The Sterlingwear of Boston navy pea coat has been a stalwart in the garment industry for five decades now. The family-run business was founded in 1965 by Lorenzo Fredella, who immigrated to the United States from Italy in 1920 and promptly found work in Massachusetts’ textile factories. To this day, Sterlingwear’s core business is making the military pea coat, featuring a double-breasted design that dates back 400 years to Europe, its name derived from the Dutch word for a coarse woolen cloth. From its East Boston factory, the company has stitched tens of thousands of coats for the United States Navy, and the same specs that go into the military version are similarly found in the civilian model. According to Frank Fredella, son of Lorenzo and current Sterlingwear President and CEO, the ideal construction of the coat is governed by the number of stitches per inch — ten to twelve — which ensures a tight bond between the various parts of the fabric. Speaking of the fabric, the formula is and has always been 80% virgin wool with 20% nylon for added strength and durability. The end result is a timeless garment built to last for generations.

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