The word duffle originally referred to a heavy woolen cloth closely woven for warmth and manufactured in the Belgian town of Duffel. However over the years it has come to signify a hooded coat with distinctive toggle fastenings which was adapted by the British Royal Navy in the 1890s, where it was referred to as the ‘convoy coat’. During World War I, the navy issued a camel-coloured variant of it. Field Marshal Montgomery was a famous wearer of the coat, as a means of identifying himself with his troops, leading to another nickname, the ‘Monty coat’.
In 1951 Gloves and Overall wholesalers H&F Morris, Harold and Freda, were offered a large quantity of surplus military duffle coats which quickly sold out in camping and leisure wear shops. This success prompts them to produce their own duffle coats for their new company Gloverall. Gloverall duffle coats are being exported all around the world and became a true British classic.
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