Sportex sounds like a rather old fashioned name for a sportswear fabric now, but when it was designed by Dormeuil, as the first ever sportswear cloth in 1923, it really must have really sounded like something from the future.
Sportex is an extremely durable and crease resistant cloth which is also quite breathable hence its original use in "Gentleman" sports, such as riding, shooting and golf.
Sportex is currently available in its modern form as "Sportex Vintage". The cloth designs in this book are reissues of those available in the 1920s but made in a lighter 13 oz weight. Sportex did in fact originally run from the 20s through to the early 80s and was wildly successful with what were at the time rather witty and well liked advertisements. Of course they seem very much out of place now and deservedly so.
.....How far we have come.
"Sportex Vintage" has been running from the late 90s after the original line went on hiatus for about 10 years. Unfortunately Sportex Vintage itself will be discontinued after the cloths in the current book are all sold out.
I recently scorched (don't ask me how I did it) my tweed jacket that I have worn for the past 6 years causing minor discoloration on the front. Things like that drive me crazy so it had to go to goodwill. It was time for something new so I have ordered up a nice donegal tweed like pattern from the Sportex book. I had just enough for a sport coat, buying up the last 2 yards of cloth.
I was personally attracted to Sportex because of the history of the cloth and also because I really wanted to go for something that was easy to maintain and durable as I run around New York. I don't typically wear three piece suits every day for work now, but I still like to look presentable whatever I am doing and a good sport coat does this.
I have right now possibly the last Sportex book still in circulation in North America. Its a niche luxury product from a niche luxury supplier (especially in the States). This unique and special book of cloths is rather thin now but there are still some very nice items in here especially some subtle Window panes and some traditional dog tooth patterns.
If your thinking about shoring up your fall wardrobe with a sport coat like I am, take a look at Sportex before it disappears again, for perhaps another 10 years.
Here are some Sportex fashion plates from the Dormeuil showroom in midtown, these are reproductions of original artwork from 1923: