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BARBOUR: Macs, facts and lots of wax

by Neil Summers

Now recognised on a global scale as a premium English sports and fashion brand, Barbour first came to the world’s attention via their iconic waxed cotton jackets. Prior to WWII Barbour was supplying oilskins and other outdoor garments to the surrounding North Eastern community of seamen, sailors and dockers to protect them from the treacherous North Sea weather. Though once their Ursula suit became standard issue for the Submarine service during the second world war their fame started to spread.

Already established as one of the leading suppliers of durable outdoor garments as well as being well-known for their innovation and high levels quality Barbour expanded its client base to a global audience. From landowners and farmers to buyers as far flung as South America and Asia the word was finally out that Barbour made some very impressive jackets.

During 1936 the first Barbour wax cotton International motorcycle jacket appeared and went on to be worn by almost every rider in the International Six Day Trials circuit from the 1950s through to the 1970s. With legendary film star Steve McQueen being just one of many famous faces to have sported this tough and iconic jacket.

Cut to the modern day and Barbour’s traditional jackets continue to be at the heart of the company where they’re currently produced at their 180 strong factory in South Shields. With three Royal warrants (the Duke of Edinburgh, Her Majesty the Queen and HRH the Prince of Wales) to their (globally recognised named) it perhaps no surprise that the order and process in which their factory works is second to none. With 36 people needed to make just one Barbour jacket from start to finish, each person being an essential part of the production process.

With approximately 50 styles of traditional wax jackets for men, women and children in production, the hand made pieces are produced like clock-work on a daily basis with a new garment being completed every three minutes. The South Shields factory produces approximately 3000 garments per week and 130,000 – 140,000 per year. They also have a world renowned re-waxing service, where each year approximately 13,000 Barbour jackets are lovingly repaired, reproofed or returned to their former glory.

With roots firmly in its heritage, the Barbour brand continues to grow and develop each year and provides a beacon for English craftsmanship and family values. The Sporting Lodge are proud to present the Barbour Autumn/Winter 2018 Barbour here.

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There’s something in the Air….

by Neil Summers.

Patagonia’s Nano-Air technology is a classic example of their ethos, to improve, innovate and refine everything that they do. Thanks are also due to a design team who live the outdoor life as well as create products for it. Who’s passion and high standards of quality have resulted in a unique form of fabrication that is breathable but still maintains warmth through a unique mix of full-range insulation with nylon fabric.

Whether experiencing varying temperatures on the commute to work or on the side of a mountain, we all know that swapping or removing layers on the move can often result in large amounts of sweat and general discomfort. But working up a sweat in a garment made using Nano-Air technology allows a certain amount of air to pass through the clothing and evaporate to avoid the body getting overheated.

The magic has happened thanks to Patagonia managing to somehow incorporate incredibly warm synthetic ‘fill’ alongside a fabric weave that doesn’t make the insulation clump together and lose durability whilst letting out air. Though exactly how they do it is still a trade secret, this advancement in making a breathable but incredibly warm synthetic fabrication has been a real game-changer in the world of mountain climbing and outdoor sports in general. It’s also stopped a lot of people from getting all hot and sweaty on crowded trains back home from work too!

Shop Patagonia, brand new range, at The Sporting Lodge.

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Grenfell SS17 – Back to Military Roots

by Neil Summers

The Grenfell Pembroke Jacket

With military-wear being a faithful point of reference in menswear with many of the world’s greatest designers regularly relying on various army’s archives as inspiration for their collections. It’s perhaps no surprise then to see that this season Grenfell have paid homage to military clothing via their beautiful camouflage Pembroke jacket which has been made in an English mill that also supplies clothing to the armed forces. It’s an incredibly substantial jacket featuring a padded hood and full double zip concealed behind a snap close storm flap which extends high up into the neckline for weather protection. Both super functional and incredibly contemporary, the Grenfell Pembroke jacket is made from hard wearing polyamide to ensure high levels of durability and protection from the elements for the wearer.

Staying with the military influences the Pembroke boasts an array of functional storage options that are as handy for carrying your rations and rounds as they are your keys, phone and a couple of pounds (of loose change). Encompassing two button close chest pockets, two buckle close waist pockets and two zip close pockets behind the only storage problem you might have is remembering which pocket you’ve placed your essential items!

The Grenfell Redding Jacket

Whilst the Redding jacket may look like it’s just be taken from a Parisian catwalk, it actually owes its stunning good looks to mid-twentieth century military despatch riders and the world’s fastest man. In the last century Grenfell became the performance wear manufacturer of choice for speed demons such as Stirling Moss and Sir Malcolm Campbell who earned the title ‘King of Speed’ after his world records on both land and water. In honour of both Malcolm and Donald Campbell’s achievements and their connection to Grenfell they have created their Bluebird collection to which this stylish biker jacket belongs.

This updated take on a classic jacket silhouette has lots of interesting features such as an off centre full zip close, a slanted button close chest pocket, two slanted open waist pockets and adjustable leather buckle detailing to each side. Not to mention the smart open pointed collar and subtle mud camo colourway that also pay homage to the military origins of the biker jacket. The Pembroke is jacket that’s packed with the indomitable British spirit of adventure and a perfect fit for modern day daredevils.

