Camouflage fabrics have always been popular, and this perennial fashion trend is always reflected in our dressmaking range, but have you considered camo fabrics in home furnishing too? We may all think we know about camouflage and what it is used for, but the team here at Fabrics Galore thought we all need to brush up on our facts about the pattern. Did you know, for example, that its name comes from a French expression meaning “puffing smoke”? No? Well, neither did we, so we went on a fact-finding mission for you.
The Origins of Camouflage Fabric
Camouflage has been used for centuries by many people and for different purposes, but the idea derived from nature as animals use their skin to hide all the time. Anything from bark-like patterns on moths, all the way up to the stripes and spots of leopards and zebras, camouflage plays a huge role in the animal kingdom and beyond. And you all know how much we love an animal print at Team FG.
Camouflage fabrics in the military
Camouflage fabrics are often associated with the army and military forces across the globe and we are thinking of our armed forces with the approach of Armed Forces Day in the UK on 26th June. This pattern became increasingly important for military exercises from the start of the 20th Century. Prior to this, brightly coloured uniforms were favoured as a morale boosting exercise, but it was also around this time that Khaki became the go-to for military wear as nations soon began to realise that the bright colours were not serving the right purpose. Khaki is actually a combination of Hindustani and Urdu words meaning “dust coloured” and the British started to use it for military wear from the 19th Century for the South Africa Boer War.
It was the French who first started to clothe their soldiers during the Second World War in camouflage fabrics, as it had worked well in World War One when they hired fine artists to paint equipment to help conceal it. This tactic then started to quickly spread to other nations fighting in the conflict.
When did the pattern move into casual wear?
It wasn’t until the 1960’s that camo really started to move into civilian casual wear; this was in response to the Vietnam War and it has continued to pop back in and out of fashion ever since, usually as an ironic backlash against a war. By the 1980s it was part of the urban aesthetic for everyone involved in street culture from artists, rappers and skaters, from there it has become a standard print, which can be compared to other iconic patterns such as checks, stripes and spots.
Camouflage and khaki jackets
We can’t really write a blog about camouflage without mentioning the slow rise of the camouflage or khaki jacket, which is consistently growing in popularity. In recent years, you would be hard pressed to not see a few of these patterns across festival sites, and even just walking down the high street.
The great thing about camouflage and khaki is how the pattern can be incorporated into almost any fashion staple item. From the shacket shape to the classic bomber jacket, it’s the perfect trendy alternative to the denim jacket for when the sun goes down and there is a slight chill.
Camouflage fabrics don’t have to be green
Camouflage and khaki materials work especially well in menswear, but camouflage doesn’t always have to be green; it could be monochrome or even bright colours too. Our home furnishing camo fabrics which incorporate either a hint of pink or monochrome would make a very cool bomber jacket for anyone; male or female. And some of our clients have even used our camo fabrics to make children’s wig-wams.
It has been discussed by GQ on the best ways to incorporate the print into your outfits as a man, for example, by pairing the classic green with brighter colours - such as orange or even a bit of yellow. Camouflage could also be added into the pattern clash mix too with a navy stripe perhaps?
You can still stay neutral with camo
If bright colours and pattern clashing isn’t for you, GQ also added that incorporating the many different colour ways of camo is a great way of breaking up a plain black. For example, the fleece back blue camouflage and the black ribbing would make a great sweatshirt; perfect for teaming with black jeans and box-fresh white trainers. A very classic, staple outfit which is still trendy and stylish, without going too overboard if you prefer a more muted and neutral look.
Why not dress your kids in camo?
Remember, camouflage isn’t just for the boys. At Fabrics Galore, at the moment we are lucky enough to have the camo print in a surprising number of different colours. Especially if the 1990s revival continues, it is always worthwhile designing a camouflage print t-shirt which would make a great addition to any wardrobe, especially for your little ones. Our jerseys can also be used to design a great pair of trousers, or the hard-working fleece, always an essential on a UK holiday.
Would you like to purchase camouflage fabrics?
If you are interested in looking through our range of camouflage fabrics, please feel free to browse the Fabrics Galore website. Alternatively, if you have any queries about the materials you can call us on 020 7738 9589, where our team would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.