Thanks to our rich history in creating duffle coats, we are often asked whether they are waterproof, due to their intrinsic woollen design. We also get asked a lot if they are warm, even warm, for the average city dweller to wear on their commute to work.
Here you’ll find answers to every question imaginable on duffle coats. Down to their ability to withstand the rain, their smell, what to do when it gets too wet and how they fare under different weather conditions.
Are duffle coats waterproof?
Woollen coats - such as our Original Monty Duffle Coat - are designed to be water-resistant and showerproof but are not completely waterproof. Our duffle coats are made from an Italian wool blend that is naturally water-resistant due to the waxy substance that sheep naturally secrete called lanolin. Lanolin covers a sheep’s wool and helps repel the rain which will provide your woollen duffle coat with a certain amount of water resistance.
Can you wear a duffle coat in the rain?
Woollen duffle coats can be worn in rain but are not ideal for use during long periods of showers. Wool is hydrophilic, which means it is highly absorbent; if you get caught in a period of downpour, the wool will absorb the majority of rainfall before it seeps into your clothing. The duffle coat has a longstanding history of being worn by officers and deckhands in the Royal Navy during World War II. Based on our heritage, if our woollen duffle coats were able to withstand wars and life aboard naval vessels, they can handle a bit of rain.
If soggy wool isn’t your type of thing, can we introduce you to our newest friend the Mersey Duffle? Our SS20 unisex duffle coat combines traditional duffle design aspects with contemporary technical fabrics. Crafted from showerproof Italian cotton twill, the Mersey Duffle features a subtle iridescent outer coating and orange mesh interior. The coat also features a three-piece hood to protect you from the elements. Trust us, if you get caught in the rain, this coat will have your back.
What should I do if my duffle coat gets soaked?
To protect your duffle coat from shrinking and warping in shape, do not tumble dry your duffle coat or hang it over a radiator or heater. If your duffle coat gets soaked, it is best to let it drip dry in a warm place - such as over a drying rack in your utility room. We would recommend laying towels on the floor underneath your drying rack to collect the residual water.
Are duffle coats warm?
This will entirely depend on which duffle coat you choose. A classic duffle coat, such as our Original Duffle Coat, is crafted from a warm wool blend and is designed to offer protection from the cold. Design elements such as a fixed shoulder cape, detachable throat tab and pancake hood are all included to keep you snuggly in the winter. The oversized fit also allows for layering thick knitted jumpers underneath, finishing at knee-length so you can wear skirts and tights without freezing your legs.
But we get it. Some people do not need, nor want, a very warm winter coat. If you travel to work on a cramped, stuffy train and spend all day in a heated office, then maybe the last thing you need is a heavy wool duffle coat. Our Poseidon Blue Mersey Duffle is made up of three layers of breathable fibres whilst being completely showerproof. It’s the perfect choice if you’re the type of person who gets hot and bothered on your commute to work whilst also protecting you from the unpredictable British weather.
Why does my duffle coat have a strange smell after being caught in the rain?
You might find that your duffle coat has a slight odour when you get caught in the rain, especially with woollen duffle coats. This is completely normal. Your wool duffle coat’s odour derives from its origins as a sheep. Meaning that when it’s damp, it might give off a particular scent. This smell will usually disappear once your coat is dry.
If you find that your non-wool duffle coats have a distinct scent after being rained on, this will be down to the purity of rainwater itself. Rainwater contains differing levels of odorous pollutants, varying based on your proximity to a polluted city. When your coat absorbs rainwater, the pollutants might cause your duffle coat to smell.
Regardless of the fabric of your duffle coat, do not be tempted to wash your coat in a washing machine, should you find a slight odour after the rain. We would always recommend dry cleaning your duffle coat to avoid it from shrinking or changing in shape.
Should you need a duffle coat that can be worn in the rain without a care, we would recommend investing in a showerproof piece that has been technically designed to protect you from the elements.
Our SS20 Mersey Duffles are handcrafted from Italian cotton twill or specialist synthetic fibre from Japan sourced to be completely showerproof. Every duffle coat in the SS20 collection is complete with a three-piece hood to effectively protect you from the rain whilst underarm ventilation helps ensure that you do not feel stuffy and bothered.