History of Barbour International

Written by Marc | 08/10/2014


Brand Focus

Shop the Barbour International range online with Mainline Menswear today. An authentic, British brand with a rich heritage of over 100 years and royal approval.

The company was founded by John Barbour, who was raised on a farm in Galloway, South West Scotland. J Barbour & Sons was set up in 1894 in South Shields as a drapery shop catering to the town’s sailors, fishermen and shipyard workers, but the trademark oilskin clothing was sold later on, to landowners, farmers, farm workers and shepherds. The first Barbour jackets were waterproofed with linseed oil, but these tended to go stiff in cold weather and turned yellow after a while – which isn’t ideal for your trip to town. The waxed cotton version of the jacket came out in the 1930’s after two years of development and has continued to evolve over the years until it became what it has today.

Barbour International Motorbike

Although Barbour now source their products from around the globe, the classic wax jackets are still manufactured by hand in the factory in Simonside, with over 100,000 jackets processed via the central, subsidiary and local customer service operations each year.

Over the years Barbour has developed a unique understanding of country clothing truly fit for the outdoors and is renowned for quality, durability, fitness for purpose and attention to detail. Although Barbour remains true to their core values they have broken into new markets in recent years, broadening out from its country wear roots in order to appeal to the young and fashionable, producing clothing that is designed for a full lifestyle wardrobe. As well as jackets and coats, Barbour now produce trousers, shirts, socks, knitwear, t-shirts and a range of accessories.

Barbour International Jacket

Barbour has not crossed over into high fashion; it is little changed merely adding a few fashionable colours, and making styles shorter and more fitted. The classicism style of the brand is the strong appeal to celebrities, and has been adopted especially by indie bands. The growing popularity of music festivals combined with adverse weather conditions during these events, especially in the UK, has helped Barbour become a must-have essential.

Before you begin browsing the Mainline Menswear website for Barbour clothing and accessories, it is useful to have a brief understanding of the four different collections to the Barbour brand, and these collections are as follows; Moto-inspired Barbour International, Barbour Beacon, Fashion-forward Barbour Heritage, and the Barbour Sporting label.

The Barbour International label is the most featured collection on Mainline Menswear – we stock a large quantity of the label’s t-shirts, jumpers, sweatshirts and jackets. The Barbour International label has represented the thrill of motorcycling since 1936 and the collections celebrate that legacy with style and authenticity.

Barbour International Camoflauge Jacket

In contrast to the International label, the Barbour Beacon label is the face of Barbour’s rich British heritage providing a stylish, practical and built to last quality, perfect for the modern man.

The Barbour Heritage label is a contemporary collection of clothing and accessories which delves deep into Barbour’s past and refreshes the archive styles for a youthful look.


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