What is Gabardine? One of my favorite fabrics is Gabardine. It has a tight twill on one side and a smooth reverse side. Gabardine has two times as many threads per inch in the warp than what is there in the weft. Gabardine is a style of weave- it’s displays a fine and distinct diagonal ribs which are caused by the interlacing pattern of yarns. It is firm and durable, often with a high sheen. Gabardine is inclined to shine with wear and it is hard to press properly. It wears extremely well.
The fabric was invented by Thomas Burberry – yes, that Burberry. It was and is used for outwear, uniforms and quite obviously rain coats. The tight weave and extra thread count creates a woven shield that does not allow the penetration of water because there’s no space available between threads for it seep in. It was worn by early Arctic explorers for protection from the elements.
It became a fashion staple in the 1930’s and 1940’s. One of my favorite styles of jackets for men is the Eisenhower Jacket – a short waisted – trim jacket that designed by the military. Dwight Eisenhower’s was such a famous General (and then later President) that it soon was transfered into the fashion world.
When woven with lighter threads it makes beautiful suits, dresses, skirt and jackets. The pictures here are all examples of gabardine used in clothing in the 1940’s and 1950’s. The green dress, modeled by Carly Robinson is one of my favorites and it broke my heart to sell it. But once I saw the lovely girl who bought it with it on – I knew it was going to the right home.
Michael Winters (www.michaelwintersphotography.com )is responsible for the lovely photographs of my clothes.