If you want a jacket material that can handle harsh weather, then a good place to start is probably something that takes a regular beating at the hands of the elements.
What is regularly battered by the elements, but needs to be strong and weather ready against the wettest storms? A ship’s sails.
We turned to the sea and saw how durable ship’s sails were – leading us to the fabric our waxed canvas jackets are derived from. Sailors would sew scraps of used cotton sails together and rub them with linseed oil to create waterproof ponchos. By the 1930s, paraffin wax coated cotton had arrived, but the Scottish mills that created it were too conservative to try it in their native market and sent it to wet and humid New Zealand for rigorous waterproof testing.
Wax-covered cotton was a huge success and the material soon became the norm for sailors, motorcyclists, outdoorsmen and farmers throughout Britain and America.
These days, waxed jackets are iconic for their heritage as countryside staples and for good reason. The wax is naturally water resistant and creates a textured feel that is unique for every jacket. As a protective layer over boots and jackets, wax also makes an ideal texture to be worn on adventures in the outdoors.
At Timberland, waxed canvas has long been a part of our heritage, and this season we’ve updated a few of our classics. Take our Mount Davis Timeless Waxed Jacket. With its durable waxed texture, simple silhouette and neutral palette, it’s an ideal layering piece for spring.
We sat down with Timberland designer Nick Barber and materials expert Dina Mehta about why waxed jackets are great for the outdoors and how to take care of them.