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Gabardine- the wonder fabric

The word 'gabardine' is of European origin, referring to a loose cloak worn in the Middle Ages. Traditionally, the fibre used to make the fabric was worsted wool or cotton. These days, texturised polyester or even a blend of all three may be used to make the final product. The beauty of the material lies in its comfort, durability and ability to provide a timeless sense of style. 

Back in the day, Burberry had started the usage of the beautiful fabric with the production of their famous trench coats which were worn by plenty of influential figures — from explorers to knights to even kings. In fact, King Edward VII loved his Burberry gabardine coat so much that the coat was soon called 'the gabardine'. By the 50s, it was widely popular in the West and plenty of vibrant casual jackets, trousers and suits were made using gabardine.

In the present time, gabardine remains a favourite fabric for suits and even casual wear. Its versatility is what attracts top designers to work with this fabric. 

Gabardine can be easily tailored to make elegant suits, or even everyday summer attire. That is why, this season, worldwide brands such as Mulberry are using gabardine for its floral dresses, while others are looking to the fabric to make the perfect plaid skirts. 

Similarly, gabardine has been quite popular in Bangladesh, especially during the summers. Unlike jeans, cotton gabardine trousers are much more comfortable in the heat and do not feel as stuffy as other materials. Although available in a variety of colours — black, brown, and blue — khaki still remains trendy among men. 

Photo: LS Archive/Sazzad Ibne Sayed

For men this summer, gabardine chinos are especially in. Matched with a novelty T-shirt and shades, these make the perfect outfit for casual wear. The best places to shop for these are Sailors, Artisan and Big Boss, where you will find a good collection in an affordable pricing range. Even the street shops at New Market can provide you with a huge variety of gabardine clothing, but you will have to be careful regarding quality while buying them.

For women, gabardine chinos are a must-have! You can opt for a professional look with dark monochromatic colours or you can buy the vibrant ones with cute floral prints or bold animal prints. 



Comfortable and stylish, gabardine pants or chinos can be found in Amber Lifestyle, Artisan, Westecs and other outlets. Match it with a top or even a kurti, and you're good to go! 

Photo: LS Archive/Sazzad Ibne Sayed

Depending on the fibre content, gabardine can have a smooth, hard surface or a soft, dull one. As there is a chance of discolouration of the fabric with regular use, necessary care must be taken during washing to prevent this. 

Cotton gabardine is prone to shrinkage and dye crocking from the friction during regular usage. As a result, with gabardine clothes, it is better to only stick to dry cleaning, and if you do want to wash it, it is better to hand-wash it, and then dry it in the sun instead of using a dryer. 

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