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.


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!

What to remember at weddings

The considerations involved in planning a wedding will seem endless for couples as they work through everything from choosing a venue to deciding on their menus and picking wedding favours. With so much to do, it’s almost inevitable that sometimes, small details can be forgotten — but as long as these details don’t involve forgetting the rings, then you should be fine! Join us and take a look at some of the key things to remember at weddings.

Birdcage-1 White
Birdcage-1 White


Have a ‘point of contact’ person
On the big day, you’ll be overcome with emotion and from the getting ready routine to arriving at the venue, it’s likely that the bride and groom will be hard to reach. It’s not likely that couples will be spending time on their phones trying to make sure that everyone is in the right place at the right time, so it can prove useful to assign one of your attendees with the job of keeping guests informed of the goings on ahead of the ceremony. Having a handful of questions pop up simultaneously can be overwhelming, and the couple will already have plenty on their minds before they exchange their vows. Ask a family member or friend to act as a point of contact for guests or even a call recipient from suppliers or caterers, as this can feel like one less worry on a day that you’ll want to enjoy every single minute of!


Don’t get caught out by a downpour
One of the big concerns for both couples and their guests attending their big day is the weather, as we all know that in the UK, you just don’t know what you might have to endure. You could be sweltering in late September looking for shade at any opportunity or shivering in a marquee on a day in mid-July. If you’ve already checked the forecast and it isn’t looking promising, then it could be an idea to place a compact umbrella beneath the aisles in your venue. These could prevent the day from getting rained off, as many couples are drawn towards outdoor ceremonies rather than the traditional church setting — and your guests will certainly be grateful! If you’re a bride worried about getting soaked as soon as you step out of the wedding car, the consider a clear umbrella from Fulton’s collection. Our products are engineered with additional flexibility and reinforced ribs to help withstand wind. Your guests will still be able to see you, but if it’s a rainy, windy morning then you’ll manage to keep your hair and makeup sheltered from the elements.

Fend off the shivers
As mentioned, not everyone is inclined to keep their wedding inside, as a natural setting can often make for a great summer party feel to your wedding, as well as providing some lovely photograph opportunities. However, you might want to take into account that even if you are fortunate enough to enjoy a sunny wedding day, once the evening draws in the temperature is bound to take a fall. This can make guests wish that they’d brought that extra layer they were debating, as they try to combat their shivers by dancing — or by visiting the bar more often! A smart choice to keep your nearest and dearest warm is by dotting some blankets around your venue for guests to pick up when necessary.

Provide a spare seat or two
You’ll probably be spending a day or two in your venue making sure that everything looks perfect ahead of your big day, paying attention to the smallest of details and being precise with the quantities of things that you’ll require. It’s always good to have a little too much than a little too less though, be on the safe side and make sure that your guests’ plus ones are accounted for by providing a few extra seats if you are holding your ceremony somewhere other than a church with pews. You won’t want to be having people rushing around in the minutes before you walk down the aisle, so have a few additional spaces free to guarantee that your ceremony runs seamlessly.

Fairway - White
Fairway – White

It’s easy to get bogged down with wedding planning, so keep these all-important things in mind and worry less and enjoy yourself on your special day!

Save it for a rainy day? Alternative uses for umbrellas

While we often forget our umbrellas when we need them the most, they can also come in handy for a range of unsuspecting purposes. Umbrellas are versatile, and you could get more use out of your trusty rain shelter than you first thought with some handy tips in this guide. Let’s take a look at some clever brolly innovations!

Art installations
Back in 2017, the Coppergate Shopping Centre in York gave shoppers shelter from the rain beneath an array of suspended umbrellas, a vibrant display which made visitors smile come rain or come shine. It was a slightly tongue-in-cheek instalment, after the centre had previously fitted a beach area, complete with deckchairs and a sandpit, to celebrate a hot summer in the same year. However, the rain soon returned, and the success of the beach was short lived; so the street became a canvas for what was named the ‘Brollywalk’, and many passers-by stopped to admire the eclectic tribute to the classic British summer. In this way, umbrellas became a cheerful, artistic take on the impromptu-showers that we all know and love (when we’ve got an umbrella with us, of course!). Umbrellas come in a whole host of colours and prints, and they can make for quirky centerpieces or event decorations, so why not opt for something a bit different!

