Walk down any High Street in the Western world it and can sometimes feel that the mighty god of Quilts has rained down jackets for everyone to wear. Either that or they are actually breeding. One might say an International epidemic?
They are worn by The great and the good, the wealthy and the poor. They are worn by rappers on MTV and yet still they find a home in the heart of the traditional English countryside. As much as I might like to believe 'quilt mythology', there are surely more pragmatic reasons why they have become so popular.
Oh yes, they have always been with us and amazing to think that once upon a time these things were all sewn by hand, then progressing to being made by a sewing machine (even that must have been a labour of love) and then on to today's ultra modern quilting machines that can quilt one metre of fabric 3 layers thick and 2 metres wide in just a few seconds, not a machine to get tangled up in unless you are looking for a good prop for your next Bond movie. "I think being diamond quilted would suit you very well Mr Bond".
I suggest there are two main reasons why this style of garment is here to stay and will ride the waves of fashion. Firstly, there is climate and the mild autumn-winters that we experience. All of us have jackets in our hallway now that tend to be worn all year round. There are an increasing number of days in the year where the temperature certainly in Northern Europe and the East Coast of the USA will hover somewhere between 7 and 16 degrees centigrade. You might not know it but these days pose a bit of a dilemma for all of us when wondering what outerwear we should choose. Not warm enough to wear your lightest spring garment and not cold enough to wear your warmest winter one. Therefore an increasing number of days where you will ask the question of your outerwear wardrobe. The quilt, you haven't got one, answers this question beautifully.
So why would that be? It might be because of the super easy feeling when you wear it. They are also usually much lighter than most Jackets and because of their construction they are extremely easy to put on. There is a phenomena of how something can be padded and yet both warm and cool. Well as long as very high quality padding has been used, the answer is that this filling will retain heat. On a colder day that's quite useful. But on a slightly warmer day it is not so much that the jacket is cooling you, it has more to do with the fact that you have the right weight of outerwear over your shoulders to suit the climate. Not too thick, not too restrictive and not too heavy. Even compared some to what some people see as a 'must have' spring jacket, the ubiquitous linen sports jacket. A good linen for a jacket will weigh around 210-230gms per m sq. A high quality quilt will have 2 layers of fabric at 80gm and a padding of the same weight. Total jacket fabric of about 500gm and the linen jacket 450gm - it's just that one of them 'looks' more like a Spring jacket because of all the pictures of people wearing them on yachts.
Lots of people in the fashion world talk about their demise but we don't think so as long as brands keep finding different way to make them look good.