Moleskin is a material that's been made famous by its uses. It was once used to cover the notebooks of famous writers, it's been used for the uniforms of different military branches and now it's found commonly in a variety of products and places. Moleskin is a versatile fabric.
Moleskin, despite its name, is actually a heavy-napped, cotton twill fabric.
Moleskin was first used to make clothing. Lighter grades of moleskin were used for work clothes, and, in one instance, trousers for military officers, but heavier grades were often used to make linings for winter coats.
Moleskin is durable and hard wearing even though it looks and feels more like suede leather. Also, of benefit to those who work in them, dry clay and dirt can easily be brushed away from moleskin material.
Moleskin was often used as a cover material for travelling notebooks or journals due to its durability. Since so many famous authors used these notebooks, the books themselves have become known as moleskins.
Though sources are vague as to the origin of moleskin, it's generally agreed that it was first made in Britain. Much of the moleskin currently on the market, especially clothes made from the material, still comes from there as well.