Focus on: Loden fabric

If, as is as is generally sound domestic policy, one cocks a respectful ear to one’s father in law from time to time, one is likely to hear how one’s own generation is beyond the pale and that everything - from the weather and the government to one’s children and even one’s lunch – is bad and getting worse.

He is, of course, a little bit right and a little bit wrong. But in an age unarguably characterised by waste, consumption and short-termism, it’s well worth reminding oneself (and one’s father in law) that there are many people out there who are still dedicated to making things that stand the test of time and to standards every bit as high as those to which their forefathers subscribed.

Perhaps that’s why certain names and geographies have become synonymous with quality. The combination of first-class raw materials, techniques perfected over centuries, and standards passed down through generations all but guarantees a first-rate product. Hence the confidence we have in Venetian glass, Belgian chocolate, Australian Merino wool, Egyptian cotton, Swiss watches, Sheffield steel and Scottish tweed, to name but a few.

This is why, when we went in search of Loden cloth from which to cut Oliver Brown’s breeks, field coats and gilets, we looked to Austria. For it is there that this excellent, hard-wearing, warm, water-resistant and superbly comfortable material has been perfected.

Eventually, we lit upon the Leichtfried mill, where they have been producing this traditional Tyrolean fabric to the very highest standards since 1884.

So next time one is on the receiving end of an end-of-days diatribe from one’s father in law, direct him to Who knows, perhaps he’ll spring for a smart new pair of breeks?