Add new life to an old jacket with a brush down, a clean and a nourishing coat of revitalising wax.
When 15th Century Scottish sailors applied fish oils to their sails to help with a smoother crossing, little did they know they were halfway to creating a British country classic.
By oiling (and later waxing) the cotton sails, the sailors produced a fabric that was lightweight and, more importantly, waterproof. This, they then turned into clothing – first as basic capes and hats and then into more tailored jackets and trousers.
It’s these basic jacket designs that went on to become the beloved waxed jacket we know and love today.
However, to keep your wax looking and performing at its best, a little maintenance is needed every now and again.
If you are out in all weathers throughout the seasons, a yearly re-waxing is ideal to keep it at its waterproof best. Here’s our easy guide on how to re-wax your wax jacket to keep your favourite coat waterproof and in tip-top condition…
Preparation is key
Before you wash your wax jacket, take a clean, dry cloth and give the jacket a good wipe. Remove any dirt that might damage the outside of the jacket. Make sure the pockets are empty and then proceed to give the jacket a good clean using water only. Avoid detergents and very hot water as they can strip the outer jacket and fade the inner lining.
Once clean, leave to dry away from strong sunlight or any other direct heat source. Leave to dry naturally for about 24 hours. Don’t rush the process – if it needs more time, leave it hanging until dry.
Once dry, your jacket is ready to be re-waxed. Take your coat and lay it flat on a table – a large sturdy kitchen table is best. Protect your table with some newspaper or a couple of large bin bags.
Take the wax and slowly warm until liquid then apply with a soft clean cloth. It’s best to have a couple of spare cloths, including one to clean up any drips and spillages.
Smooth out the jacket with your hand and then start applying the wax with a cloth to small areas, paying special attention to the seams.
It’s worth taking your time and being as careful as possible to apply the wax evenly. This will result in an even colour and better all-over finish. Use your spare cloth to wipe away any excess wax and then use a hair drier to blend in the wax that’s been applied.
Leave to dry naturally for a day or so and your old favourite will be ready for its next outdoor adventure.