You either love it or hate it: wax coats. But a fact is: wax coats have been worn for years by enthusiasts such as hunters, nature lovers, farmers, fishermen and horse people. Wax coats are functional and truly timeless classics. They are very comfortable, water-repellent and are very strong.
'Do they know bad weather'
Wax coats are originally from England, Ireland and Scotland. "Do they know bad weather" used to be a slogan of a well-known brand for a long time. Because wax coats are made of cotton with a special wax coat, they are water-repellent and also dirt-repellent. Wax coats are extremely strong and durable. This is also especially useful when you are a hunter, a nature lover or a horserider and you travel through the woods. A bush, thorny plant or a tree will not cause any damage. Most wax coats are very strong and they last for years.
Timeless, cool and beautiful
Wax clothing is ideal for many outdoor activities and outdoor sports. In addition, wearing a wax coat is a kind of lifestyle, sometimes also called: 'The English style'. It's chic, cool and tasteful. The colors are often brown, green, beige or navy and have checked linings. The coats can be made of real waxed cotton, but also of more modern fabrics that you do not have to wax.
Wax coats must be well maintained by re-lubricating the outside with wax or spraying once in a while. Please do not forget to use the waxspray outside and at a good distance. Make sure the jacket is clean first, by going over it with a soft brush. Wax coats are rarely washed, often it is not necessary because they breathe much better than real waterproof clothing and by traditionally wearing a sweater or cotton shirt / blouse underneath, the lining will not get wet with sweat itself.
Wearing a wax coat can initially be experienced as cold. But you warm up soon and feel wonderfully warm for a long time. For the real winter there are often extra linings for sale, which you can attach to the wax jacket by means of zippers or buttons. The unlined wax coats are ideal for fall and spring. The lined jackets are there for the winter and the extra linings are there for the really cold days.
Short or long wax coats
It seems as if there are only two models on the market: short or very long. In reality there are more variations in length, but short or long are indeed the most common models. Long wax coats are ideal to also protect your legs and the saddle when you are horseriding. Short wax coats offer more freedom of movement.
The prices of wax coats varies greatly and is highly brand dependent. Some wax coats are offered for less than a hundred euros, but if you want one of a well-known brand, you will pay a fortune. This is also because the jackets are often very complete and offer many extras. Lots of pockets, compartments, options and detachable parts.
Make your own wax coat
Can you make a wax coat yourself? Yes, you can, but there are few sewing patterns for a real wax coat. In our opinion, these three sewing patterns are best suited for making a wax coat. We looked at the possibility of making the jacket from canvas or waxed cotton, a clear and simple model and the possibilities to expand the jacket itself with extra pockets, hood etc. Specific sewing patterns for wax coats cannot be found. But a sewing pattern for a sturdy outdoor jacket can already be enough to use as a basis.
If you already have a wax coat that is heavily worn and 'off-duty', you can also tear it apart and use it as a sewing pattern. You can even adjust it or use parts that are not worn out. Think of pockets, inner pockets, maybe the cuffs and / or the hood.
We like Simplicity 59052 the most. The Simplicity pattern is extensive and very suitable for making a wax coat. Especially Model B. looks very good as the basis for a long wax coat. Make the jacket at least 20 cm. longer.
It's a fit 1011 is a nice simple raincoat and if you make it a lot shorter, place straight pockets on it and choose a metal two-way zipper, you will also come close to a wax jacket. The model requires some adjustments but is fine as a basis.
Burda 6360 (Model A) is more of a parka-like jacket because of the drawstring at the waist. But if you omit this, it also seems like a nice basis for a wax coat. The pockets in particular are well placed and sleeves, which consist of two parts, will fit nicely and allow plenty of freedom of movement.
Try to buy a real waxed cotton / canvas. However, it is difficult to obtain and sometimes too thick and stiff to sew. At Böttger we found a beautiful black waxed canvas.
You can also buy canvas, make the coat and apply the wax coat-layer later on, by waxing the jacket completely by hand, or hanging it up, outside and spraying it. Do this in the open air, and preferably two thin layers than one thick layer. You can buy wax everywhere, sometimes even at shoe stores, Bol.com or in outdoor stores.
A third option is to buy a fabric that is truly waterproof. Such as a good nylon or polyester fabric. However, we do not recommend this. The charm of a wax coat (and the comfort) is really that it is a wax coat and not a waterproof raincoat. You stay warm and you don't get wet with sweat, which is often the case with waterproof jackets, even though they claim to be 'breathable'.
If you are sewing a wax coat for the in-between seasons (spring and fall) then a 100% cotton lining is recommended. If you really want to go for the English style, choose a lining with a tartan design. This is available from Böttger fabrics. If you are going to make a wax coat for the winter, choose a 100% wool lining. At Böttger we found a beautiful woolen fabric, see above, middle photo. These are fabrics that you can fall in love with because of the quality, the timeless design and also the high wearing comfort.
Tip: buy a 35 cm. extra so you can make a scarf out of it. Super chic!
Waxcoats are normally close to the colors of nature: green, army green, moss green, dark brown, light brown, beige and liver-colored. But wax coats are also beautiful in dark blue (navy), black or even bright red. Traditionally, the lining is best in tartan designs. These are often sober in color but can also pop in red tones, bright blue and yellow stripes. We found the following canvas fabrics at Budget fabrics:
What else do you need to think about?
A wax coat looks simple but often has many options. For instance: then there is an extra loop for a dog whistle. You can of course also use this to hang a shopping cart coin, or a mouth cap:>) Anyway, a wax coat is a coat that you can use without a bag because of the many pockets and hidden pockets.
Tips you can think of to perfect your wax coat:
Long wax coats have very long splits at the back and there are straps at the bottom of the jacket, which you can put around your legs. This is because riders are wearing the jacket and the spindle gives room to hang over the saddle. The straps are to ensure that the front panels remain over the rider's legs and do not slide to the side.
Short wax coats sometimes have two zippers in the back where there is a long space, lined with nylon that runs behind the coat, as it were. The purpose of this extra space was for hunters to put in shot prey and to keep your hands free.
The older the wax coat the better...!
Why would you make a wax coat yourself?
But why would you make a wax coat yourself, a reader recently asked. The reasons are very simple.
Firstly, (brand) wax coats are really very expensive. Buying all the materials yourself (fabric, lining, closures, zippers, and cuffs), however expensive, are still a fraction of the real price you pay for a good wax coat.
A second reason is that wax coats are often 'annoying' in terms of sizes. If you think you are buying a tight jacket with a size M, it turns out that you fit in it twice. But if you buy a size S, you can barely move in it. And then we are not talking about the brands of which it is better to buy an XL than a size M. In addition, the size also strongly depends on what you are going to wear underneath. Do you want a thick turtleneck sweater underneath or do you prefer a tight ski pullover? If you buy the wax coat online or second-hand on the marketplace, it remains a big gamble in terms of size. Making a wax coat yourself can save you a lot of frustration and you can fit, fit and (adjust) again in the meantime.
A third reason, wax coats are often very standard in color and shape. If you make a wax coat yourself, you can, so to speak, make a flower lining in it or choose a bright color for the outside. You can make the jacket unique and very personal.
Last but not least: why not? If you have the skills to sew a 'Chanel style' jacket, a wedding dress or a complicated Cosplay costume... a wax coat will be the next challenge!