The Cotton Moleskin Pedigree

270 years! That’s how long this fabric has been in use by coal miners throughout the world;  and our mill has been in business weaving it, since 1777.

The coal miners' gospel says, “Put a cotton moleskin shirt on in the morn, head for a grueling day below the earth’s surface and this cloth is the only protection between you and your skin.” Taking the shirt off as they walked through the kitchen door, holding the door open with one hand, while giving the shirt to their wife who has the waiting soap and hot water bath ready for both shirt and miner. Dinner done, the dishes join the bath after the shirt has received a thorough rinse and end-to-end twist, getting it hand dried before it gets clothes pins to line dry outdoors overnight – ready to be donned again next day.

This is cotton moleskin pedigree and why we selected it for a new addition of our functional Field Shirt – adding features the miners never dreamed of:

  • Retractable bi-swing back for complete freedom of lateral motion with poly mesh insert panel for “pull back” control of the pleat, but also works to transport “working moisture” from your back for continued comfort in the field.
  • Side panel insert construction that works to eliminate torque transfer to back,  admittedly, understood and used by the military in building their Alpha jackets for the field.
  • As the curve of the side panel, meets the armhole curve, plus the side panel seam work up onto the armhole seam, created is a pivot. This gives greater freedom to vertical motion of your arm, and that one is ours – not the military.
  • Notched pocket flaps that allow easy tuck-in to the pocket bag and better access to contents-plus box-pleat expandable pocketbag to provide increased carry capacity.
  • Button-down collar point, though hidden, works to keep the collar point from “flapping in the wind” when you are in the field.  The military understood this too, that’s why the USAAF/USAF and their famous A-2 flight jkt has snap-down collar point, as the early fiyers were in open cockpits.
  • Windtab collar band. Totally a unique feature that moves the top collar band button to be positioned behind the right side collar, and the collarband, now working as a true “windtab”  wind stopper at your throat.

100% cotton moleskin fabric represents endurance and tradition of the rugged lifestyle for which it was created. First developed in medieval Europe, this cloth offered warmth, protection, and comfort in varied conditions. Moleskin has a soft, brushed finish that is remarkably resistant to wind – and while the feel is quite luxurious, the pile actually protects the surface from abrasion and wear. This texture resembles suede or the downy coat of the mole – its namesake.