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Norfolk Jacket

Matt Deckard

Man of Action
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10,038
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A devout capitalist in Los Angeles CA.
Before J. Peterman went out of business and came back they made a Norfolk jacket. They havn't reintroduced it yet though I am waiting. The next closest thing is the occasional bi-swing belt backed jackets that Orvis sometimes sells. though I hate their fit.

Best bet is a custom tailor.

I did have one of the J. Peterman jackets about 5 years ago though I shrunk out of it and Good Willed it.

When I find the right fabric I'll have one made.
 

Wconly

Familiar Face
Messages
72
Those are nice looking jackets! I like the items on this site. Thanks for sharing! W>
 

BJD1880

New in Town
Messages
4
Location
Green River, Wyoming
Just a few words about the Cudworth of Norden Norfolk Jacket...

I ordered my Norfolk on 11-08-05... it finally arrived 01-03-06 after many e-mails and frustrations, and with the kind intervention of Barry Wright of Cudworth.

On the upside-- it was well worth the wait.
It is
OUTSTANDING!
IMPECCABLE!
IMPRESSIVE!
... and will last a LIFETIME!

The fit (48R) is as though tailor-made...
The quality of the fabric (Herringbone in light green) surpasses anything available in the US... and this is NOT a summer-weight jacket by any means!
The tweed fabric is a heavy, tight weave that will shed water, turn wind and keep you fashionable for decades. The jacket is at home on the moors, in church or on the prairie...

I intend to purchase another in the red striped/brown pattern.

And at around $325 delivered, it's a terrific value for the quality.

I couldn't be happier...
(it also looks pretty snazzy with my Irish Walking Hat from Hannah Hats!)

BJD
 

Creeping Past

One Too Many
Messages
1,567
Location
England
Anyone got a Norfolk jacket recently (in the intervening years since this thread started, that is)?

Is see the Historyinthemaking site is still up, and they offer one. No photos of finished garments, though. The Distinctly British site no longer offers Norfolks, just standard 3-button hacking-type jackets.

I'm just getting rid of an Ebay mistake. Armholes like bat wings, negating the whole point of the centre pleat.

Outside of bespoke, is there a Norfolk jacket in production anywhere that has an armhole/chest interaction of non-eye-wateringly poor dimensions?
 

Flitcraft

One Too Many
Messages
1,037
Ditto, Mr. Past...

Been looking for one of these myself. Everything's either a very pale imitation in-name-only, or its some sort of strange modern-cut monstrosity.
Amazing how many hacking jackets are called Norfolk jackets...
 

BellyTank

I'll Lock Up
Tweed-mantra-Rantra

Creeping Past said:
Outside of bespoke, is there a Norfolk jacket in production anywhere that has an armhole/chest interaction of non
eye-wateringly poor dimensions?

Good question...

I've seen a lot of "high end" hunting Tweeds in London shops,
such as Old Hat and Bertie Wooster- rack upon rack of modern,
well, "rack Tweed". Same old same old mostly. How folks can raise a gun
wearing those wet blanket is something I can't fathom.
Bespoke IS, or should be, a different animal.

Older Tweeds, '60s/'50s, are usually pretty good and the styles are still pretty much in line with what we think of as tradish' tweed.
When you can get it...
I bought a an Irish Thornproof Tweed 3 pce from Bertie Wooster a few years back and the fit was good- I'm guessing it was no early than mid fifties and no later than mid sixties. It was a country suit, though, not hunting.
I had no difficulty lifting a Pint glass... It IS a good test for the absolute minimum of usefulness- otherwise, the "jacket" is relegated to "non-garment"/
lifestyle inhibitor.

As Creeping Past mentions- baggy armholes and a heavy cloth, does
not a happy Tweedie make. Stick in the mud territory.

What we usually find are modern "traditional" Tweed lookalike jackets, oversized, with impossible armpit-fit.
OR- jackets with "fit-and-action-features", such as the shoulder/side pleat/action/bi-swing back, or the centre back pleat, which are meant to facilitate a wide range of arm and shoulder motion and rotation and forward reach- for "Hunting" and Country Pusuits" BUT when poorly executed, they are as useful as a fur teaspoon- adding cloth, bulk, weight, and nothing in the usefulness stakes and at worst, further impeding motion and ruining the silhouette. A bi-swing type back/shoulder treatment applied to a too-deep armhole defeats its own purpose.

A jacket armpit needs to be relatively close-in-to, and mimic the wearer's armpit...... and repeat....