Parasoleil UV Spotty Rose
Parasoleil UV Spotty Rose

Sun shields
When the forecast heats up, us Brits all change into our summer wardrobes and leave the umbrella at home in favour of a trendy pair of sunglasses. However, consider packing your umbrella when the temperature hits double figures, as the intensity of the sun can require some shelter. An umbrella provides a portable escape from the sun and shade from the harsh rays. Take the Parasoleil UV Spotty Rose umbrella we’ve developed for example, with a UPF 50+ label, you’ll be protected from up to 99% of UV rays!

Umbrella kite
Umbrella kite

Did you know that you could make the perfect afternoon pastime from an old umbrella? With a bit of adjustment, an old umbrella could become a kite! Repurpose it by manipulating the wire frame or adding some wooden rods to create a kite shape. Then, use a ball of string and a makeshift handle to complete your invention, and enjoy the challenge of making it fly. Autumn and winter are the best seasons for trying this out, as it tends to be windier which makes for optimum kite flying conditions!

Met Gala
Met Gala

Fashion statements
Umbrellas come in a whole host of prints and colours, allowing people to express their individual styles in a unique way. Whether you keep it sleek and co-ordinate your prints or colours, or you choose to brave a bold contrast, an umbrella can make for a trendy addition to everyday attire. For some star-studded inspiration look at Lady Gaga’s recent Met Gala outfit choices, one of which included a black umbrella to match her extravagant dress. Her entourage of dancers also held umbrellas around her, making her appearance on the iconic Met Gala stairs an impressive spectacle.
So, which one will you try out? Remember, you don’t have to save your umbrella for a rainy day!

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019 Roundup

Chelsea Flower Show
Chelsea Flower Show

Last week saw another spectacular year of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London, where blossoms were blooming, and creativity was flowing across all the miraculous exhibitions on display. Hosted in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, the home of retired British Army soldiers, the event brings in around 157,000 visitors each year and never fails to impress locals, tourists and of course – the Royals.

UPF 50+ Parasoleil UV
UPF 50+ Parasoleil UV

Last year we saw a plethora of emerging trends, but what made 2019 so special? Aside from the gleaming sun, where our UPF 50+ Parasoleil UV Spotty Rose would have certainly came in handy and will do in the coming summer months, protecting you from 99% of the sun’s UV rays, there is a lot to recap on!

The Duchess’ Debut
You may have seen some photographs circulating the media recently of the Cambridge’s pondering in a stunning garden. Did you know that this was designed specifically for the week-long extravaganza? With the help of Andrée Davies and Adam White, the Duchess of Cambridge co-designed the RHS Back to Nature Garden and was very hands on during the process. She even received some help from George, Charlotte and Louis!

As this was a Feature Garden, it wasn’t in with a chance of winning any awards. However, that didn’t matter as Prince George told his father, Prince William, that he would score the garden ’20 out of 10’ which is a huge complement from our future King!

Plant of the Year
You may be familiar with the Plant of the Year Award at the Chelsea Flower Show, and this year’s winner was very impressive. Out of 20 contenders, the Sedum Atlantis took first place. The award was announced in the Great Pavilion, where all 20 plants were on display.

But what makes the Sedum Atlantis so special? Well, it’s extremely low maintenance which is one bonus — meaning it never fails to look good. As a hardy stonecrop, the plant itself is drought tolerant and is easy to grow. From June to September, it forms 30cm high cushions of variegate foliage topped with yellow flowers. As well as this, they’re extremely attractive to pollinators!

BBC People’s Choice Award

For the second year running, Mark Gregroy copped the BBC People’s Choice Award for his Welcome to Yorkshire Garden. The display itself was his 99th garden and also won him a Gold medal and hosted some famous faces — including Dame Joan Collins and Dame Judi Dench. However, one of the best complements he received was from Hollywood A-Lister, Stanley Tucci, who described it as stepping into another world.

