How are Barbour coats made and what makes them so special–and expensive?”
The all-weather coats are “waxed” to make them stand up against the elements. After they are worn for a long time, the coats can be returned to Barbour to be re-waxed. British and Scottish weather calls for this kind of coat, and the workmanship and waterproof seams do, indeed, make them special. But this quality comes at a price.
Barbour coats are made by hand by master tailors. Very little machine stitching is employed, but it is used when deemed the most appropriate technique for whatever part of the coat is being sewn. The attention to detail is magnificent, and the special care that is given to each garment is unique to the Barbour name. So, it all boils down to you paying for people’s time and skill, as opposed to other coats that are cheaply mass produced, where the manufacturers can afford to charge less as the machines cost far less than people’s salaries. As an aside, because of the exquisite quality of Barbour garments, it is the exclusive brand selected for use by the British royal family. It’s really great stuff, but it’s the stuff of the very rich.