BBC BLOGS - Anne Diamond's Blog
« Previous | Main | Next »

See my new Burberry!

coat

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!

Comments

Be the first to comment

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.