Mystery of the Paliwear Cascelloid coat

1 May 2024

Hello all,

A recent donation to our collection has sparked interest and amusement among the MoDiP team as we have very limited information on its production and every research attempt, thus far, has led to a dead end. Researching the origins and history of objects in our collection is one of my favourite aspects of working at MoDiP, as you often come out of it with a feeling of accomplishment and newfound knowledge. However, in this instance, the research has not led far so we were inspired to reach out to our audience and see if anyone can glean more insight into the companies involved or the object itself.

The object in question is a black translucent raincoat that was very kindly donated to the collection from Spain by José Carlos Portilla Gil on behalf of his father Fransisco de Asis Portilla Morales. The coat consists of a calendered plastic material, likely PVC, that was stitched together. Elements of the coat include, five round black buttons, two belt loops, two large front pockets and an additional back panel for water runoff. Originally the coat would have come with a matching belt, though it was lost over time. 

Paliwear Cascelloid raincoat - AIBDC : 009864

Front view of the Paliwear Cascelloid raincoat (AIBDC : 009864)

The additional back panel on the Paliwear Cascelloid raincoat (AIBDC : 009864)

A view of the additional back panel on the Paliwear Cascelloid raincoat (AIBDC : 009864)

The timeframe of the purchase of the coat is unknown and information on the coat itself is limited to the fabric main label. The label informs us that the coat is Paliwear brand made by Cascelloid in England. However, research into the Paliwear brand leads to modern brands that don’t seem to have any affiliation with this mention of Paliwear. It appears that, at one point, the way Paliwear is depicted on the label was registered as a trademark, though no record of this trademark has been found. 

The main tag on the raincoat

Main label on the Paliwear Cascelloid raincoat (AIBDC : 009864)

There is a fair bit more information about the Cascelloid company which was featured in one of MoDiP’s Spotlight On... exhibitions (a short blog about it can be found here), though it seems they mainly manufactured toy, novelty, and household items. I could not find any instance of Cascelloid (known as Plaitoy from 1937) manufacturing any clothing or accessory items aside from one mention of them producing suspender fittings and collar studs around 1935.

If you fancy yourself an internet sleuth and like tough cases or have any personal connections to these companies, we would love your help in cracking this case and finding out more about this mysterious raincoat.

Shannon Carr,

MoDiP Collections Officer