"New England is quite as large a lump of earth as my heart can really take in." - Nathaniel Hawthorne

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Waxing the Barbours

"In 1894, John Barbour established himself in the burgeoning port of South Shields, supplying oilskins and other garments to protect the growing community of sailors, fishermen, rivermen and dockers from the worst of the North Sea Weather. " - John Barbour & Sons
How often should one reproof their Barbour waxed items?  The conventional wisdom is every year.

Many people prefer to send their jackets back to the Barbour repair facility in Milford, New Hampshire where they can get a professional job at a very reasonable price.

And many do it themselves, although you don't have the added benefit of their heated tables, which also gets out any ground in dirt.  (However, as almost everyone waits to the last minute, the Barbour facility always gets overwhelmed this time of year.)

The process is fairly forgiving.

Without regular reproofing they obviously are not as waterproof, but also can take on an old military fatigue jacket look, especially in the Sage.  The Navy, however,  can still look good for dry weather wear.


Many prefer the bare-handed approach and take care not to get the wax too hot.  Use a new sponge; old sponges tend to crumble a bit and leave behind little pieces.  Place the can of wax in a pan of just boiled water and wait a few minutes for it to soften, which it does from the bottom up.

Go heavy on the seams and then wipe them again after letting them hang for a couple of days.  Take a hairdryer to the jacket after waxing to even out the wax, working in the wax with one hand while holding the dryer with the other, and paying special attention to the seams 

Any bits of wax that get on the corduroy collars are easily wiped off.
Wax over any tears or worn out spots.

Bedale in Sage - One of the Neediest

With the Bedales  tuck in the knit cuffs....

... and always zip them up before starting.



The Giant Bellows Pockets of the Border Jacket

This is how it looks when one should have waited a little longer for the wax to melt.  Now it just has to be worked in more.  This is where the hair dryer can be most useful.



They will be a bit tacky (as in sticky) but not for long.



1984 Gamefair Barbour  - Before (on left) and After (on right)