The Waxed Cotton Jacket; A Winter Essential

Waxed cotton is a fabulously practical material, which is basically cotton impregnated with paraffin based wax, that is then woven into a cloth. This fabric technique principle used in waxed jackets today actually originated in the first half of the 1800’s, it was used by sailors who would treat their old linen sail cloths with linseed, to make protective smocks for themselves. They found this to be ideal waterproofing from the splashes and spray from the sea and harsh weather, however it wasn’t easy to move or very breathable. It was then in the 1950’s that the new technique of using paraffin wax to treat the cotton cloth took over, in turn creating a more light and breathable fabric.

The fact that the waxed cotton fabric is still used as outdoor wear today tells us just how functioning and an effective a material it is. The fabric used on waxed jackets needs regular maintenance to keep it in tip top condition, this is in the form of re-waxing, as it decays over time as a natural fibre does. It does however last a very long time and is a well chosen investment piece for any Winter wardrobe.

Waxed cotton jackets have been associated with British country attire for a very long time, with J. Barbour & Sons adopting the idea for wearable jackets very early on, eventually becoming known as simply the Barbour Jacket. Wax jackets over the years have been worn by farmers, fishermen, gamekeepers, hunters, and motorcyclists, and even by soldiers. In recent years the waxed cotton jacket has even become fashionable for everyday mainstream wear, not only amongst those who enjoy outdoor country pursuits, but also for trendy festival wear, and even about town. Once only available in black or olive green, modern technology has allowed the introduction of other colours such as mauve and red, making it more appealable for everyday wear.

At there is a wide range of Cotton Waxed Jackets, Tweed Jackets and other country clothing designed for outdoor wear, and still with a stylish edge. This is one item that is a winter essential, a wardrobe staple, and something that will give you more wear and purpose than all of your other jackets combined.