Introducing the latest rendition of the Benson overshirt, the Benson Brown Stripe. Made from 100% British wool, the fabric is yarn dyed and woven in Japan, exclusively for Freenote Cloth. The sleeves and back yoke are lined with a cotton-rayon blend satin for comfort. The shirt draws inspiration from Navajo “first-phase chief blankets” dating back to the early to mid 1800’s. In the middle of the 17th century, the Navajo began sheep herding and making their own wool using skills they learned from Spanish settlers. Divided into three distinct design periods, the first-phase Navajo chief blankets are the rarest, with less than 100 examples known to exist. Blankets from this period are distinguished by minimalist stripe patterns, and the bold colors were derived entirely from natural methods. Browns and creams came from the un-dyed wool of sheep bearing those colors, indigo was derived by fermenting the stems and leaves of the indigofera plant, and red was created by drying and pulverizing the bodies of a species of female scale insects, a dye known as cochineal.
Called "chief" blankets due to the fact that they were so valuable that they were reserved for the tribe's chief, the blankets were prized for their beauty and quality, and were often worn for ceremonial purposes. In addition, the blankets were highly coveted for fending off the elements, as the tightly woven wool made them essentially windproof and waterproof. The Benson Brown Stripe is a perfect shirt choice for fall and winter. Wear it as an overshirt with a henley on milder days, or use it as an insulating mid-layer when the temperatures really start to drop. As with all Freenote Cloth garments, the Benson Brown Stripe is built to get better with age. Proudly cut, sewn, and designed in Southern California.