The origins of the first waterproof coats go back to Scottish mills that wove sails for the British clipper fleet. The mills made linen (created from the fibres of the flax plant) sails for the early clipper ships. Linseed oil was produced from the seeds extracted from the flax plants, and the oil was used to waterproof sailcloth that was then used in seamen’s clothing, particularly seamen’s capes – the start of the traditional fisherman’s slicker.
The capes were fully waterproof, but heavy and became very stiff in cold weather. So over time the fabrics changed – linen was swapped for cotton and the capes became lighter and more flexible, but the waterproof qualities remained the same.
The capes would turn yellow in time, leading to the traditional yellow of the fisherman’s slicker – and all of the classic yellow raincoats you can see today – including our best-selling Coast Jacket.
However grey days call for colourful clothes, so although yellow will always be the colour of choice when reaching for a raincoat, we couldn’t help adding a few more into the mix.
Light blue, navy, red, green are all available to help you bloom through the gloom, along with the Coast Printed Jacket that is the same shape and style yet adorned with stunning hand-drawn prints.
Waterproof coats have come a long way since the slicker – and our Coast Jacket features a raft of drizzle-defeating, functional features that will have you crossing your fingers for rainy days. Crafted from a waterproof fabric (rain is literally like water off a duck’s back) we’ve taped the seams so that no water will pass through the stitching and it’s breathable too. It also has a zip and button fastening, hood and storm flaps.
Oh, did we mention the soft cotton jersey lining? It’s striped of course – to make sure that this jacket’s nautical roots are never far away.
Be sure to check out our thoughts on why Joules coats and jackets are extra special.