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Jewellery & Fashion Accessories


Early designs at Fulton Umbrellas


Come rain or shine


The humble brolly has come a long way since the first steel-ribbed version was invented by a British industrialist back in 1852. These days it is used for shade as well as protection from the rain and, importantly for gift shops, as a great style statement. Demand for umbrellas


‘niche market for colourful umbrellas’


never goes out of fashion and one of the best things about them is they are so easily lost they are forever having to be replaced. One man who knows a thing or two about the


umbrella industry is Arnold Fulton of Fulton Umbrellas. Originally an engineer, he founded his company in 1956 with just two employees. From humble beginnings the company is now the UK’s


leading rainwear manufacturer and exports to 31 countries. The original idea


for the business came from Arnold’s brother- in-law who lived in Stockholm and already made umbrellas by hand. Arnold was drafted in to design machines which would help with assembly and increase


productivity. On a visit to Oxford Street, Arnold


realised most of the umbrellas on sale were dull and bland and it was then he decided he could create a niche in the market by developing a colourful range of umbrellas made from superior quality


products. He also developed the design and


created an umbrella with two more ribs


than the conventional eight which made it more wind resistant.


Arnold Fulton and son Nigel Over the years the brand’s long-standing


British heritage and quality design have been recognised across the world and Fulton holds a Royal Warrant to Her Majesty the Queen and previously to Her Majesty the Queen Mother. Fulton Umbrellas is now overseen by Arnold’s


son, Nigel who joined the company in 1997 to oversee the growth of the business. The rise of the brolly has also been celebrated


by award-winning online store, The Umbrella Shop which offers a huge selection of brollies for all occasions. While contemporary society associates umbrellas with rain, the origins of the word suggest it was originally designed as a form of sun shelter.


May / June 2015 Giftware Review & Home Interiors 37


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