HANCOCK is a British label that draws inspiration from Thomas Hancock, the English inventor who founded the British rubber industry. Originally trained as a cabinet-maker; in 1815 he is recorded as being in partnership with his brother Walter in London as a coach-builder. Hancock's interest in rubber originated from a desire to make waterproof fabrics to protect the passengers on his coaches.
By 1819 Hancock had begun to experiment with making rubber solutions and in 1820, Hancock rented a factory in Goswell Road, London, where he worked raw rubber with the machines he had invented.
In the same year, Thomas Hancock patented his first rubberized invention, elastication for use in clothing - elasticated cuffs for warmth, elasticated pockets to prevent pick-pocketing (at the time) and elasticated waists for a more elegant silhouette. In 1825 he began working with Charles Macintosh to manufacture his "double textured" fabric.
On 21 November 1843, Hancock took out a patent for the vulcanisation of rubber using sulphur, 8-weeks before Charles Goodyear in the USA. Just one of 14 patents relating to rubber between 1820 and 1847. In 1856 he documented his life work in a book that would become a product and design reference for Hancock Vulcanised Articles.
Siphonia Elastica provides the greatest amount and finest quality of natural rubber. This rubber tree was hand drawn by Thomas Hancock at the Royal Botanical Gardens in 1856 and today is a signature print of the Hancock label.