Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Swanndri Bushshirt.



I am sure most of you have heard of Swanndri, the New Zealand Wool company.  For those not, here is a bit of history.  In 1913 New Plymouth tailor William Broome registered the trademark ‘Swanndri’ for a weatherproof woollen shirt.  Broom, born in Staffordshire, England, immigrated to New Zealand at age 21 and established a clothier and outfitters business, The Palatine.  The characteristics of the “swanny” design include its heavy dark fabric, often in a tartan pattern and ties up around the neck. In more recent "Ranger" shirt, a zipper has replaced the ties.  The original design was short sleeved, long in the back, and would be worn on top of farmers work clothes for warmth and shower proofing.  The "secret of Swanndri was that during production, these garments were dipped into a mixture of dissolved chemicals and then dried.  It is not known if Broome was taught this method for shower proofing the fabric or he developed the formula himself.  Unfortunately, the mixture caused the garments to shrink, making it difficult to determine size. Consequently they were sold as one size fits all.  The name was because the rain would literally run off the back of the garment as it does on a swan.

These Garments are now being produced with more "urban" styling line, but rest assured their heritage styles are still the most popular, and Bushcrafters around the world have adapted the bushshirt as their go to uniform, so I don't think its going anywhere.

Check out their site here:  Swanndri NZ

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