Balmacaan in dark navy Ventile canvas

Prices exclude VAT, shipping is free, and orders leave the workshop within three working days.


£350.00 — ex VAT

Walking coat — or "balmacaan", to use its colloquial name — made in London, with weatherproof Ventile canvas from Lancashire, a lining of merino wool from West Yorkshire, and dark horn buttons from the West Midlands.


Almost if not entirely sold out, these, by the looks of it. Still, don't despair. You can get in touch via to not only find out if or when they'll come back into stock, but to be notified should such an occurrence transpire.


The coat fits true to size, and thus the mannequin — the most standard 38 in all the world — wears a size S. It finishes just above the knee on persons of average height, and is cut in a relaxed, spacious way, so that it may be worn over a shirt, jumper, and jacket in winter. If you prefer a neater fit, best go a size down.

To fit chest 36 38 40 42 44
Pit-to-pit 20 21 22 23 24
Shoulder 17½ 18 18½ 19 19½
Sleeve length 25 25½ 26 26½ 27
Back length 35½ 35½ 36 36½ 36½
The coat is made with Ventile: a cotton of legendary weather-proof capabilities, on contact with which water beads up and rolls right off. It works because it is an extraordinarily tight weave of the finest 2% of the world’s cotton. This is a new canvas version of Ventile: it is heavy, tough, and very hard-wearing.
What we have here is a walking coat: a long, single-breasted coat, with a one-piece raglan sleeve, which gives the coat a great deal of room and movement in the upper body, and lends it well to layering in winter. "Balmacaan" is a traditional name for this style of coat -- from the Balmacaan forest in Scotland.
The coat has a collar of significant size, which is cut to sit straight and cleanly when down, and to really hug the neck when up. Beneath the collar is a throat-strap. This buttons across, one side to the other, and — by bridging the gap between collar and front — guards the neck against wind.
The coat has a front of five buttons — all of them real horn, dark and matte and tortoiseshell in colour. Because each one is a natural product, rather than an ersatz replica of horn, they are all utterly unique — differing in shade and markings. The same goes for the buttons everywhere else on the garment.
The same goes for the little horn backing buttons, which support each of the buttons on the front.
There are welt pockets on either side at the front of the coat. Just the right height and depth, these pockets, for plunging one's hands inside.
The above-mentioned pockets have a secret: they have a channel through which hands can pass to reach the inside of the coat. History has it this originates in the army — for grabbing a concealed grenade at a moment's notice. Today, it is handy for grabbing objects inside the pockets of a jacket worn beneath.
One other pocket on the coat resides inside, on the left-side as worn. It is a chest pocket of standard wallet- or mobile-size.
The coat is half-lined with a merino-wool twill — a smooth, breathable, and comfortable material, flecked in appearance — from a mill in West Yorkshire. It is a fine outer cloth in its own right, but here is happy to play backup to the Ventile outer.

As worn

The gent here is 5'9" and is wearing size S. He has a chest size of 38", and there are reports — neither confirmed nor denied — that he weighs in just below 12 stone.
The gent here is 6'1" and is wearing a size S. His chest size is 38", and there are unconfirmed reports that he is 12 stone.

Makers of

The jacket is made by an outerwear factory in north-east London. It is specialised skill, assembling jackets from thick and heavy cloth. The idea is to make something which truly lasts — all highly durable making techniques, heavy fusing, and turned seams — without the result being stiff or bulky.
Ventile was invented in Manchester in the 1930s. It is a high-performance cloth — being put to use over the years for all manner of high-octane and outdoor pursuits — but is simply an intensely tight weave of natural cotton. Water hits the cotton, cotton swells up, water has nowhere to go: easy.
The wool lining hails from a mill founded in the Heavy Woollen District of West Yorkshire in the 1800s. Carding, blending, spinning, and weaving — it all happens on the same premises. This unique arrangement means that the fleece’s change into top-grade cloth could not be more tightly tuned.
The horn buttons were cut, shaped, and polished by the last such factory in Britain (now defunct). It was part of a tradition in the Midlands first linked to the meat industry of the 18th century. "It is no easy task," said William Hutton in 1780, "to enumerate the infinite diversity of buttons made in Birmingham."