What purpose does fringe serve on your jacket or coat?
I was putting this fantastic vintage Berman Buckskin jacket into inventory and wondered, “What the fringe is this stuff for?”
Buckskin, which is literally the skin of a buck (think deer) is an excellent material from which to make jackets: It’s extremely durable, keeps it’s shape, but is pliable with which to work. While animal fur is frowned upon (and the reason why Lyle Berman switched from fur to buckskin in 1946), leather trade has remained fairly consistent, largely because it doesn’t have the same connotation as fur as a fabric of the rich.
Of course, Berman Buckskin is now known by another name: Wilson’s Leather, thanks to a merger between Berman Buckskin and Wilson’s House of Suede in 1988.
Ah, back to the story – why the fringe on a jacket? Outside of the ornamental reasons (it does look cool), fringe is an excellent and practical way to wick rain away from the jacket, keeping cold weather away from the body and allowing the jacket to dry faster.
Any time one can get form AND function to come together it’s a win, and it’s always nice to find a fringe with benefits!