Melton (cloth)

Melton cloth is traditionally made of wool and is woven in a twill form. It is thick, due to having been well fulled, which gives it a felt-like smooth surface. It is napped and very closely sheared. Meltons are similar to Mackinaw cloth. It is a very solid cloth in which the twill weave pattern is completely concealed due to the finishing processes. Because of its dense, quasi-felted texture it frays minimally or not at all. It is hard wearing and wind and weather resistant. Its main use is for heavy outer garments and coats and for blankets. In lighter weights melton cloth is traditionally used for lining the underside of jacket collars.[1] It was developed in the Leicestershire town of Melton Mowbray, from which it derives its name.[2] This town is the traditional centre of English fox-hunting, and black and scarlet hunting coats are traditionally made from melton cloth, due to its weatherproof qualities. In England not only is melton used for the scarlet hunting coat, an iconic symbol of the upper-class elite, but it is also used in black for the donkey jacket,[3] an iconic symbol of the working class labouring man. Both uses rely on its weatherproof qualities.

Queen Victoria commissioned curtains made of Melton cloth for Windsor Castle, the curtains being made by the Leeds textile manufacturing firm William Lupton and Co.[4][5]


  1. ^ J.H. Cutler, tailors, Sydney, Australia, "Bespoke Tailoring Glossary of Terms"[1]
  2. ^ "Fabric Glossary - Cloak & Dagger Creations". Retrieved 2016-01-18. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Donkey Jackets. £54. Quality Donkey Jacket, Work Coats". Retrieved 2016-01-18. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Chemical age, Volume 21. Morgan-Grampian. 1929. Retrieved 26 January 2019. with Mr. A. Wilkinson, who is still working for the firm - William Lupton and Co - at the age of 71, in dyeing for Windsor Castle curtains of Leeds-made Melton cloth. The curtains were dyed a dark ruby 30 years ago to the order of Queen Victoria, and are still unfaded CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "War names in new Leeds streets". Yorkshire Evening Post, Yorkshire, England - 30 March, 1920. Retrieved 26 January 2019. The Windsor Castle curtains which Mr. Wilkinson dyed years ago are Melton cloth and were manufactured by Messrs. William Lupton and Co., another old-established firm, and it is an interesting fact that the order from 1888 was a repetition of an order executed by.. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)