in #CASE you were curious about - Flannel
February 10th is National Flannel Day! With winter still going strong, this is the day dedicated to a special type of warm, sturdy clothing: flannel.
Flannel was first made in Wales, in the sixteenth or seventeenth century. It was made to replace wool, as it was warmer and sturdier.
After getting its start in Wales, flannel spread around Europe during the Industrial Revolution, being aided by a process called carding. It is not known where its name came from, but the French began calling it flanelle, while Germans called it flanell.
In America, it may have first been used during the Civil War, in soldiers' undershirts and four-button coats. In 1889, Hamilton Carhartt opened a factory in Detroit and started making flannel clothes for workers to wear. It was at this time that flannel started being worn by factory workers, by those working on the railroads and in other types of construction, and by loggers. It was also used for long underwear.
Flannel continued to be worn as such into the twentieth century when it became a symbol of rugged men and blue-collar workers. At this time there was also a fascination with Paul Bunyan, a mythical lumberjack who wore a red plaid flannel shirt. This endeared him even more to loggers and lumberjacks.
Flannel was also used during World War I for undershirts, belts, and patches, and again during World War II, in the lining of the M1941 Field Jacket. In between the wars, during the Great Depression, it was also widespread (which reflected the economic times more than anything else).
In the postwar years, flannel expanded from its blue-collar roots to be used in more sophisticated clothing such as suits. Many businessmen wore flannel suits. In fact, a popular book of the time was The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, which was adapted into a film starring Gregory Peck.
Flannel came back as a fashion statement in a very different form in the early 1990s, as a part of the grunge music scene. Members of bands such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam began wearing flannel shirts, as did fans of the music.
Today, flannel is often associated with outdoor wear…though it has also become a part of hipster fashion.