If the fishermen of the coastal village Grundsend, Sweden, had the choice of run-of–the-mill raincoats back in 1911, surely they’d still have made their own. To combat the engulfing rainstorms in the North Sea, Carl A. Grunden, with the help of the fathers, sons, and husbands of the Scandinavian coastlines, produced oil-soaked garments known as oilskins. A process that encompassed 28 days of dipping and drying guaranteed these waterproof jackets were utterly impermeable to moisture, keeping fishermen dry in downpours, save for their own sweat.
Today, Grundens uses rubberized fabrics instead of woven canvas and coat their raingear with water-repellant PVC instead of linseed oil. After more than a century of tinkering and material upgrades, they have gained a reputation for manufacturing the finest weatherproof, professional-grade raincoats on the market. They have remained a standard among fishermen and expanded in popularity: travelers navigating wet environments like the Amazon and the Pacific Northwest have come to rely on their coats, coveralls, and even backpacks. Their selection of coats vary from professional grade oil-resistant parkas, crafted with a heavy cotton twill and a high grade of PVC, to breathable, water-resistant nylon jackets for the rest of us.