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The Glorious Twelfth – Why Style Is Integral To The Sport

Posted on: 30th Aug, 2017

It’s the start of the hunting season here in the UK, as the Glorious Twelfth signals hunters all over the country to begin the preparations. But besides having the proper equipment like ear protection and spare cartridges, looking the part is just as important to the tradition of hunting. This week on the Acorn Fabrics blog, we take a quick look at why.

Why Is Looking The Part Important To A Hunt?

Key shirting styles for The Glorious Twelfth

Hunting is an age-old sport, with centuries of history behind it. Here in England, many of the lands and estates that are frequently used for hunts have often been owned by the same families for generations, making hunting an important part of their family history, and an aspect they treasure very deeply.

It’s probably no surprise, then, that there’s a certain level of tradition and common pride associated with the sport. It’s just one of the reasons that correct manners and etiquette are important, and this extends to the dress. Unfortunately this isn’t always obvious at first glance, and getting the dress wrong can even be seen as an insult, especially if you’re visiting another hunt. (Don’t worry though – most seasoned hunters are very understanding about the occasional sartorial faux pas!)

In short, hunting is far more than about just rifles and shotguns. The centuries-old sport has its own sense of decorum and ceremony, and dressing for the part is one of the key ways of honouring that.

The Practical Reasons For Hunting Attire

Hunting seasons generally demand the wearing of certain articles of clothing – some of which are optional, and some of which are less so! It’s not purely for show, though; each garment often has very specific practical advantages which make it ideally suited to the sport.

Hunting Waistcoat

As the Glorious Twelfth is in August, the season begins with mainly warm weather shoots. That’s where the hunting waistcoat comes in handy. It’s specifically designed to give you the maximum freedom of movement in your arms, so that you can draw and operate break-action firearms like double-barrelled shotguns.

The Neck Tie (Also known as a Hunting Stock)

This is an standard accessory for a hunt. It’s held down by the accompanying waistcoat and pushed up with a collar pin to remain visible. They can come in a variety of different colours, depending on the tastes of the wearer. It’s regarded as essential wearing for a formal hunt, in keeping with hunting etiquette.

Wellington Boots

Traditional Wellington boots (sometimes affectionately known as ‘wellies’ are still the standard in terms of footwear, even in summer. Open fields can sometimes suddenly give way to marshes, and nobody wants to suddenly find themselves ankle-deep in muddy water while wearing their favourite brogues.

Bespoke Shirting For Hunts

Key shirting styles for The Glorious Twelfth

As you may know from our last blog, most shirting styles in hunting seasons pay tribute to the country spirit, which makes options like Tattersall and gingham almost universally popular. Some seasoned hunters and shooters prefer those in shades of green or brown, to help minimise the chances of being seen by the grouse and other game animals.

Bespoke shirts are always a good idea for hunts, for many of the same reasons we outlined to do with waistcoats above. Bespoke shirts are thinner and longer, made to allow free movement in the arms and upper body.

Similar attention is paid to the style and weave of the shirting fabric itself. Wool and cotton blends have always been popular, being relatively breathable and soft to the touch. However, here at Acorn Fabrics we’re seeing an even greater demand for 100% cotton options such as Fife 50 Green and Fife 50 Blue Check. These breathe even better, letting excess body heat escape while still retaining enough warmth to be comfortable. The weather can vary greatly from one hunt to the next, and this versatility is just one of the reasons why 100% cotton options are finding popularity with experienced hunters.

Both wool blends and 100% cotton options are twill weaves, and slightly brushed on one side. The twill makes them stronger and more durable than plain weaves, while the brushing improves the handle (the tactile feel of a fabric).

At Acorn, we’ve cultivated a fantastic selection of fabrics to suit almost any style and purpose – not just hunting, for example, but dressmaking too! You can click here to start browsing our fabric types, or if you’re looking for something in particular you can give our sales line a call on 01282 698662. We’re here to help!

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