Whilst I enjoy delving into the fascinating world that is fashion, my other (and some would say better) half, Pete, works as a carpenter, converting lofts. It is a hard job, working both inside and outside in all conditions, working high in the air, or in small confined spaces and in some seriously dirty, dusty old lofts. All these issues make good quality work-wear an essential, particularly work trousers that are both hard-wearing and comfortable. So when we were offered the chance to test-drive some craftsmen trousers from the Swedish workwear company Blaklader, a company that had been well established in providing quality workwear since the 1950s, we were extremely curious to see if the trousers lived up to claim that they were ‘Designed for living, built to last’.
After test driving the Blaklader Craftsmen trousers, Pete was really impressed by the design, quality and comfort levels of the trousers. One of the main occupational clothing problems for builders is the constant ripping and tearing of garments due to getting caught on stray nails, sharp pieces of wood and other hazards. The Craftmen trousers are made from Cordura fabric, which virtually makes it impossible to rip them. They are resistant to tears, scuffs and abrasions, and therefore far longer lasting than normal canvas/cotton trousers. However, despite being tough, these trousers are surprisingly lightweight – a real bonus when wearing them for long periods of time. There are also no worries about trousers that are rip-proof but then come apart at the seams, Blaklader offers a lifetime guarentee on the seams, so confident are they of their permanence and durability.
The multiple pocket design is another useful feature. Pete really liked the concealed nail pockets that can be flapped out of the side pocket on the waistband. He explained that this pocket is useful for carrying small items like nails and screws, and that the pockets could actually be used in place of a nail pouch. There are also hammer and screwdrivers loops – another practical touch that avoids trips up and down ladders. Another fantastic touch is the pocket for kneepads, essential in carpentry, whilst a further secured pocket offers security for your mobile phone by using waterproof material. And, perhaps most importantly, the trousers are very comfortable to wear and easy to move around in.
Good workwear needs to be durable and hardwearing, able to withstand all weather conditions, difficulties in work setting and to be even tougher than the job itself. Blaklader craftsmen trousers pass every test with flying colours.