Best of Britain
An old, small warehouse equipped with forgotten knitting machines inspired a struggling father and a wardrobe classic. Failing as a tailor, William Paine stumbled upon the overgrown structure on his vast family property. After teaching himself to knit on the dusty machinery, a hobby quickly grew into a business, where arguably, he created the first cable knit sweater. In the 1920's the "club colour trim" was added to the sweaters becoming widely popular among athletes. Every rowing, tennis, and cricket club customized the sweater with their colors. After WWII, William was succeeded by his son Alan. The brand developed far beyond their core base of classic knitwear to incorporate the English Lifestyle collection, featuring jackets, coats, shirts and sport coats.
South Shields, England is the birthplace of the iconic Barbour brand. In 1894 John Barbour opened a shop in the town's Market Place selling an array of functional goods such as outerwear, boiler suits, painters jackets and underwear. As an importer of oil-cloth, Barbour's business was primarily ship owners, builders, and seamen of the port, and soon became well known for his Beacon brand of oil skin coats, designed to protect against the harshest weather conditions. Today, the Barbour brand is in its 5th generation of family ownership and has stayed true to its promise of quality, durability, attention to detail, and focus of purpose. Barbour has grown to become a lifestyle brand offering a wardrobe of clothes designed for country and city men, women, and children. Ever respectful of their origin, they continue to manufacture many of their classic jackets by hand in South Shields.
"Experience tells us technology is limited only by our own creativity, which is why color is our inspiration, design our driver, master craft our bedrock."
Two centuries ago Scottish textiles were put on the global map when Alexander Johnston opened Elgin Mill on the banks of the River Lossie. Johnston established the mill on a strong sense of continuous natural renewal and evolution; a balance between nature and technology. This balance is maintained and expressed with exquisite craft and sourcing only the highest quality yarns in the world. The result of constantly refining a process for over 200 years: Preserving history and maintaining their heritage as a world leader in the production of knitwear, accessories, and home interiors.