It’s meant to be autumn but it still feels like spring. But there is a bit of a nip in the air and the rains have been present. I have already had occasion to wear my Barbour Beaufort jacket to walk the dog.
The Beaufort is a waxed cotton jacket which Barbour is known for (the UK brand is protected by the Royal Warrant and also does some nice quilted jackets) and keeps out rain by basically impregnating the fabric with wax. Over the time, movement and abrasion removes some of the wax and the jacket becomes less water-repellent so it needs to be re-waxed. I actually bought this jacket second-hand from the UK and it smelt like a musty attic so I have already cleaned the lining (which you’re not really supposed to do) and waxed it once.
If you live in the UK or US, that’s easy – you just send your jacket back to Barbour and they will re-wax it for you. But in Australia, there’s no such service and you gotta do it yourself. The process is actually not that difficult – it’s just time-consuming. First you need to buy a tin of Barbour’s wax thornproof dressing. It is surprisingly difficult to find a stockist with cheap shipping but eBay and amazon are your best bet.
You need to find a workspace that is both clean (wax sticks to everything and will pick up whatever dirt or dust that is on your workspace) and you don’t mind getting some wax on (this gon get messy). I just hung my jacket up in the garage at a height that I can work with.
Next you need to heat up the wax to soften it by putting it in some hot water. Really the hotter the better and you may need to change the water a couple of times to keep the wax really soft. I find the more soft the wax, the easier it is to work with. Then you just get a cotton cloth and start applying the wax onto the jacket – really take care to work the wax in and try not to goop too much into the snap button holes or get it on the zips or the corduroy collar.
Once the jacket is covered in wax, take to it with a hairdryer or heat gun (just make sure you set it on low, you’re not trying to strip paint!) to melt the wax a bit and get an even surface. Then let it air out somewhere overnight.
There you have it! Ready to take to the elements again. It’s a good idea not to store the newly waxed jacket next to any other clothes or sit on your nan’s prized art deco lounge with the jacket on as it will transfer a bit of wax for a while.