When it came time to choose the waxed canvas fabric for our Alpine Anorak, the decision was clear...British Millerain, a historic UK mill has been producing top notch, best in class fabrics for 135 years.
The mill was founded in Halifax, Yorkshire, UK in 1880 by a group of laborers and academics. They made fabrics for commercial and military applications in their Halifax factory until 1922, when the factory was moved to Whitworth, Lancashire. Millerain's range of textiles has been tested for over a century, using skills that have been refined and handed down through generations.
The history of waxed canvas is a fascinating tale, and Millerain knows it well, having been at the forefront of the fabric's development.
"Early mariners, who worked at sea a hundred years ago were at the mercy of the rain, wind and waves and often their craft offered little protection from the elements. Survival was dependent on good clothing. If a man was soaked on deck, the icy waters could render his limbs heavy and slow his return journey to the shore.
These early sea-farers devised a way of weather proofing their crude canvas smocks. These garments, which were usually made from the remains of torn cotton sails, were rubbed with linseed oil. They found that when the oil had penetrated the cloth it kept the biting winds and harsh sprays from reaching their skin.
This idea of applying finishes to a base fabric was the beginning of generations of waterproof and water resistant fabrics. And that’s where the British Millerain’s story begins…"
After proving itself as a protective essential at sea, waxed canvas migrated to the battlefield, the pasture, and the mountains in the 1900's. During WWII, soldiers in the Tenth Mountain Division, an elite alpine division of the U.S. army wore waxed canvas while fighting in extreme mountain conditions abroad. Their waxed canvas anoraks served as the inspiration behind Alps & Meters Alpine Anorak, pictured below.
The British Millerain Chera 8 fabric that we've chosen for the Alpine Anorak is soft to the touch, with a matte finish. It will wrinkle and patina beautifully with age, holding memories of ski trips past long after the snow has melted. This piece should last for quite some time. We hope that you love it as much as we do. Learn more about the rich history and tradition of British Millerain here, and shop the Alpine Anorak below.