In the late 19th century Lewis Haslam, a Lancashire mill owner and politician, began to link the partnering of holes and warmth and with two medical colleagues, began experimenting with aeration; trapping air within the warp and weft of fabric. The result was a fabric that provided a barrier between the warmth of the skin and the chill of the atmosphere and in 1888 they formed the Aertex Company. By 1891 Aertex was firmly established in the wardrobes of the English middle classes. During World War II the British Women's Land Army wore 'Aertex' as part of their uniform and all the British and Commonwealth land forces in the Far East and Middle East (including the British 7th Armoured Division, one of the most famous fighting units of the British Army), wore Aertex bush shirts and jackets. These uniforms were designated as Jungle Green for the Far East and Khaki Drill for the Middle East.
In 1959 Aertex, together with Ovaltine, sponsored the 'All New Netball Associations' coaching film. By the 1960s Aertex became a sports and school wear classic in the UK, across a wide spectrum of sports including tennis, cricket, netball and football, with Wimbledon tennis champions and the England football squad all wearing Aertex fabric jerseys manufactured by Umbro during the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. Later, Pele was seen to wear an Aertex shirt when he played briefly for the New York Cosmos.
Aertex continued to influence the sportswear scene into the 1980s with major manufacturers like Adidas utilizing the unique properties of the fabric. George Best was seen to wear such a shirt when he played for the San Jose Earthquakes in 1981. Today Aertex is sold in various shops in the UK, and internationally through its online store.
Aertex currently sells a range of menswear including polo and other shirts, knitwear, and underwear.
Aertex clothing has many links with the music and entertainment industry. Ex-Libertines and Dirty Pretty Things frontman Carl Barat and t4 presenters Jeff Leach and Rick Edwards have been seen wearing Aertex.
- Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by C. & G. Merriam Co.