Vintage Style Sweatshirt - Inspired in the USA, Made In Manchester.
It's amazing how a single event has the power to ignite a lifelong passion?
for example, music aficionado’s wax lyricall about how a certain tune or performance had a profound effect on them
And, similarly us clobber heads boast about times that we clocked a certain style or clothing label that changed everything for us
This was certainly true for myself. Not many people will know this but the football team I played for in 1976 was invited on a tour of America
I wasn't brilliant, but I could hold my own
It was during this trip that I became pretty awestruck seeing all these college kids wearing these sweatshirts
“ It seemed every man and his dog was wearing these, the college style sweats, along with their tshirt, jeans & hi tops" ( this is another story for another blog)
The Football tour also included a trip to the Spalding Sportswear factory, and was blown away by the images of the All - American College Sweatshirt styles
Heres an image of one of the original designs I saw on my trip to the Spalding Heritage factory
The colour pallets, bold prints, and vintage styles, all had a profound effect on me as a young teenager from a council estate south of Manchester, who had only been to Spain once, it was like being on another planet
So, I've delved back into my memory bank and used this experience as a source of inspiration to create the new Joe & Co Heritage Sweatshirt & Jersey collection, bringing back past designs to the present day, made better with better yarns and with a twist
The original sweatshirt was invented out of necessity,
In 1926 Benjamin Russell Jr was a pro footballer, and in those days their kit was made of wool. Benjamin, wanted something more comfortable to train in.
Benjamin approached his father Russell Snr. His father happened to know about the benefits of cotton and created a crew neck pullover for his son. In 1930 they created the company Russell Athletic and started production of the iconic crew neck sweatshirt
The original sweatshirt was intended as sports utility apparel. It included two functional designs the V insert and Side Insert ribbing. These features served two main purposes. The ribbing in the V inset and underarm was added so you could get the garment on without it losing its shape. The second reason is the ribbing helped to absorb sweat from the chest and underarm areas.
Over time the sweatshirt became a staple part of the fashion wardrobe. By the 1980s it became part of the causal scene, and eventually, these features were phased. Or they becamemore of a decorative feature
For this heritage sweatshirt, we have incorporated the original V insert and the underarm ribbing as a feature of the design.
Whilst the heritage design may be vintage-inspired. I've used a 21st-century approach to produce this Made in England heritage collection.
The fabric is a long-staple Australian Super Cotton from the Rogan Pastoral Company in Queensland Australia. The company has been recognised for its ethical and ecological manufacturing processes. They were one of the first cotton farms in Australia to achieve Best Management Practice (BMP) certification.
The reason we've used premium long-staple cotton is because the weave is a lot tighter, so the fabric won’t bobble up. And it means the sweatshirt will last longer and wash better.
Having sourced the fabric. It's then shipped to a textile mill in Lancashire England. This is where the fabric was spun and knitted using the loopback reverse weave process to create a 350 grams heavy-duty fabric.
Once the fabric has been spun it is then shipped to Leicester for knitting & dying
I have been working with the Mill for well over a year to get the style and fit bang on. The fit is based on the vintage college style, so you can expect a "boxy" fit, with slightly more room around the body, and the arms have been tapered slightly to give a more smarter look, with a shorter body, so to have the tshirt underneath dropping, giving that casuak relaxred feel
So, all our the heritage sweatshirts are inspired by the All-American icon but Made Right Here in the UK.