features cotton, which uses finer and longer fibers. After gentle spinning, the yarn is woven into a very dense Oxford weave, using up to 30% more yarn than conventionally woven fabrics. The performance of these fabrics results from the properties of cotton fibers which expand on contact with water allowing the interstices within the fabric to close, preventing further passage of water. In this way, the fabric is waterproof while the breathability performance remains unmatched.
Other interesting choice is “Storm SystemⓇ”, a trademark registered by Loro Piana and consisting of fabrics endowed with waterproof, breathable and wind resistant membranes. This special membrane can be applied to almost any fabric creating a layer that offers protections from dust, dirt and stains, preserving the look of the fabric over the years. “Storm SystemⓇ” offers a variety of fabrics from 100% wool, woolen blends till 100% cashmere, in different weights that enables to create lighter trench till heavy winter coats.