View the full SS17 range here at The Sporting Lodge.

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Made in Manchester – Private White

Proud of our northern heritage, The Sporting Lodge is now stocking Private White VC which combines finest English manufacturing in one of our favourite cities, Manchester, England, with an excellence in selecting the best materials to offer robust, functional and stylish menswear with a traditional heritage.

So where does the name originate? Born in Leeds in 1896, Jack White signed up to the Royal Lancaster Regiment. On 7th March 1917 he heroically swam under gunfire in the Dialah River, Mesopotamia saving the life of his commanding officer and the valuable equipment on board his pontoon. That same year he was awarded the Victoria Cross which is the highest honour for his courage.

Jack returned to Manchester and trained as a pattern cutter, became General Manager and then owner of the factory which still stands today. The factory is now the home of the brand which carries his name and Private White VC has since been acquired by Jack’s great grandchildren who are proud to champion Made in Manchester and Private White VC.

All the Private White VC collection is expertly constructed by hand in the Private White VC Factory, Manchester, where garments are designed and developed using only the finest regionally sourced fabrics, trims and materials.

The company is run by Michael Stoll and James Eden, Private White’s great grandson, and has a staff of 80 who make clothes for their own label; as well as for other prestigious brands, such as Purdey and Holland and Holland. They have also made for Aquascutum, Burberry and Nigel Cabourn. Nick Ashley, son of Laura Ashley, is the designer who has worked for Kenzo, Tod’s and Dunhill Menswear to name but a few.

It is a delight to now stock Private White VC – a truly fine “Made in Manchester” brand.

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Brand Focus – Schoffel Jackets

Designed by British shooters with German quality

Our range of Schoffel jackets cater for the outdoor fieldsports gentleman with a penchant for the finest quality and the latest, impressive materials. Thorough planning and dedicated thought has visibly been injected into this brand – Schoffel have created not just outer layers, but mid layers such as the Schoffel Cottesmore Fleece.

We love Schoffel because it seems that they never fail to cover all grounds when it comes to comfort, style and overall exceptional quality. Schoffel do not go unnoticed, as the proud German name strongly suggests – they take pride in being the best that they can possibly be. Designed by British shooters The Ptarmigan has become the most popular shooting jacket on the market, made especially for British fieldsports. It provides comfort and weather protection and all that the British climate throws at it. Designed with ease of movement when mounting a gun, The Ptarmigan will always be a British favourite.

We stock a wide range of Schoffel products, including jackets on our website, and cater for all sizes on our website and in-store.

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Featured – Fjallraven Greenland No. 1 Special Edition Jacket

At the Sporting Lodge, we’re big fans of the whole Fjallraven range, but once in a while we come across a particularly stand-out product that deserves its own spotlight! The Greenland No.1 Special Edition jacket is an new twist on an old favourite – with the original Greenland Jacket devised and launched back in 1968.

Extremely comfortable to wear, in a lightweight fabric, but still resistant against showers owing to the G-1000 fabric, this is the perfect jacket for summer. We found it really easy to apply Greenland Wax, and loved how effective the application was for increased durability – this jacket will take you from summer into autumn with no trouble!

Practical as well as stylish, the chest pockets are surprisingly deep, especially considering their understated appearance – so you won’t be short of storage space. Leather edging around the cuffs and hood have great functional application (as well as aesthetic!), and allow the fabric to avoid chafing and remain comfortable against skin when wet. The Greenland No. 1 Special Edition’s double fastening closure with both zip and buttons also create an effective
wind barrier, perfect for unpredictable UK summers!

In addition, 5 Euro from the sale of every jacket is contributed to the SEFALO Arctic Fox project, working to reverse the decline and threatened extinction of the Arctic Fox in Sweden and Norway.

We hope you love it as much as we do – available to buy online now at the Sporting Lodge in four fantastic colours!

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Fjallraven Spring Summer 2013

Spring is here! Our brand new Fjallraven Spring Summer 2013 collection is now in stock, featuring some old favourites in vibrant new colours (including Ochre), as well as several brand new never-seen-before releases.

Included in the collection is the eagerly awaited Fjallraven Greenland No. 1 Special Edition jacket, as seen late last year on Orlando Bloom, as well as a great selection of lightweight jackets, outdoor shirts trousers and headwear.

For a limited period, we’re also offering 20% off any full-price Fjallraven trousers, using the code FJALLTROUSER20. Pick up a bargain!

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Spotted – Orlando Bloom in Greenland No. 1 Special Edition Jacket

Seen here in New York, Orlando Bloom wearing the Fjallraven Greenland No. 1 jacket (Special Edition) in Sand. We’ll be stocking the Special Edition Greenland No. 1 jacket in April 2013.

In the meantime, you can check out the original Fjallraven Greenland No. 1 jacket, in-stock and available to buy from the Sporting Lodge now, and currently available in Sand and Green.

We stock a wide range of Fjallraven Greenland jackets, including the original Fjallraven Greenland JacketFjallraven Greenland ParkaFjallraven Women’s Greenland Jacket (with new colours for 2012!), and the Fjallraven Greenland Winter Jacket.

We hope you like them as much as we do!