As the days get cooler and we start to take out our winter clothing, it is very evident to see when out and about that the ever popular puffer jacket is seen more and more as a go to amongst children and adults, male and female. Whether worn as a fashion item or merely to keep warm the puffer is seen in an array of colours and styles.
As far as jackets go, the puffer is relatively new. It was invented in the 1930’s by none other than Eddie Bauer. In fact, the jacket was born from Bauer’s own near brush with death while out in the elements.
What used to be seen as a necessary item of clothing that protected one from the cold wet weather it has now become a high fashion item and manufactured in many styles and forms by fashion houses.
The most important part of the original design process by Eddie Bauer was to create a jacket that was warm, but not heavy, and wouldn’t absorb water that would freeze or weigh down the wearer. It seemed like a tall order- but as he discovered, it required only the right material.
Bauer recalled that the Russian military had tried incorporating down feathers into their outerwear in the past. The warm, lightweight, moisture-wicking feathers proved to be exactly what he was looking for.
While the down provided the warmth Bauer was looking for, there was one setback. The feathers kept sinking to the bottom of the jacket, rendering them effectively useless. In order to evenly distribute the down and keep it in place within the garment, Bauer tried quilting the jacket.
This created layered pockets that kept the feathers where they needed to be. Once the insulation was distributed equally within the jacket, Bauer added the finishing touch of ribbed cuffs and collars that would completely seal in heat. Bauer’s jacket, which he dubbed the Skyliner, was patented in 1939.
The versatility of the material used has allowed for the jacket to be manufactured as a fashion item in many different countries and for many different uses. The short sporting jackets being commonly used on the ski slopes. The longer coat becoming fashionable as a winter coat in wet climates that not only kept you warm to your knees but also keep you dry with the help of a hood in some cases. In the warmer climates the puffer has taken on the form of a waistcoat jacket where just the chest is kept warm and the arms are left open.