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      history Mac coat

      The modern ‘Mac’ or Mackintosh overcoat is a knee- or thigh-length water-resistant garment with a clean front and slanted pockets, worn as protection against rain in urban environments. Traditionally made from a rubberised or rubber-laminated fabric, ‘Mac’ is now a generic term for tailored raincoats.

      history Mac coat

      mac coat

      The modern ‘Mac’ or Mackintosh overcoat is a knee- or thigh-length water-resistant garment with a clean front and slanted pockets, worn as protection against rain in urban environments. Traditionally made from a rubberised or rubber-laminated fabric, ‘Mac’ is now a generic term for tailored raincoats.

      Specially-made rainwear has been used since the antiquities – the earliest examples have been found in China and were made from straw and bamboo. Later on, the Chinese started to impregnate woven silks with vegetable oils; a similar technique was implemented by the Aztecs, applying natural latex to waterproof their clothing.

      Using rubber for laminating garments was reintroduced in the modern era when Scotsman Charles Macintosh patented a new waterproof material for clothing in 1824, created by sandwiching an impermeable layer of rubber dissolved in naphtha between two layers of woven fabric. The initial problems with smell, stiffness and tendency to melt in hot weather were resolved two decades later with the invention of vulcanised rubber – a method patented by Charles Goodyear and later used widely for tires, shoe soles, hoses and conveyor belts.

      Thanks to their durability and superior protection against moisture, rubberised raincoats were gradually gaining popularity during the 20th century with many fashion houses utilising the laminated material for their outerwear creations.

      Today’s raincoats are widely used by adults and children. Depending on quality and specific purpose, they usually have some level of breathability, allowing air to circulate and sweat vapour to escape.