Definitions

rainwear

Mackintosh

[mak-in-tosh]

The Mackintosh or Macintosh (abbreviated as mac or mack) is a form of waterproof raincoat, first sold in 1824, made out of rubberized fabric. The Mackintosh is named after its Scottish inventor Charles Macintosh, though a letter k is added by many writers.

Although the Mackintosh style of coat has become generic, a genuine Mackintosh coat should be made from rubberised or rubber laminated material.

Mackintosh brand

Charles Macintosh patented his invention for waterproof cloth in 1823 and the first Mackintosh coats were made in the family's textile factory, Charles Macintosh and Co. of Glasgow. But in 1830 the company merged with the clothing company of Thomas Hancock in Manchester. Hancock had also been experimenting with rubber coated fabrics since 1819.

Early coats had problems with smell, stiffness, and a tendency to melt in hot weather, but Hancock further improved their waterproof fabrics, patenting a method for vulcanising rubber in 1843, which solved many of the problems.

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the company continued to make waterproof clothing. In 1925 the company was taken over by Dunlop Rubber.

In the mid 1990s the company which then owned the brand, Traditional Weatherwear, was on the verge of closing its factory in Cumbernauld near Glasgow. It was then acquired by Daniel Dunko. Around the turn of the 21st century, the company made progress to establish the traditional rubberised Mackintosh coat as an upmarket brand in its own right. They collaborated with leading fashion houses such as Gucci, Hermès, Louis Vuitton and Liberty. The coats became particularly popular with Japanese women, and the company won a Queen's Award for Enterprise in 2000 for its success in international trade.

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