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See my new Burberry!


It's a global name - but it started here in the BBC Radio Berkshire patch - actually in Basingstoke. The young, 21-year-old Thomas Burberry , came to Basingstoke in 1856 and, amongst many other items of clothing, started making shepherds' smocks.

Yes, shepherds actually did wear these smocks; massive things made of a heavy weight twill weave cotton (but hand smocked beautifully) that were warm in winter, cool in summer and magically became water proof after a while, because of the lanolin which rubbed off from sheep's wool.

Thomas Burberry noticed this feature and worked on producing a waterproof fabric, which eventually was patented as gabardine. He was a bit of a genius, not only at coming up with the idea and pursuing the science through to production, but at the whole concept of marketing and image. So was born the Burberry gabardine - a world icon still to this day.

From humble beginnings - such as this amazing shepherd's smock. Thanks to Gill Arnot from Hampshire County Council Arts & Museums Service for bringing it into the studio!


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