Have you ever wondered how and where flannel originated? Flannel has been around for much longer than many other types of clothing, and where it originated might surprise you. Here are 3 things about the flannel that you have always known and loved.
The place where flannel was first worn is much farther away than most people realize. The soft woven fabric that we now know as flannel is presumed to be first made and worn all the way over in Wales.
The origin of the word 'flannel' is not exactly known, but it is widely accepted that a fabric similar to flannel called gwlanen which means 'woolen article' can be traced to a Welsh origin as early as the 16th century. The idea quickly spread to nearby countries like France and Germany, where flannel patterns were discovered only decades later.
The first flannel fabrics and patterns were a bit different than they are now, but it is generally agreed that flannels were first worn by farmers, during the 17th century, as a way to stay protected from the elements. Due to the low cost of the fabric, flannel gained widespread popularity when it was mass produced for other blue collar workers. The first success of flannel in America was in the late 1800's, and by the turn of the 20th century, flannel was a staple in every man's closet all over the world. An interesting fact is that a spike in flannel clothing and fashion popularity happened just last century during the popular grunge era of Nirvana and Pearl Jam, whose members and fans used the patterns for their characteristic and recognizable look.
Flannel is made from different fabrics including polyester, cotton, and wool. Brands like Carhartt have had great success with their flannel shirt selection and you can find their customers wearing them in and out of the workplace. The Carhartt Trumbull Plaid Flannel Shirt and the Carhartt Hubbard Plaid Heavyweight Flannel Shirt are just 2 of their popular styles of flannel shirts. The original flannel fabric was made with carded wool and worsted yarn. Probably not as comfortable as the flannel we have now, but still very warm and worked well when temperatures dropped low. Also, the way the flannel is made now is much different than back then. Currently, flannel is machine made and the familiar checkered print is easily accessible and available. Several centuries ago a flannel skirt, shirt, or outerwear could take weeks to create from gathering the material and then weaving it together.
The flannel shirt has become classic American apparel worn by blue and white collar professionals alike. We have brands such as Woolrich to thank for this by keeping their 185 year tradition of custom designed woolens in place through 8 generations of the family run business. The Woolrich Men's Oxbow Bend Plaid Flannel Shirt is just one of the many popular and sought-after Woolrich flannel shirts that is considered classic American apparel. It is a great look for any season of the year, and will keep you warm and comfortable in just about any setting. Flannel is one of the few fabrics that has such a wide variety of looks and styles that it can be dressed up or down. Shop for your flannel clothing in New York City today!