Balmacaan in herringbone Donegal tweed in tobacco

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£450.00 — ex VAT

Walking coat — or "balmacaan", to use its colloquial name — made in London, with brown herringbone tweed from County Donegal in Ireland, a lining of melton from West Yorkshire, and horn buttons from the West Midlands.

Waiting

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.

Sizing

The coat fits true to size, and thus the mannequin — the most standard 38 in all the world — wears a size S. It finishes mid-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.

XS S M L XL
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
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 also 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 has a half-lining of grey wool-melton, which is woven in West Yorkshire. It has a marbled appearance — comprised as it is from various, similar, shades of grey. The lining brings warmth and structure to the upper back. The sleeves, meanwhile, are lined with a fine, hard-wearing cotton.
The lower region of the body is unlined — which makes for a surprising lightweight wear, despite the heft and warmth of the outer cloth. The seams, meanwhile, are finished cleanly and carefully with brown cotton binding.
The cloth is a thick herringbone tweed, woven with surprisingly soft lambswool, from County Donegal in Ireland. It has a base of brown and black, and being as it is tweed from Donegal, it has the trademark nepps and burrs: felted balls of yarn which add depth and character to the cloth.

As worn

The gent here is 6'1", 11 stone, and slightly north of 38 in the chest. The balmacaan he's happily wearing here, then, is a size S.

Makers of

The coat is made by an outerwear factory in London. They are safe hands indeed when it comes to Ventile. Core-spun threads, double-felled seams, fine-diameter needles, and every other Ventile nicety — they know it all, having made such garments for military and civilians alike since the late 1980s.
The cloth is woven by a sixth-generation mill in County Donegal in Ireland. Every inch of the cloth, every step of the way — from the designing to the warping to the weaving — is overseen by two people: a father and son, who continue the flecked tweed traditions of this part of Ireland.
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."

So they say

Thoroughly astounded to have received the balmacaan in less than a day! Size XL is perfect on me, I’m very glad about it. The garment is on a whole other level. Thick and rough as I like, yet light and fluid in motion. It is so beautifully made, from the cloth, an absolute marvel of no-fuss weaving, to the cut that melds classical timelessness with functional modernism to stunning effect. Undeniably the sturdy and stylish paragon of a balmacaan I was after.

So said a man in France about his balmacaan in tweed from Donegal over Christmas 2021.

Let me tell you — the balmacaan is a work of art. From the texture and colour to the drape of the whole piece, it is so thoughtfully put together that every wear is a pleasure!

A happy customer in Germany, who purchased the balmacaan in heavy barleycorn Donegal tweed in October 2020.

The coat is wonderful. I have in my time worn [list of established British coat-makers] and, in their prime, [another very notable British coat-maker] and none hold a candle to this. It is lightweight, has a great hand and texture, its fit is perfect for me, and so is its cut. Thank you very much. It also arrived beautifully boxed and intact.

So commented a gent in the States about the balmacaan in the Flyweight quality of Ventile in May 2017.

The balmacaan arrived yesterday, intact, beautifully wrapped and boxed. It is beautiful and fits perfectly. Over a suit with cell phone, stethoscope, and assorted EDC gear on board, it is comfortable and not baggy. And the fabric is amazing. A soft hand and drape but seems as if it will wear forever. Love the Donegal slubs, too. I often wear a popped collar — a throwback to my preppy days — and the collar here really pops. I couldn't be more pleased. Thank you again for you great service and superior craftsmanship.

The words of a man who purchased a tweed version of the balmacaan in September 2017.

I have gotten the urge to advance further into the world of well-dressed people, and I was one of the lucky people who got their hands on the sturdy balmacaan in Ventile Canvas.

This is what a gentleman who acquired the balmacaan in (sturdy indeed) Ventile Canvas had to say in February 2016.

The balmacaan has arrived. It is beautiful.

Succinct words from a man who bought the coat in January 2016.

I have received the tweed balmacaan and it is even more beautiful than I remembered. Thank you very much again.

This man had been waiting for a tweed balmacaan for nearly two years, and finally got his hands on one in September 2017.

I'm very pleased — it's beautifully made and detailed.

More succinct words, by a chap who bought the bal in March 2016.

I thought I'd let you know that I'm really pleased with my balmacaan. I've already given it a couple wears despite the weather being a bit chilly, and I love it. The fit and cut is wonderful — modern and classic at the same time, great silhouette and a perfect collar. And the fabric is great, looks and feels lovely, and the way it creases, especially up and down the arms, is amazing. I imagine it ageing very well. A proper rain coat. I'm eagerly anticipating a rainy spring.

Kind words by a man who purchased the balmacaan in canopy cotton in March 2018.