Blogging Day #6: Burberry

One of the many ways a designer can differentiate their lines from other designer lines is to use a fabric with a new pattern, fiber, or color. When presented with a plaid fabric, the first designer that comes to mind is Burberry. Burberry is a design house that is most commonly known in today’s time for using a plaid fabric called the Burberry check. This isn’t even the first time Burberry has made a splash in the fashion industry but using a fabric characteristic. Back in the 1880’s, Thomas Burberry developed a new weave called the gabardine. This fabric was a new type of weave that was woven so tightly that it was almost waterproof. Previously to this fabric Burberry had developed, People had no type of Rainwear other than the usual outerwear cloaks and jackets. Eventually technology would develop to add rubber fibers into the weave to actually make waterproof fabric, but gabardine was the precursor to modern day rain wears. Burberry again made a splash with their clothing line by registering their plaid fabric pattern color as a trademark called the Burberry check (“Burberryplc,” ).  Now, most consumers can pick out a Burberry garment by simply looking at the fabric pattern. This pattern is only original to Burberry in the same colors. Most people refer to the fabric as plaid but originally it was called a tartan. The origins of the tartan fabric are not known, but there are two possible explanations.  The first is said that the Irish started the weave to make kilts. Kilts have traditionally been made in this fabric. “Another school of thought suggests that the word tartan is derived from the Spanish word tartana, which referred to fine quality cloth, and few would dispute that today’s Scottish tartan is indeed a cloth of particularly fine quality.”(“Tartans of distinction,” ). No matter what the origin, Burberry has used the Burberry check trademark fabric in all of its lines from women’s wear to men’s wear, accessories, and even shoes.


Burberryplc. (n.d.). Retrieved from


Tartans of distinction by strathmore. (n.d.). Retrieved from


One thought on “Blogging Day #6: Burberry

  1. PaulUNT says:

    The Burberry check is a perfect example of how fabric can make an influence in a brand; although they’ve revitalized their brand’s focus in recent years due to over-saturation of their iconic fabric, Burberry still continues to exemplify the use of fabric stories in its’ garments. Great post!

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