We are not sure if Scottish tourism has really benefited from the best of the our famous weather being broadcast around the world during the Open Golf Championship at St Andrews last week but at least the wet weather kit will have been well and truly tested. The caddies must be very fit when you see how many different items of clothing, never mind the clubs, that they pull out of golf bags carried for miles around the course. We are of course always very interested in fabrics and clothing and have been doing a bit of research into some of the favourites and new developments in the golf market. The difficulty is always to achieve full waterproofing whilst including a degree of stretch in the fabric to allow the necessary movement for a top notch swing and ensuring the fabric is breathable and can be worn comfortably for at least 18 holes of golf. Oh yes and for golfers at The Open you need to also look good for the camera! Rain at The Open St AndrewsGore-Tex is a name that always pops up, discovered in 1969 and introduced to the marketplace by Bob Gore like many things the material was initially used for medical applications, and the patent for making waterproof, breathable garments was not obtained until 1972. To you and I Gore-tex looks and feels like a smooth fabric. With the help of a microscope you would be able to see that structurally, the membrane of the fabric actually contains about nine-billion microscopic pores per square inch. Very cleverly these pores are large enough to allow body heat and water vapour to escape, but small enough to deflect water drops. So you can keep nice and dry while your sweat can escape! Golf Digest gives Greg Norman's Epic Ultra Light rain suit a gold award and it uses silicon to keep you dry. Silicon has the benefits of greater elasticity and increased resistance due to the way it is produced and it is wonderfully light and perfect for sportswear. However it relies on a waterproof seal which adheres to the surface of a product so eventually the garment will lose it's fight against the Scottish weather. We use processes to waterproof and protect our fabrics on request but generally we rely on the natural attributes of our wool fabrics to keep you warm and dry. Wool is naturally water resistant and breathable and increasingly it is being brought back into the manufacture of thermal and layering garments as the trend to use natural and organic materials grows. Merino wool is a favourite raw material and we have seen sales of our merino wool sweaters increase dramatically in the last 12 months as customers start to realise the benefits of a superbly warm sweater which isn't bulky and machine washable.
Merino has a fine, almost cashmere finish without the price tag and I have several in my wardrobe which I have worn endlessly yet they still look the same as when I stole them from the storeroom.
We are just about to add a new slimfit range to our website for men which can be worn equally comfortably under a jacket or out on the course. Watch this space. Returning to the subject of the moment congratulations to Zach Johnson the 2015 Open Champion. We have created a special Johnson tartan board in Zach's honour and just in case he fancies a little memento of his trip to Scotland. How cute would his 3 kids look in little tartan shorts? Johnstone Golf OutfitZach has a pretty special record with 12 PGA Tour wins under his belt and his success on Monday makes him one of only six golfers to win majors at Augusta and St Andrews. The son of a chiropractor Zach lives in Georgia where he can play golf all year round. He takes home a mere $1.8 million for his efforts in St Andrews but despite this he has used the same putter his entire career. We doubt he will be changing it now! Zach and his wife also started the Zach Johnson Foundation, focused on helping children and families in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, so although he is quoted to have more money than the federal reserve Zach is committed to helping young people achieve their potential and lead happy, healthy lives. Their statement "This Foundation will fulfill a dream of mine and Kim's to give back to Cedar Rapids in a long-lasting and meaningful way." sums up a great way of sharing their sporting success. Well done Zach, The Open Champion 2015!