Gregory commented: “I want to thank everyone that voted for us, I couldn’t be happier. It’s such an honour to receive this accolade again and to have been able to share the place I call home with the world is a privilege. It seems that people love Yorkshire as much as I do!”

Best Show Garden Award

Everyone wants to win the Best Show Garden, there’s no doubt about it. However, judges called Andy Sturgeon’s M&G Garden ‘perfection’ when naming him this winner. The woodland landscape embodied a naturalistic sensation and lavish planting definitely impressed visitors. One area of the garden that must be mentioned is the burnt oak timber, which was definitely a focal point!

Believe it or not, this is Sturgeon’s eighth Gold win — but what was his mission behind this particular design? Speaking on the creation previously, he said: “I want visitors to think “wow!” when they first see it, then be drawn into the detail and engage with it – to look closely at individual plants and the water in the garden. In fact, they could recreate our use of waterspouts at home, using just one to have water falling into a small pool,”

Those were some of this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show highlights, and we can’t wait to celebrate the next in 2020. With summer finally here, it’s time to pay more attention to our beautiful gardens and create an immersive experience that everyone can enjoy!

Meaning Behind The Words: Other Terms Used For Umbrellas

We’re not sure whether you’ve noticed, but our team love umbrellas. We simply can’t get enough of them and surprisingly, we all have our own little names for them. Although this is something that is common from region to region, it’s important for us all to understand the actual meaning behind them and how they came to become part of our ever-evolving vocabulary.

Funny umbrellas
Funny umbrellas

We take a look at some of the common names used for umbrellas, how many have you heard of?

This may be one word that you’re not as familiar with, as it was thought to originate in the United States. Although surprisingly, many Americans assume that the word is British slang. As you can probably imagine, it is used as quite a playful term for umbrella and apparently dates back to the late 1890s.

It’s not entirely clear how the word came to be, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make some assumptions. It sounds like the “bumber” part of the word is a derivative of “umbr” and the “shoot” is similar to the “-chute” part of the word in a parachute which does make a little bit of sense!

A Gamp is essentially a large umbrella, but this word is thought to have made its debut in 1855. The word derives from Charles Dicken’s Martin Chuzzlewit novel (1843-44) which featured a character called Sarah Gamp who often carried a large cotton umbrella. Her companion, which endured many adventures was described as: “in colour like a faded leaf, except where a circular patch of a lively blue had been dexterously let in at the top”.

From this, people began calling the umbrella a Gamp! Although the word isn’t commonly used now, it still remains featured in most dictionaries.

The origin of brolly is an alteration of (um)brell(a) dating back to around 1870-1875. This word is one that we commonly use today, with many brands even marketing the product as this. Although the term stems from the extracted ‘brell’, this is thought to have changed over time as language develops.

“Brelly” has slowly become “brolly”, likely as a result of accents and regional differences. Regional accents are known to have been significantly different around this time and were a lot sterner — something which has watered down with increased travel opportunities and media influence. So much so, that the North/South regional differences were intense enough to cause word change.

It’s clear that nicknames for the umbrella have changed over time — we’ve lost old ones and gained new ones, but that’s all part of linguistic development. However, the questions we want answered is why haven’t we started calling our windproof umbrellas a Hagrid or our ladies umbrellas a Poppins? Now that would be awesome.

Superstitions We All Still Believe

For generations, we’ve believed countless superstitions that have shifted the narrative of how we live our lives on a day-to-day basis. Many of these have been passed down from our ancestors and although some are more ridiculous than others, our wariness towards them remains unshaken.

Here at Fulton Umbrellas, we have collated a list of some of the most common superstitions that many of us have grown up to believe. In this article, we take a look at what they actually mean and where they came from!

Popular superstitions
Popular superstitions

One of the most popular superstitions in our office was of course the thought of opening an umbrella indoors resulting in bad luck. Legend has it that the superstition comes from ancient Egypt where the first brolly originated from. Stemming from the Latin root word ‘umbra’, which means shade or shadow, umbrellas were used to protect the most noble figures in society from the bright sun rays.

