Barbour was founded in 1894, on the British east coast, by the Scotsman John Barbour. He saw a need for waterproof and reliable outerwear among the workers in the Northeast Kingdom.

Previously, the fishermen used poorly suitable jackets coated with tar and fish oils. The introduction of oilcloth meant a softer, more comfortable jacket with the same water repellency and increased life-span.

With its oil coats and famous check pattern symbolizes Barbour now the British heritage.