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Looking Good while looking after your expensive jacket


When you spend a lot of money on top quality clothing you rightly expect it to last a long time, and be as waterproof five years later as it was when you bought it. Wax jackets, in particular, do need a bit of attention from time to time, and one of the reasons we love the ‘wax jacket look’ is because of that lovely patina which comes from wearing them out in the sun, the wind and the rain. Over time certain areas of the fabric become burnished to a dull gloss, while others acquire creases and a lighter hue where the wax has thinned and worn. But it is this very look which is proving so fashionable throughout the streets and shires.

As Sarah Mower recently wrote in VOGUE "Whether it was purchased by a duchess at the Chatsworth Country Fair circa 1982 or by an inner-city teenager at Urban Outfitters only last weekend, no matter: Just so long as it has the appearance of a personally husbanded state of semi-decrepitude achieved through years of hacking through moors, being chucked in the back of the Land Rover with the dogs, or rolling around the fields of Glastonbury, everyone’s going to be happy".

But if this is left totally without attention your treasured garment may leak, so a little fabric care is a good idea and is fortunately quite easy to do.


Barbour recommends using their Wax Thornproof Dressing to reproof their jackets, but you can of course send the whole garment back to Barbour Customer Care for reproofing at the factory. Over the years we have sent back several wax jackets for reproofing, that are 30 or 40 years old and still going strong.

The famously comprehensive Nikwax range of high performance proofing and cleaning products cover every conceivable fabric including leather, hats, boots, bag, tent, jacket and coat. Nikwax is also approved by all our top brands as they manufacture high quality cleaning and waterproofing products which prolong life and enhance performance of clothing, footwear and equipment. Environmentally harmless, Nikwax products are water-based, non-toxic, safe to use with no propellant gases or fluorocarbons.

So how does Nikwax work? Well the best explanation comes from Nikwax themselves with their very clear and graphic illustration:-

As Country Attire is a major stockist of the Nikwax range of products, we have no hesitation in quoting directly from Nikwax’s own literature as to how their products evolved:-

“Many years ago, Nick Brown the inventor of Nikwax, developed and patented the Nikwax TX.10i water-repellent elastomer. The TX.10i elastomer was based on EVA, the same material found in the flexible soles of footwear. The patent also involved altering the molecular structure of mineral wax which is typically brittle. This strengthens the molecule making it very elastic and resilient. This TX.10i polymer was the primary active ingredient in all Nikwax footwear and fabric treatments.

Nikwax treatments coat fabric and leather fibres with a network of elastic TX.10i water-repellent molecules. They bond to anything that is not water-repellent, but leave the spaces between fibres open and breathable. Nikwax treatments can flex and move with the fabric and leather fibres. That is why Nikwax treatments can withstand several washings and remain whereas the competitors must be re-applied after each wash.

 The TX.10i elastomer adds tear strength to fabrics as well. Enhanced tear resistance is achieved through lubrication of the fabric which allows the fibres to slide easily over one another. The treatments also coat the fibres with the elastic polymer that is resilient and allows the fibres to flex a limited amount and return to their original position. This reduces the stress at the intersection of the fibres adding tear strength to the fabric.


In 2004-5, Nikwax introduced a new and improved active elastomer. The culmination of several years research, these new class of formulations bring better value for money due to increased number of doses from one bottle and an even more durable finish. Unlike fluorocarbon products, you do not need to heat garment to activate the waterproofing treatment. This new class of formulations is being carried across the range.”


So you can deduce from this that what you thought was simple waterproofing is quite a science! Happily we don’t need to understand all the technology behind the extensive Nikwax’s product range and simply trust these guys to make the appropriate treatment for our garments and equipment. And don’t forget that this is not just about wax jackets; Leather, Wool, Cotton, Canvas, Felt, Nylon and even Gore-Tex are covered too. So from Hat to Boot (even tent!) the Nikwax range has got the “right stuff” to keep you dry and comfortable, and, dare I say, hugely fashionable, and your expensive jacket and kit in top-class order for as long as possible.