J. Barbour & Sons Ltd is a British clothing manufacturer and importer, founded in South Shields, best known for making waterproof and outdoor clothing, often associated with the sport of hunting. The company was founded in 1894 by John Barbour, from Galloway, Scotland, who began selling oilskins in the port of South Shields. The firm prides itself on its reputation for high quality, hard-wearing clothing, and holds royal warrants to supply "waterproof and protective clothing" to HM Queen Elizabeth II, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, and HRH The Prince of Wales.
Barbour clothing is noted for rugged construction and appearance. In addition to its waxed and quilted jackets, the company produces sweaters, moleskin clothing, corduroy clothing, and tattersall shirts. It has also entered the "waterproof-breathable" market with own type waterproof liners, cordura external fabric and polar fleece sweaters.
It is not uncommon for customers to keep Barbour waxed jackets for many years, sometimes decades. Among such people, the wear-and-tear on the garment can be addressed by Barbour’s repair service, which patches and reinforces jackets that are sometimes in excess of fifty years old. Owners of such items find their age and age-associated repairs to be part of the garment's charm.
In recent years, however, the company has tried to modernize its range towards a younger and stylish image, while maintaining the countryside range for which it is renowned, and keeping the attention to details and features which cannot always be found on other brands such as snug-fitting collars, "storm cuffs", waterproof pockets with drainage holes and wide "game" pockets.
The mainstay wax-cotton jackets continue to be proudly made in Britain. Most of the other lines are now imported.
Since 2004, Lord James Percy, younger brother of the Duke of Northumberland, has been involved in the design and marketing of the company's flagship shooting clothing.