Tuesday, January 4, 2011


This real Mackinaw coat, is an example of what was the "original" short coat. probably from the early 20's.Check the typical doubled shoulders...

Celluloid buttons are fragile and easily crack.The twill pattern can be seen where the 2 colors blend.....

Researched the brand but could not find much ....

Nice belted back....

Mackinaw,nowadays like Kleenex or Frigidaire, is just a generic word used to describe a wool plaid coat, but what are the origins of this word !?? .....

The name Mackinaw likely originates from the Straits of Mackinac in present day Michigan, USA. This area was an important trade artery during the 18th and 19th centuries. Heavy woolen cloth traded through this area may have been described as Mackinaw cloth.
The Mackinaw woolen cloth, is also called snow cloth.The mackinaw cloth is heavy dense and water-repellent,it is a twill [think denim] weave woolen cloth,where the weave is concealed. Mackinaw is heavily fulled or felted and napped on both sides to conceal the weave.Then ,with it's growing popularity with "the frontier people" ,an ordinary grade of wool that often had shoddy re-used or remanufactured wool mixed in,was used for its low price cost .Quality coats used melton wool.

. Historically,Mackinaw jackets were invented by Metis women in 1811, when John Askin, an early trader on the upper Great Lakes, asked them to design and sew woolen jackets for the army.Askin was fulfilling a contract he received from Captain Charles Roberts at Fort St. Joseph. They had all to be blue, but when this colour ran out ,they used red and then the black-on-red plaid cloth that we associate with the jackets of today.The short coat was belted ,double or single breasted and sometimes with a doubled shoulder
These jackets were made famous by American loggers in the northern part of the Midwest in the mid-19th century logging boom. The term later spread to be universal, and in Canada the "Mac" is regarded as a marker of national identity and working-class values.
The Métis people are an indigenous people descended from both Native American/First Nations, African and European ancestors.The word Métis is French for "Mixed-blood."The Métis homeland includes regions in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Labrador, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Ontario, as well as the Northwest Territories. The Métis homeland also includes parts of the northern United States (specifically Montana, North Dakota, and northwest Minnesota...


  1. Beautiful jacket & a beautiful history behind it. I always love coming to this blog.


  3. Cool coat!
    Here's a bit about Carss mills:

  4. thx Mose .that's what i've found too, while researching info on an old BIRD blanket i've got .i haven't seen any other examples of Carss jackets or info on the brand since ....

  5. Nice pictures as usual. I've got photos of a 20's-30's Carss jacket I used to own, like yours but a shorter A-1 style-with a heavy knit waistband.

  6. Sold it some months ago. Found it at an antique mall (rare event) and debated keeping it but alas, couldn't quite pull off the look. If you'd like pic's at least, let me know...

  7. sure..... send me your email so we'll talk

  8. here we go patrick: dvest@kc.surewest.net

  9. Hello Patrick,the early coats were made outof early whitney and hudsonbays compagny blankets.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hudson's_Bay_Company.They still make these blankets and you can find stuff on ebay.
    Greetings Erno

  10. great to find your page on warss mackinaw. I just found one of these jackets in a freezer full of rags, in a garage on property I recently purchased on rainy lake in nw Ontario. thank goodness former owner had not used it for rags. fits me perfectly. it is same as one pictured, missing one button and not in as good a shape as photograph. I love it.


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