Innovations In Fashion

Arnold Fulton
Arnold Fulton

In 1956, Fulton Umbrellas started out in a small factory based in Whitechapel, where our founder, Arnold Fulton, started designing and producing some of the world’s most renowned brolly’s to date. Since this time, we’ve witnessed some immense innovations within the fashion sector, which have definitely helped us pioneer the direction of our business and revolutionise the way that we make our umbrellas.

While we often see these changes at annual fashion shows, with outlandish designs that arguably complicate how functional an outfit is to wear, what changes have fashion manufacturers welcomed that make life a whole lot easier? We’ll start with one of our own exciting developments…

Diamond Collection
Diamond Collection

1. Our Diamond Collection
After three years in the making, we’ve recently launched our Diamond Collection to celebrate 60 years in the business. As you can see, the development of Fulton’s umbrellas can take a significant amount of time, as quality is the cornerstone of our success. We pride ourselves on pushing the boundaries of development, while only using the highest specification materials and precise engineering standards before hand- finishing each product.

For this range in particular, we’ve combined the most elegant woven fabrics, beautiful woods, fine leather, and detailed hardware. It’s important for us to strike a balance between expert craftmanship and technical performance, while also designing umbrella’s that our customers will be proud to hold.

One of the standout features on each umbrella within this range is the fibreglass ribs which add a great deal of lightweight strength. Fibreglass is a prominent feature in our umbrellas, due to its longevity as a material. It is tougher than the carbon fibre alternative, and it has a higher breaking point when flexed which is extremely important when it comes to braving the inclement weather conditions here in the UK. As well as this, the material will not absorb moisture and will not corrode. We strive to make brilliant quality, easy-to-use products for our customers, and using fibreglass helps us achieve this — as it is very strong but also very light.

2. 36.5® Technology
This revolutionary fabric will become more mainstream in the next few years in both our day to day apparel and footwear. Using performance enhancing materials, it helps users to control the ideal core temperature of 37.5° Celsius. As well as this, it helps keep the microclimate next to your skin at the ideal relative humidity of 37.5% — regardless of the activity you’re doing or the external climate you’re in. When you’re hot, active particles embedded into the material use your body’s energy to remove the moisture and cool you down. On the other hand, when you’re cold, it will trap this energy to warm you up.

The particles which are used are made from volcanic sand that have billions of microspores which increases the surface area of the material. Delving into the specifics, the particles actually absorb infrared light in the spectrum that the human body emits, where the light becomes the energy that powers the particles. Interestingly, the active particles trap odor molecules and release them when they’re washed and dried. The active particles will last the lifetime of the product too, as they are permanently embedded in the fibre.

3. ChroMorphous
As described above, the textile industry has encountered remarkable changes that are set to shift the industry in a completely new direction. ChroMorphous is no exception either, as this fabric is bringing something to the table that we could have only dreamt of a few years back. Simply put, this fabric is described to be an active, user-controlled, colour-changing eTextile. Wearers can control the colour and patterns of their clothing at any given time using their smartphones.

The technology works as each fibre contains a small conductive micro-wire inside. So, when an electrical current passes through it, the fibre warms up slightly which activates the colour-changing pigment. Although the material requires heat to activate new colours, the fabric itself won’t get hot and wearers will feel little or no change. This is something that is still in its development stages but will likely transform the way we shop for our clothes in the future. As this will allow for people to change the colour of their clothes, this might eventually contribute to the reduction of mass production and fast fashion — allowing people to purchase products for the longevity rather than their style.

Evidently, the fashion landscape is ever-changing. From making our umbrellas sturdier and increasing product lifespan, to clothing that maintains the right body temperature. What other innovations would you like to see in the future?

Why is rain important?

As a nation, we are very accustomed to a rainy day. From those drizzly April showers to the severe downpours that follow rumblings of thunder, we experience it all — but we aren’t always as prepared for it! The UK Met Office found that between 1981-2010 Britain had an average of 1,154mm on rainfall per year, and during this period we endured an average 156.2 rainy days. Being caught off guard when the heavens open can seem like an annoyance, but rain is actually a very important aspect of wider life, and furthermore, the health of our planet and its ecosystems. Join us as we take a look at some of the unsuspecting value found in the humble ‘rainy day’.

Rain is a lifeline
Rain is a lifeline

Agriculture and the environment
Rain is a lifeline for supporting crop growth across the world, and this proves vital in the need to meet soaring food production demands. Rain is a valuable way to manage crops, and it is a natural alternative to the strenuous man-made irrigation process employed by farmers in regions where less rain falls. Each crop has its own water requirements, and farmers can use climatology methods to calculate which crop will fare best in accordance with long-term rainfall trends based on the region they’re in. Therefore, rain really is vital in order to maintain the world’s food supply, and agriculturalists are already experimenting with cropping habits, and the effects of climate change on rainfall are already impacting annual figures.

Rain creates landscapes
Rain creates landscapes

Rain creates landscapes
Some of the most famous areas in the UK have been created by rain at some stage, through the gradual process of erosion. Rain is heavily involved in topography — the study of physical land features, as it carves and softens areas of land, creating unique rock formations on some of the UK’s most iconic areas. From the White Cliffs of Dover to the Birling Gap in East Sussex, erosion caused by natural elements such as rain continues to make its mark on the land, and the level of impact that it can have on our surroundings is remarkable.

Rain : image by PlayTheTunes

Atmospheric clean up
Rain itself is associated with the phenomena of atmospheric cleaning, targeting pollution build ups found in our towns and cities. A telltale sign of this is the brown haze which is often evident in the skies of these pollution-dense areas, and it appears due to a layer of pollution containing a harmful mixture of aerosols, dust, and soot gathered in the atmosphere. This has been proven to have potentially damaging effects on human health, as well as food security. These metropolitan examples of pollution benefit greatly from a good downpour — just make sure you’ve got your trusty Storm umbrella to hand! Rainfall can periodically clear the air of this dirt and debris, and when this happens after a prolonged dry spell, it brings a distinctive fragrance known as petrichor. Australian scientists first named the term in the 1960s, and it describes the earthy, warm scent that enters the atmosphere produced by bacteria released upon rain hitting dry ground.

Therapeutic qualities
Some of us rejoice when it rains — and no, we’re not even talking exclusively about farmers here! Many people take comfort from the sound and appearance of rain, and if you happen to be warm and sheltered when the downpour begins, then rain can feel therapeutic. Many of us enjoy the comfort that comes with even just hearing the sound of rain, and there’s certainly something more appealing about listening to rain whilst warm indoors than being stuck in a deluge without a brolly! In fact, taking a walk in the rain or even going for a run can feel extremely relaxing. Fulton’s range of umbrellas are all designed to help you tackle the elements, with fiberglass ribs for lightweight strength and durable polycarbonate joints.

Now that we’ve learnt the value of a downpour, it’s time to seize the day — whatever the weather!