All About Wax

A History of Barbour Jackets

THE TIMELINE

The history of our archive jackets is both unique and interesting in the evolving story of Barbour. We’re very proud to be in possession of jackets which date back from as early as 1910; each one telling a different story. We frequently delve into our past; it’s where we find lots of our design inspiration. So take a journey through our archives and find out all about wax.

  1. 1910 - Uncle Harry's Coat
    Uncle Harry's Coat

    The oldest jacket in Barbour’s archive. Affectionately called ‘Uncle Harry’s’ coat, it was passed down through many generations of the Macpherson-Fletcher family before being returned to Barbour. An all purpose double breasted outdoor coat, it was used to protect the wearer against foul weather in all situations.

  2. 1920s - Riding Cape
    Riding Cape

    A 1920s wax cape used for riding or driving carriages which offered complete weatherproof protection. The Cape had braces which fastened over the body so it could be pulled back rather than being taken off completely if the wearer became too hot.

  3. 1936 - International Motorcycle All In One Suit
    International Motorcycle All In One Suit

    Developed specifically for the 1936 International Six Day Trials (ISDT), the International suit was ergonomically designed with pivot race sleeves to give the rider greater arm movement. Made in green wax cotton, the International Motorcycle All in One suit had belted cuffs on the sleeves and legs to make them wind tight. The short stand on the velvet cotton collar was practical ensuring that it did not interfere with the rider’s helmet.

  4. 1940 - The Ursula Jacket
    The Ursula Jacket

    Submariner commander Captain George Philips was so impressed by the weatherproof protection of his officer’s all in one motorcycling suit that he asked the Barbour factory in South Shields to make a two piece prototype. The result was the Ursula jacket and trousers which became standard issue for submariners throughout the Second World War.

  5. 1951 - Original Green International Jacket
    Original Green International Jacket

    The diagonal left chest pocket introduced in 1951, allowed the rider easy access to maps or time trials cards and remains a distinctive feature of the International jacket to this day.

  6. 1953 - International Jacket
    International Jacket

    The International jacket was adopted as the official uniform of the Vincent Owners Club. Vincent were known as the “makers of the world’s fastest standard motorcycles” and to mark this tie up between the two businesses, the International was produced in a black wax cotton with gold snaps. Black and gold were the iconic colours of the Vincent Owners Club.

  7. 1964 - The Black Streak
    The Black Streak

    A popular motorcycle jacket in the 60s, the Black Streak was made from a new and innovative strong, pliable black PVC material backed throughout with a black and white fleecy check for warmth. The jacket came with a deep collar, adjustable studded throat tab, close fitting cuffs to make them windtight and bellows pockets side pockets.

  8. 1980 - The Bedale
    The Bedale

    One of Barbour's signature wax jackets, the Bedale was introduced into the range in 1980. Lightweight, thornproof and short in length it was originally designed by Chairman Dame Margaret Barbour, as an equestrian jacket - the shorter length was ideal when riding. It has all of Barbour's signature attributes, two big bellow pockets, a large pull ring two way zip and corduroy collar. While it continues to be popular amongst people working and living in the country, more recently, it has become a fashionable choice for city dwellers who aspire to the country look. Worn by some of the stars of Glastonbury including the Arctic Monkeys and Lily Allen, the Bedale is a classic Barbour wax jacket that is now as comfortable in the urban jungle as it is in the country.

  9. 1982 - Gamefair Jacket (Falkland War Customisation)
    Gamefair Jacket (Falkland War Customisation)

    A 6oz, heavily military, customised weatherproof jacket. Features the original corduroy collar, dark anti-glare studs for optional hood, press-studded throat flap and stormfly front. The history of these two jackets is unique and interesting in the evolving story of Barbour. The uniqueness lies in the customisation which changed the end use of a country jacket to a jacket ’fit’ for the theatre of war. Barbour are very proud to be in possession of jackets which were adapted in our customer service repair and reproof department to the exacting specifications of a captain in the Parachute Regiment. Pockets, repairs and strength overlays have been added to the jackets for purely practical purposes. It is both touching and sobering to see the hand written blood group and ranking ciphers on the first aid pocket attached to the inside of the coats. The ‘random’ set-up adds to the aesthetic charm of these jackets which in hindsight are ‘beautifully’ designed.

  10. 1982 - Durham Jacket (Falkland War Customisation)
    Durham Jacket (Falkland War Customisation)

    Very similar to the origins of the Gamefair, the Durham is a 4oz lightweight military inspired jacket but darker in style, with the same features. The history of these two jackets is unique and interesting in the evolving story of Barbour. The uniqueness lies in the customisation which changed the end use of a country jacket to a jacket ’fit’ for the theatre of war. Barbour are very proud to be in possession of jackets which were adapted in our customer service repair and reproof department to the exacting specifications of a captain in the Parachute Regimen. Pockets, repairs and strength overlays have been added to the jackets for purely practical purposes. It is both touching and sobering to see the hand written blood group and ranking ciphers on the first aid pocket attached to the inside of the coats. The ‘random’ set-up adds to the aesthetic charm of these jackets which in hindsight are ‘beautifully’ designed.

Roll over to view the back of the jacket

Uncle Harry's Coat Uncle Harry's Coat