Part Six - Innovation Throughout The Years
We are very fortunate to have hundreds of documents, photographs and catalogues in our archives, dating back to the 1800's. As part of our 150th year anniversary, we are proud to share some of our heritage and share the Morlands journey with you.
In the very early days, pram canopies were Morland's bread and butter. The trade book from 1914 boasts bespoke options like trimmed silk and knotted fringes, mosquito curtains, chair shades and a whole variety of colours and materials. Options that gave customers a choice and a personal service that was way ahead of its time.
Over the years the laboratory technicians kept coming up with new innovative ideas including the revolutionary machine washable pure fleece scatter rugs, which were enthusiastically received by the carpet trade.
Towards the end of the nineteenth century, the very draughty and unprotected design of the first motorcar brought a new line of business for Morlands, the manufacture of footmuffs and travelling rugs. These were sometimes combined in a product called a motor sack.
The footmuff was a single bag of sheepskin, shaped to both feet. Having developed the footmuff the next logical step was to cut it in half and make sheepskin overshoes.
During the 1920's the first Morlands sheepskin slippers, overshoes and slipper shoes were put on the market. The early styles were very crude by today's standards, but they were warm and comfortable and quickly made a name for themselves. The company found, however, that for outdoor use in wet conditions the footwear was not entirely satisfactory. The sheepskin lined boot therefore made an appearance in 1939 and this had a hide outer with more suitable properties.
Morlands boots were used by the expedition of Sir Edmund Hillary which was the first to climb Mount Everest in 1953. The boots were not used for climbing but for warmth when the climbers were resting.
After World War Two the boom in the sheepskin industry saw new innovation across the Morlands range. In particular, the companies suede wool sheepskin coats went on the market.
"The production and sales policy conforms to the belief that three factors go to make up a successful coat business: high quality skins, superlative workmanship and imaginative but practical designs"
A Morlands policy that still rings true to this day. In part seven of the history series, we look at probably Morlands biggest innovation of the past 150 years, the 'turned' method of making sheepskin slippers.