With this in mind, many Egyptians believed that opening an umbrella indoors, away from the sun, would be disrespectful and anger the sun gods. From this, the sun god would then take out his anger on everyone in the home that the umbrella had been opened!


Broken mirror
Broken mirror

Everyone’s heard of the superstition that if you break a mirror, you’ll end up with seven years bad luck. But where did it come from?

This superstition is said to date back thousands of years. Some say that it originates from when humans first used the water to see their reflections. It was around this time when people believed that the image in the water was actually their soul. They thought that any disruption to the water (and their reflection) would mean that harm would come to them as well.

Another origin of the mirror superstition stems from ancient myths. One tale suggests that mirrors are a force of magic, with the ability to see into the future. It was thought that if the actual mirror was smashed or destroyed, the powers would be terminated and the person whose reflection was last in the mirror would experience a future of misfortune…
But where did the seven years’ time frame come from? This part of the superstition was added to by the Romans. It was believed by them that life renewed itself after seven years. They believed that if a poorly person looked into a mirror, their image would break the mirror and bad luck would continue until their life was renewed.


Salt over the shoulder
Many of us have heard of the superstitions to do with salt. Spilling salt is bad luck but throwing it over your left shoulder can reverse it. But, what is it about salt that makes it bad luck?

This superstition was present in the famous da Vinci painting of The Last Supper! In the painting, you can see that Judas has knocked over the salt with his elbow, representing his betrayal of Jesus. The superstition may also come from the value of the commodity in ancient times. It used to be a very expensive product, and even used as currency in some civilizations. Therefore, spilling salt was considered very foolish!

There is another religious connotation that lies with throwing the salt over the left side to reverse the luck. This is because Christians believe that the devil is behind your left shoulder, therefore you are essentially throwing it into his face and blinding him.

Avoid walking beneath a ladder
Avoid walking beneath a ladder

Walking under ladders
Even now many of us would avoid walking beneath a ladder! And, it’s not just because of the health and safety risks, a lot of people think that it will bring them bad luck. Where did this superstition originate from?

Similar to the other age-old superstitions, this one also stems from ancient Egypt. Have you noticed that a ladder leaning against a wall forms a triangle shape? It was this shape that Egyptians regarded as sacred, take their pyramids for example. To walk through a triangle was therefore said to insult the gods!

Crossing knives
When you’re getting the cutlery out of the drawer to set the table, you might have heard your grandma tell you not to cross the knives. It’s bad luck she might say! But where does this superstition come from?

It is thought that it comes from the cross shape that is created when two knives are placed on top of each other. This is then said to invite crossed and misfortune into your own life. Some people even some believe that crossing knives on a table will lead to an argument. It can be avoided though, quickly uncross the knives to break the curse.

So, what superstitions do you believe? Do you think there is any truth to these old tales?

Top 3 Rainiest Cities In Europe | Fulton Umbrellas

You may have settled back into the work-life routine, but that’s not to say that it shouldn’t be unsettled with a little European getaway. You deserve it — you’ve survived the hardest two months back in the office after a delightful period away spending time with your family and friends.

With many European destinations just a short flight away from almost any major city in the UK, we take a look at some of the locations that you should be packing your birdcage umbrella for and why a little downfall shouldn’t put you off a visit. These cities have much more to offer so don’t rule them out!

1. Podgorica, Montenegro

Although Podgorica might not be the first thought on your mind when thinking of booking up, the mountainous city offers a mixture of modern and historic culture which is perfect for anyone looking for an adventure this year.

However, you should definitely be packing your umbrella on this trip. This destination is noted to be the rainiest city in Europe with an average 65.4 inches of water landing each year; but don’t let that put you off! The city prides itself on the beautiful Morača River and its modern Millennium Bridge, as well as the Ribnica River which is home to the stone bridge. While you’re there, take a trip to the historic pilgrimage site Ostrog Monastery and Independence Square which is the sociocultural hub of the city!

The picturesque landscape also includes Lake Skadar where tourists can carry out bird watching, fishing, and hunting activities. If you’re looking for something more exhilarating, you could rent a boat and take a swim in the waters.