A good armpit-fit makes for a good fit and a tidy look. ADD to this, a bi-swing,
or centre pleat and viola! best of both worlds. The sleeve moves in its cloth socket. The "feature" treatment can be quite discreet, just enough to do the job, it need not be another bat-wing yard of Tweed, stuffed, accordion fashion into the armpit.

Enough-

Let's try and find some (outside of Japan..?).


B
T
 

Mysterious Mose

Practically Family
Messages
516
Location
Gone.
Go German.

I have a non-belt bi-swing tweed jacket, and a belted, double pleated suit, in a very dense wool, (I have a filson cruiser of the same stuff), both from Germany. The suit is a little big on me but the armpit still only leaves room for a slipover. Excellent cycling jackets. I'll post some pics when I'm back.
 

Creeping Past

One Too Many
Messages
1,567
Location
England
Yes, a good cycling jacket. I was watching Kind Hearts and Coronets last night and that made me think fondly of Norfolk jackets.



On a point of usage, in this movie Dennis Price is wearing a special jacket for shooting, one with suede shoulder patches and no belt.



I think a distinction must be made between the idea of the Norfolk and its true place as an all-round action garment. The Norfolk should be regarded as a different beast from a shooting jacket. The Norfolk's the true original action jacket.

I may well already have gone German before you get back, Mose. Looking forward to viewing your pics.

Lone, the link in my first post is to a photo on the site you mention.

BT, 'rack tweed' is depressing generic stuff.
 

H.Johnson

One Too Many
Messages
1,562
Location
Midlands, UK
Norfolk jacket - not ncessarily tweed

Norfolk jackets aren't always associated with tweed, of course. Burberry used to make excellent fishing and shooting jackets and suits in their own cloth that conform exactly to our present idea of a traditional true (full) Norfolk jacket. See the thread on the 1924 Everest expedition, for instance.

I have a 1960s Belstaff Moorlander suit (jacket and breeches) in green twill that would also 'pass muster' as a Norfolk style.
 

Creeping Past

One Too Many
Messages
1,567
Location
England
HJ, you're spot-on as ever. Quite a few images in the Adventure Gear thread show that the Norfolk jacket was not specifically a Tweed garment.
 

H.Johnson

One Too Many
Messages
1,562
Location
Midlands, UK
Yes. Bedford cord and the Norfolk style go very together well. Tough, enduring and practical, like drill. The stuff of 19thC explorers, later to be 'Scottishised' (is that a word?) into its association with tweed through the Victorian and Edwardian love of field sports and Scotland.

I like my Norfolk/breeches combination to have at least a measure of water resistance - not the strong point of most tweeds (although I have a Donegal Norfolk outfit that puts up a determined resistance). That's why I like my Belstaff. The Carrington fabric is shower resistant at best, but it has a completely waterproof 'bum and leg flap' and I have added a button-in liner from a Dutch Army parka made from...er...Goretext and Pertex. Sorry about that, but it doesn't show from the outside and keeps me really dry in the field. Better than a Barbour any day...

Do we have a definitive definition of a Norfolk jacket, by the way?
 

BellyTank

I'll Lock Up
Cycling suits of the '10s and '20s were often Kharki drill,
some of them were Norfolk style, some more business-like.

Creeping Past forwarded me some information about dress for
officers in East Africa(?)- if I remember correctly a Norfolk suit, of jacket and breeches, in Kharki Bedford Cord was preferred. I can't remember precisely,
to which service these "officers" belonged.



B
T
 

Creeping Past

One Too Many
Messages
1,567
Location
England
BT, thanks for giving me the opportunity to show off, but I can't find the link now. I'd be grateful if you posted it, if you can find it.

HJ, after a brief internet search, I've found a couple of pages referencing Norfolk jackets made from simple homespun fabric:

"Norfolk jacket familar mid-length jacket, usually worn outdoors with breeches and made of greyish homespun. In vogue in the 1880's and into the early 20th Century."

"The riders were mostly dressed in coats of the Norfolk jacket type and knee-breeches with thick gaiters. The material of their clothes was a coarse but very strong cloth of native make gray or brown in color." (from In Times of Peril, by G A Henty, the best-known hagiographer of the British Empire).

Perhaps our association of the Norfolk jacket with tweed is influenced by certain 20th century reinterpretations of the past.

As FL members have mentioned in other threads, and as BT says, the Norfolk jacket was not just an item of clothing peculiar to the British Isles. It was an essential item of clothing for British colonial personnel, both military and civilian. It was also adopted by the US Forestry Service, at least one state highway police department in the US and the Canadian Mounted Police.
 

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