°1970s, we go way back
Our story started in the 1970s. At the start, we were limited in the number of fabrics to work with. We mostly used the coated textiles Mr. Jean-Jacques Sioen produced back then. In fact, the Baleno story is part of the beginnings of the Sioen Group. It all started really small but look where we are now and how the Sioen Apparel division has evolved over the past few decades.
While Mr. Jean-Jacques Sioen produced coated textiles at his coating division, his wife, Mrs. Jacqueline Sioen had the brilliant idea to start an apparel workshop in Roeselare. She selected some of her husbands’ textiles and started producing protective rainwear. Our main customers were fishermen and farmers, who were in need of durable waterproof clothing.
You might not believe it, but our first apparel wasn’t all that fashionable. The coated textile was extremely rigid and robust, making it difficult to shape. Ever since, we have been improving and we will continue to do so. Innovation is the key to success; it is part of the DNA of the SIOEN textiles group.
Sioen's Flexothane® fabric is a great example of such innovation. Flexothane® is a polyurethane coating on a stretchable knitted base. It's assets are: wind- and waterproof, comfort, noiselessness, 150% stretchable, lightweight, highly tear-resistant, machine washable, and above all, extremely durable.
The fishermen and farmers who started using Flexothane®, fell in love with the performance. They spread the word and more and more started showing interest. Farmers, in particular, liked the fact that Sioen is nearby – our headquarters are located in Ardooie, which is in the middle of large farmlands - and that we felt familiar. As a matter of fact, many fruit growers in Belgium wear Flexothane® up to this day.
Among the farmers and fishermen who wore Flexothane® garments, were also hunters. That’s how we started developing specific products to suit their activities. Approximately a decade ago, we noticed a growing interest in women’s fitted garments in these branches. And I guess that’s how we got to the market we are in today. Baleno offers a wide range of women’s, men’s, and kids' fitted protective garments for the countryside enthusiasts with a British twist, whether you like fishing, hunting/shooting, walking your dog or riding your horse.
Our logo is a whale! Why?
It’s a bit of a funny story. Many people don’t realise our name and logo still refer to a whale.
The name ‘Baleno’ comes from ‘baleine’, which is French for whale. It's connection to the sea appealed to the fishermen we first developed wind- and waterproof jackets for. A whale is a majestic animal. The Baleno logo shows a jumping and diving whale.
We can't wait to show you what we do today. Have a look at our products page and find out more about our different ranges.