In 1911 Carl A. Grundn, along with T and Julius Didrikson, founded the Rain Gear Factory Didrikson Grundn & Co in Grundsund located in the Swedish west-coast. Due to the lack of linseed oil and cotton fabric, when WW1 started in 1914, the production seized and Carl A. Grundn committed himself to wholesale of lobster and fish.
In 1926, Carl A. Grundn, once again, started a raingear factory. Now alone, but without the personal guarantees of the brewer Mr. Karlsson, the baker Mr. Lidell and Mr. Jakob Olsson from Backa, it would never had been possible.
Until the beginning of the 1930′s the production was restricted to oiled garments. These were made of unbleached sheeting and denim. The garments were sewn with double fabric and then lowered into barrels of boiled linseed oil. When the garments were saturated with linseed oil they had to run through a kind of mangle.
Then the garments were hung to dry in room temperature. After approximately 14 days of drying they were painted by hand using large brushes. Once again with boiled linseed oil but now also with an essence of special finish varnishes. After this it was time for another 14 days of drying and then the procedure was repeated. Sometimes this way of treatment was repeated as much as four times.
Through the many treatments the garments, including the sticthingholes, became almost water-proof. As a precaution, a very thick tread and fine needles were used. During this period, 1930-35, rainwear was mainly used by commercial fishermen, sailors and miners. Other occupations were normally interrupted in case of rain.
The most endangered ones, the commercial fishermen, who in Sweden mostly did fish in the Northern Sea and “Skagerack”, often worked 18-20 hours a day. They did fish from big, open boats, so called “kågar” with no protection whatsoever for the 10 man crew. As the worst storms would come from the south-west, it is likely this is why the fishermen named their protective hats “southwesters”.
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