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Barbour Northumbria

November 23, 2010

You’d have to have been living under a rock to not have noticed the resurgence in the popularity of the waxed jacket over the past year, or maybe you just live in the country where they’re everywhere anyway?

In recent times the Barbour jacket has made its way back into the city in a big way, been labeled as ‘cool’ and now a commute into London is awash with them. Love them or loathe them you have to admit that if you want a decent quality, waterproof and warm piece of outerwear you can do a lot worse than buying something from South Shields’ finest. If you want something a bit different to what everyone else is wearing then there’s their Tokhito collaboration jackets, which have been proving themselves to be a great and popular collaboration.

It’s good the brand is doing well, but seeing all of these jackets day-in-day-out got me thinking about my old jacket that’s at my folks house. So as I popped back up north last weekend weekend to see them, I thought I’d get the Northumbria out and take a few snaps.

The jacket’s about 18 years old and was my dads for a couple of years before he gave it to me, he has a green Northumbria too (matching jackets, nice) so I got the brown one, at which point I went about battering it. It was my main shooting jacket for years and years and kept me warm and dry in some truly awful conditions. I however, wasn’t quite as kind to it.

The arms are full of tears from gauze bushes and climbing over barbed wire fences, all of which have been stitched up with Barbour repair patches (do they still make those?) in a rather workman like fashion, but then it’s always been a working jacket so it didn’t matter what it looked like as long as it kept the elements at bay.

It’s on its second zip as I somehow managed to break the first (even this needs fixing now) and both the hand warmer pockets and cuffs are frayed to bits, then glued back together to stop them fraying even more. It’s been re-waxed more times than I can remember, especially around the right shoulder, where the gun stock would rub against it and wear the wax away – a re-application of thorn proofing would always get it looking half decent again though.

The thing is that a Northumbria feels like you’re wearing armour – it’ll cope with pretty much everything you can chuck at it and look after you in the process – it’ll even keep you warm and dry when you’re on the Victoria line…

The old thing still gets used and comes out most winters when I’m at home (if there’s a storm then it’s the go-to coat, there’s no point messing about with anything else). I do need to get it cleaned up though as the lining hasn’t been washed in years and it’s starting to smell – it’ll need doing by a professional though, I wouldn’t have a clue where to start with it.

I might even bring it back down south and to start wearing it more often in all its knackered glory, it’s too good a coat to sit in a cupboard for the rest of its life and only be used occasionally.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 23, 2010 10:27 pm

    it does look amazingly weathered, literally. really nice colour lining too, epic stuff. nice sew jobs too! see now my problem was the lining. i picked up a beaufort in a charity shop for £15 a few months back but the lining stank so much my whole room smelt of it and it infected my clothes when i wore it so i flogged it on ebay, got my money back for it. oh well

    • November 24, 2010 9:33 am

      Yeah, the problem with this is the lining, it’s not too overpowering but it does smell and could really do with being cleaned properly and then re-waxed before I wear it again. As you say when they get to that stage they have a habit of tainting the clothes you wear under it. It’s a great coat though and certainly deserves some TLC.

  2. November 24, 2010 10:41 am

    Great article and a fantastic jacket. Personally, I think a battered and broken Barbour has a certain charm about it. You get a feeling that it’s been used for it’s intended purpose, not worn as some sort of trend/statement; definitely function over form, which is ideal in the spectacularly awful weather up these parts.

    Being a few Metro stops away from the factory outlet in Jarrow, it’s amazing to see how much footfall it is getting. In a sense, Barbour have stuck to their roots although the outlet isn’t as cheap as it was 2 or 3 years ago. I feel Barbour have sense of pride about the longevity of their products and still offer to do repairs and rewaxes in-house which can completely revitalise a jacket.

  3. James permalink
    December 2, 2010 4:04 pm

    that looks ace

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