[gab-er-deen, gab-er-deen]

Gabardine is a tough, tightly woven fabric used to make suits, overcoats, trousers and other garments. The fibre used to make the fabric is traditionally worsted wool, but may also be cotton, synthetic or mixed. The fabric is smooth on one side and has a diagonally ribbed surface on the other. Gabardine is a form of twill weave.


The material was invented in the late 19th century by Thomas Burberry, founder of the Burberry fashion house in Basingstoke, and patented in 1888. The fabric takes its name from the gaberdine (with an 'e'), a long, loose overgarment tied at the waist.

Burberry clothing of gabardine was worn by polar explorers including Roald Amundsen, the first man to reach the South Pole, in 1911, and Ernest Shackleton, who led a 1914 expedition to cross Antarctica. A jacket made of this material was worn by George Mallory on his ill-fated attempt on Mount Everest in 1924.

Care instructions

Depending on the type, gabardine is either dry cleaned, as most other wools, or is machine washable and dryable on a low cycle. A warm iron should be used for pressing; ironing it at a higher temperature would mark the fabric.

External links

— from BBC News Online

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