2. Ljubljana, Slovenia

We get it, you’ve always thought about visiting Slovenia. But did you know its capital is the second rainiest city in Europe? Ljubljana is reported to have an average rainfall of around 53.9 inches per year. The city itself however, is known for both its old town and commercial hub which covers all the wants and needs for any traveller.

There’s so much that can be done in this city, and it’s known to be a hit with young people (especially students). The curving Ljubljanica River makes for the perfect Instagram selfie spot too, and a boat ride trip should be arranged in advance to make sure you get all the right shots.

While you’re around, make sure you take a trip to the Ljubljana Castle which one of the main tourist attractions of this city and stands on Castle Hill. Other things to do in Ljubljana include Tivoli City Park, the city zoo, central market and one of the historic cathedrals and churches.

After a long day of exploring, there are plenty of quaint and quirky cafes, fine dining restaurants bars that you can let loose in. Head to Prešeren Square for all of the action!

3. Tirana, Albania


Albania is reportedly becoming a more popular holiday destination for Brits, but did you know its capital Tirana is the third rainiest city in Europe? With an average downpour of 48.0 inches each year, you shouldn’t let a little drizzle put you offer a visit to this upcoming city.

If you and your travel companion appreciate exquisite architecture, this Ottoman-, Fascist- and Soviet-era building work will definitely impress. If you’re a lover of history, this city is full of it. The National History Museum offers an insight to prehistoric times through Communist rule and anti-Communist uprising in the 1900s while the National Arts Gallery presents some of the finest artwork in a timeless exhibition.

Take your trip to new heights with a visit to the Dajti mountain and national park. You’ll be able to enjoy a cable car ride and take in the great surroundings of the area. When it comes to dining, you’re truly spoilt for choice with plenty of local cuisine to try out!

World Book Day: Top 5 Literary Characters | Fulton Umbrellas

World Book Day
World Book Day

7th March marks the annual celebration of and the team here at Fulton Umbrellas couldn’t be more excited. Whether you’re celebrating at school or in the office like us, nothing feels more exhilarating than revisiting some of our favourite books and channelling the looks of the most iconic literary characters.

We take a look at some of our favourite characters — see if you can spot the running theme…

1. Rubeus Hagrid

Hagrid has become a household name around the world after appearing in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter book series. According to the author, the character was one of the first to be created and stated that the name come from an old English word that meant ‘you’d have a bad night’. This was well associated with this particular character because he was a big drinker and experienced a lot of regrettable nights!

In the book, Hagrid was forbidden to use magic after his expulsion from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and the Ministry of Magic broke his wand as a result. However, Hagrid kept the broken pieces inside of his pink umbrella and performed small spells from time to time — such as giving Dudley Dursley a pig’s tail and opening up Diagon Alley!

2. Mr Tumnus

Everyone who has ever read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis loves Mr Tumnus. This character was first introduced to the literary world back in 1950 and was actually responsible for the entire book series. The author admitted that a picture of a Faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy wood had been in his mind since the age of 16.

However, it wasn’t until CS Lewis was in his 40s where he decided to develop the world and create this story we all know and love. And how awesome is it that a best-selling book idea came from an umbrella?

3. John Darling

Quintessentially the most British literary character of them all, John Darling from J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan is kind of friend we want in our group. What makes this character stand out from the crowd is his witty one-liners, over-the-top reactions, and of course, his Neverland attire — don’t judge him, it was late at night when they travelled second star to the right and straight on till morning.

His Neverland attire included his pyjamas, top hat, and his umbrella (as he could never bring himself to leave without such items)! We’re beginning to spot a trend with some of our favourite characters here…

4. Mary Poppins

P.L. Travers brought us the joy of Mary Poppins and the Banks family. Countless books and two films later, this is one story that has truly merged itself with British culture. The character, who was blown into our lives by the East wind, accepts a nanny job to look after the children at Number 17 Cherry Tree Lane in London until the wind changes.

