Does anyone have experience with waxed cotton?
April 22, 2011 4:54 PM   Subscribe

Waxed cotton jacket: is it practical?

I like this jacket:

I went into a store once a year ago and they had "waxed cotton" jackets. I didn't examine them minutely, but they felt like, well, cotton covered with wax.

Doesn't the wax get all over your hands, car seat, rest of your clothes, etc?

Has anyone been down this road and can tell me about it?

Suggestions of other options are welcome too.

posted by eeby to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
No, the wax doesn't come off. You are letting yourself in for some minor maintenance issues.

Barbour coats really do cost roughly that at retail in the UK. $400 is not a crazy price, although you could probably shop around. They were high street trendy last winter in the UK, along with quilted Barbour-type jackets, so as a fashion look they're going to date terribly. But as a timeless wardrobe classic, and assuming you are either over the age of 60 or fixing to look like the English equivalent of the frat boys with popped Ralph Lauren collars, they will never go out of style.
posted by caek at 5:18 PM on April 22, 2011 [2 favorites]

It does kind of rub off on things. Proper waxed cotton smells pretty bad too, and has really poor wear resistance.
posted by scruss at 5:21 PM on April 22, 2011

I had a Barbour waxed jacket 20+ years ago. It was ok, with no significant rubbing off of wax, but I wouldn't get one again because it (a) seemed to wear out rather quickly, and (b) was cold and wasn't really very waterproof.
posted by anadem at 5:25 PM on April 22, 2011

That's odd, for me the Barbour waxed cotton jackets are too hot because the wax doesn't allow it to breathe. I never wear mine in the spring, just the fall because of this.
posted by cazoo at 5:28 PM on April 22, 2011

Also, you supposed to sponge them down, inside and out, with cold water when you clean them. You can't dry-clean them or put them in the washer or dryer.

I'd say that mine really wasn't all that practical because it was only really a waterproof shell and it felt too tight under the arms if you wore a heavy sweater under it. I'd only ever buy a cheap one again.
posted by bonobothegreat at 5:30 PM on April 22, 2011

I had a similar coat four about four years or so. It was a good coat, very wind and water resistant (I wouldn't say waterproof though). The main problems with it were that waxed cotton is heavy, which didn't bother me that much, and that waxed cotton is hard to clean, which is why I didn't buy another.

Wax rubbing off was never a problem for me. I wore that coat about 6 months of the year, using the car just about every day. No noticeable residue on the car seat.
posted by bonehead at 6:23 PM on April 22, 2011

It's an extremely practical and good-looking jacket. The wax has been soaked into the fabric, and it may have a smell at first but it will fade. After a little while, you have to get it re-waxed; you can do it yourself, or send it to Barbour, who will do it for a small fee. Depending on where you live, you can use a jacket like that for nine months out of the year.
posted by josh at 8:39 PM on April 22, 2011

I'd be more concerned about becoming a human candle, personally.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:41 PM on April 22, 2011

Waxed cotton is very practical but it's not designed to look neat and clean, this is country clothing, the more creases and marks the better, it all adds to the patina.
The photos on are a bit more realistic. The Sylkoil wax finish is less 'oily' than the thornproof wax e.g. this version or the longer Beaufort
posted by Lanark at 6:01 AM on April 23, 2011

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