Waxed canvas ... how does it wear?

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Brandrea33, Mar 3, 2021.

  1. Brandrea33

    Brandrea33 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    201
    I’m curious to know if any of you own or have experience with wearing waxed canvas jackets.

    I’m looking at buying one of these (attached is an example from Freenote) 9FF17A07-44AE-4970-81FA-0619DB8DEA61.jpeg I would be interested in hearing how they wear compared to other fabrics or even leather. I gather they are a bit stiff at first, but loosen up with wear? Also, how does the colour hold up?

    Any other insights appreciated, thank you.
     
  2. dudewuttheheck

    dudewuttheheck Call Me a Cab

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    2,841
    It feels stiff and I'm personally not a fan of it at all. At least in the examples I have tried on, it does feel a bit waxy and/or oily and I really hate that. Even if it's lined, I don't like it. A lot of people really like it for how it ages. It does often develop arm creases in a way that is not completely dissimilar to leather.

    In some ways, I could describe it as a leather jacket for people who don't actually want a leather jacket. Personally, I'm just not a fan at all.
     
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  3. Brandrea33

    Brandrea33 One of the Regulars

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    Thanks for that, appreciated. I was afraid this might be the case.:(
     
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  4. dudewuttheheck

    dudewuttheheck Call Me a Cab

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    Well don't just listen to me. A lot of people really like the material. I actually feel like I'm in the minority here.
     
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  5. Brandrea33

    Brandrea33 One of the Regulars

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    Thanks and I shall.

    I was hoping that perhaps the material softens up and doesn’t stay waxy/oily feeling.

    I’m interested to hear more.

    While I’m at it ... have you any experience with Japanese sateen twill (in shirts)?
     
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  6. TG3

    TG3 One of the Regulars

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    143
    Location:
    Kansas City
    I really love this jacket. I've had me eye on several Freenote jackets for a while now but they are so damn expensive.

    I have a waxed canvas parka from Taylor stitch in slate grey. It's probably one of my most complemented jackets that I own. The material is from Halley Stevensons. If you rub your hand against the material long enough you can feel the wax on your hand but from some articles I've read there are different methods of waxing canvas. Some is very dry and you don't get any residue on your hands. This jacket also has a distinct smell which I have to assume is the wax. Can't really describe it. Not sure what other waxed jackets are like.

    It is indeed a little stiff when you first wear it. especially if the jacket is cold. But it does become more pliable. I have seen some waxed jackets become really really dark, which I have to assume is dust and dirt sticking to the wax. My Parka has actually lightened a little. The material has this really cool marbling or granite look wherever the jacket flexes.

    Good at keeping the ran and snow off you for sure. Just my 2 cents.

    Now buy that Freenote so we can see how it ages haha.

    upload_2021-3-3_13-42-56.png
     
  7. Brandrea33

    Brandrea33 One of the Regulars

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    201
    Thanks for that, and that’s a great looking jacket!

    I’d really love it if a retailer here carried this jacket, but so far I haven’t found one. You’re right, at this price I’d love to see it, feel it, touch it before buying:rolleyes:
     
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  8. El Marro

    El Marro Call Me a Cab

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    2,622
    Location:
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    I own a couple Filson tin cloth jackets and I pretty much never wear them. As Dude mentioned it has a waxy oily hand to it that is kind of annoying. This does get better with time but if you want the jacket to remain water resistant you need to reapply the wax at regular intervals.
    The fabric does not breathe at all which means you end up wearing a sauna if you are doing any sort of athletic movement that might cause you to sweat. It is also not terribly good repelling water in my experience. The times that I wore mine out while walking in the rain I found my shoulders were damp after a short time. My 4 oz horsehide LW is practically waterproof by comparison.
     
  9. TG3

    TG3 One of the Regulars

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    143
    Location:
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    Even Taylor Stitch has released other waxed canvas jackets that they claim have no waxy residue hand feel. So it just depends on how it was made. I think they market it as a "dry wax".

    Depends on where you are located. I know there are some retailers in California that carry Freenote. Rogue Territory makes a popular waxed canvas jacket and I know Flint and Timber is a really popular one as well. A lower cost option would be Iron and Resin. If you are looking for a heavy duty winter version, check out Dehen 1920. They have several waxed canvas jackets available in different colors.
     
  10. dwilson

    dwilson Familiar Face

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    96
    Location:
    Orange County
    I haven't had a waxed canvas jacket but I own a waxed denim trucker. It was parafin coated and I thought it looked pretty bad. Virtually all of it came off in the first machine wash, luckily.
     
