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Why countryside checks are so important to the Glorious Twelfth

Posted on: 13th Aug, 2018

For centuries, the Glorious Twelfth has been the ceremonial start to the hunting season in the UK. However, English law prohibits game shooting on a Sunday, so (as with this year) the hunting season is postponed to the 13th – today! If you’ve ever been on a hunt before – or read our post last year on the subject – you’ll already know how important style is to the shooting season. These days, the shooting world is becoming more and more open to the idea of different styles, but country checks like gingham and Tattersall always remain central to the sport. Here are just a few of the reasons why!

The colour and style

Even if you don’t live in the countryside yourself, you’ll know that green and brown have always been classic rural colours, the symbol of impeccable standard country dress. The typical pop culture image of hunters is that of red waistcoats, dressed up to the nines on horseback. In practice, though, this style of dress is far from the standard. You’ll far more often find typical hunters in country checks, which strike a perfect balance between modesty, undeniably dapper style, and helpful practicality.

fife 25 brown

Obviously, traditions are hugely important to historic sports like hunting, which is one reason that many hunters are so loyal to the colours. They also serve practical purposes too, though. A green and brown checked shirt like one made from our Fife 25 Brown check fabric typically makes hunters harder to be seen on the green and brown heather of the moorland.

The practicality of the dress

Now, the style of fabrics used for hunting shirts often varies, depending on what time of year it is. In the summer, most seasoned hunters recommend wearing several thinner, lighter and more breathable layers that can be removed as and when hunters need to, allowing them more control over their temperature.

However, winter is where country checks really tend to come into their own. They’re typically weightier, thicker and thus warmer than thinner fabrics like voile or batiste (whose brighter colours would make them unsuited to most hunts anyway). The warmth and durability of country checks makes them invaluable when trudging through the British heartlands in the winter chill. Our Hampton 130 green check fabric is another favourite for this sort of pursuit!

the glorious twelfth why style is integral to the sport feature image

Many newer hunters are tempted to wear a traditional dress shirt on a hunt. It’s an understandable decision, given the formality and tradition surrounding the event, but it’s not quite correct! Most dress shirts will considerably limit range of motion when trying to shoot, and the wearers often find that they often come untucked as they draw. Instead, it’s better to have a Tattersall or gingham shirt made specifically for hunting. They’re thinner, longer and designed to allow more freedom of movement when shooting, allowing hunters to more comfortably handle their firearms.

Of course, being fully equipped and dressed properly for hunting means having far more than just the correct shirt, but you might be surprised at how important it is, and how many newer hunters underestimate it! Here at Acorn we’ve got a huge range of country fabrics and cotton shirting fabrics for you to choose from, whether you’re thinking about attending a hunt yourself or simply going on another sort of countryside adventure! You can browse our full range of country checks here, or give us a call on 01282 698662.