With a magical touch to her presence, the children experience a tea party on a ceiling with Mr. Wigg, a trip around the world with a compass, the purchase of gingerbread stars from Mrs. Corry, meeting the Bird Woman, a visit to the zoo, and more. However, then the wind changes, she opens up her umbrella and the West wind carries her away! Next time she should bring her windproof umbrella

5. Christopher Robin

One thing we admire about British literature is the friendship that blossomed between Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin in the world created by A.A. Milne. Christopher Robin is one character that often takes an umbrella with him when out and about and even uses it in the first story — to deceive some bees!

As well as this, him and Pooh set sail in an umbrella named the ‘Brain of Pooh’ when Piglet, another fascinating character in this world, is surrounded by water!

How Innovative Designs Have Improved Traditional Products

Technology and innovative design is constantly influencing the customer market — with brands releasing updated versions of the same product that we all feel inclined to buy. However, this isn’t just happening with modern inventions, but with traditional products too.

The end-goal for many businesses and creators is to streamline a product’s use for the end-user. With this, many of the everyday items we all love have been altered in one way or another to keep up with the requirements we now have as a society.

We’ve set our standards high, and no product is untouchable. Here, we take a look at some of the products that have been influenced by technology or design and how they have changed our lives.


Watches have truly transformed the way we lead our lives. Modern Britain revolves around time — from making sure our little ones arrive at school on time to catching the right bus for work. The history of the watch dates right back to the 16th century, where the devices were originally powered by a mainspring which turned gears to move the hands while keeping in time with a rotating balance wheel.

It wasn’t until the 1960s that the quartz watch was invented, where the product actually used electricity to operate. This type of watch took over the market at the time, which many still refer to as the ‘quartz crisis’ as mechanical watches were pushed aside. Following this, the quartz wristwatch was developed, and we haven’t look back since. Well, until now.

Smartwatches have taken over the world. You can’t walk by someone without one attached to their wrist. What once was an item that would only notify you of the time, can now make phone calls, send messages, track your health and more. What’s next for the watch?

Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt

The umbrella has changed tremendously over the years. Making its debut in Ancient Egypt, they were used for protection against direct sunlight. However, the waterproofed version was created in the 11th century BC using leather, an extremely expensive material to use at the time which was later adopted across the European continent — predominately in Greece and Rome.

The umbrella fell absent for over 1,000 years after the Roman Empire dissolved but became popular again in the 16th century. Traditionally, umbrellas were quite detailed in their design and were more of a ‘prop’ during this period.

That’s not to say that umbrellas today can’t be a fashion statement though. Queen Elizabeth II, for example, uses a birdcage umbrella when making public appearances. This innovative design allows her to stay dry but remain completely visible when venturing outdoors, as the cover is transparent! With her bespoke umbrellas, she always matches her trim with her outfit. As well as this, unlike umbrellas years ago, many are now designed to be more compact and can be stored away in your bag.

Birdcage Umbrella
Birdcage Umbrella

You wouldn’t think that there’d be any sort of progression with wallpaper, but what the future holds sounds quite exciting. Historically, wallpaper would be created using hand-painting, woodblock printing, stenciling and other types of machine printing — which dates back before 1700.


This form of design was so popular that in 1712, Queen Anne introduced a wallpaper tax which wasn’t abolished until 1836. This was likely because Britain was the leading wallpaper manufacturer in Europe at the time.


The future only looks bright for wallpaper though. At one time, we’d just be complacent with a nice design for the interior of our home, but developments have suggested that we should expect high-tech forms sometime soon. This will have the ability to block signals — no more stealing your neighbour’s WiFi!

Bank cards
Although we all know that money is an everyday essential, bank cards never used to be. Before the first bank cards were issued in 1967, people had to actually visit their bank to deposit or withdraw any cash. People could store money in their home, but this wouldn’t be protected!

First Bank Cards
First Bank Cards

It wasn’t until 1972 where the first bank card to feature an information-encoding magnetic strip was introduced. This allowed customers to visit an ATM and enter their personal identification number to gain access to the information that was associated with their account.

Contactless payments
Contactless payments

Today, it’s the introduction of contactless payments that has made the biggest impact on the shopping and banking scene. Recently adopted by banking associations and introduced across the high-street, the cards using radio-frequency identification can now make payments without the need to enter a pin.

These were just some of the advancements, but what does the future hold?