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  11. Moontanning

    Moontanning New in Town

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    I have a waxed canvas jacket and I love it. I can't speak for Freenote but mine was only slightly stiff at first, really no more than anything that's brand new, and has really broken in nicely. Maintenance is easy and it's extremely durable. It is waxed, so of course there will be a little waxy texture to it but it doesn't come off on your hands or anything. It's just a different hand feel. Like leather, it develops a patina and forms a bit to your body. I've had no issues with color loss or fading. If anything, it's just getting better.

    I've been shopping for a black leather jacket to replace the one that's now too big for me. I was planning to look for a brown leather jacket too but this waxed canvas has largely filled that spot in my wardrobe. It's a worthy addition to almost anyone's collection but it's one you'll find yourself wearing frequently.
     
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  12. Brandrea33

    Brandrea33 One of the Regulars

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    Holy smokes ... exactly why do they make jackets from this stuff :rolleyes:

    Much appreciated for the feedback ... this certainly has me rethinking the material.
     
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  13. Schambach

    Schambach Familiar Face

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    Location:
    NYC/Hudson Valley
    I've had a few Filson tin cloth coats. They are a bit of a pain I suppose, but good for certain things. The biggest thing for me is that they are really tough, and work well if you're out in the brush hunting, or trail building, etc. Thorns and such are no match. I even wear mine over soft armor sometimes for riding the enduro bikes in the woods. They do start out very stiff, but break in to be as comfortable as any denim jacket in my experience. Rewaxing them is a pain, but I only do that about once a year, seems to last about that long, depending upon use. One thing that does really suck about them(filson at least) is that they can shrink, so never get it wet and hang it near a radiator or heater to dry...
     
  14. Brandrea33

    Brandrea33 One of the Regulars

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    Thanks for this and for the information on shrinkage, we wouldn’t want that lol;)
     
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  15. Cornelius

    Cornelius A-List Customer

    Messages:
    499
    Location:
    Great Lakes
    I agree with @Schambach here. Waxed canvas is a material purely designed for utility. Rough work in cool weather. The wax imparts some water resistance, but also extends the life of the fabric as the wax "lubricates" the fibers somewhat against abrasion. I used to rewax my Filson Cruiser every summer, setting the jacket out in the sun for the wax to melt & really soak into the fibers. Low maintenance, considering that jacket lasted 7 years of hard use with an initial cost of $185.

    Would be miserable to wear in the sun of southern California though, I imagine, so I completely understand why @dudewuttheheck dislikes it. I used to wear mine over heavy wool sweaters to work in Chicago winters down to 25°F/-4°C, and it seemed perfect for the task.
     
  16. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    21,789
    Location:
    London, UK
    I like it a lot. Had a couple of Barbour 'country' styles over the years, and an International. Excellent for a day of constant drizzle, though for really heavy rain you'd want a longer version or matching overtrousers. I only really like it in the oldschool designs, though, not much interested in a newer style. They do age and have a certain look which might appeal to those who like patina'ed leather, though as with leather I like to keep mine from getting quite that far.
     
  17. Twit

    Twit One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    148
    Location:
    UK
    I’m a fan of waxed jackets but they do take a lot of wearing in to get the typical waxed look and for the jacket to soften a little. I have an old Belstaff jacket that is now the best part of 20 years old. It’s been reproofed a couple of times and is now fully fitted to me and not really stiff. But it really does take a while.

    The positives are that waxed jackets are pretty waterproof and as long as the proofing is up to date they stay waterproof. They are pretty robust, waxed cotton resists damage pretty well. They wear well, I can’t see me wearing the jacket out in fact the lining wears much quicker than the outside, that has been patched a few times...

    The downsides are that as a fabric it isn’t warm, buy a waxed jacket expecting to wear something underneath it for warmth. In the cold they do get stiff until they get warmed up by body warmth, no different to leather jackets in fairness mind you. Most pictures of waxed jackets show jackets that are well worn, it takes a while to get there. The can... smell a bit when damp! Mine gets left outside when it gets like that, eventually it dries out...

    All in all I like them but you have to remember you are buying a product that was made for work and delivers a 1930s solution to keeping dry! :)
     
  18. Peacoat

    Peacoat Bartender Bartender

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    5,292
    Location:
    South of Nashville
    Agree with Edward. My wife and I have several of the Barbours apiece. We like them. They do break in and become a bit softer, but as others have said, they need to be periodically re-waxed, especially in the sleeve creases and shoulders, or they will lose their water repellency.

    I have both the hip length and the over the knee length, which is good for heavy rain or long exposures to it—the thighs and knees stay dry. They are popular in England because of the frequent rain.
     
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  19. Brandrea33

    Brandrea33 One of the Regulars

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    201
    Thank you for this, sounds like a durable fabric for sure. I’d love to see one of these in person.
     
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  20. Brandrea33

    Brandrea33 One of the Regulars

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    201
    So getting them wet isn’t a problem ... they offer some water resistance?
     
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