1,799 forum posts
In 1993, when i first learned that i had passed the bar exam after law school, i treated myself to a Browning waxed cotton jacket. the kind of fabric you see from Barbour, Driza-Bone today; Browning appears to have abandoned this kind of jacket. it's windproof, waterproof, heavy, a pretty warm experience if you are walking fast or climbing, unless it is very cold and windy. it wouldn't be my first choice for hiking or backpacking, but i still wear it on rainy, windy days outside for doing something lower-output. on the plus side, and the non-hiking side, it's a great-looking jacket and a nice alternative to leather.
over the years, the fabric gradually lost its water-shedding capacity. over the past few weeks, i finally got around to re-treating the jacket. Barbour sells small tins of oily/waxy stuff you can apply to the jacket. a couple of reflections on what became a time-consuming experience.
first, the instructions that say 'apply in light coats' are very important and time-saving. i smeared too much on at various places in the jacket, and it left the surface feeling tacky, even after using a blow dryer at a hot setting to help the waxy/oily treatment sink into the cotton.
second, the blow dryer is crucial. extremely hard to get an even coat without it.
third, make sure you have plenty of cotton rags on hand to wipe off excess, spread the hot/melted stuff after using the dryer. you will want to throw those cotton rags away after doing this rather than putting them in a clothes washer.
fourth, be patient. in our spray-on, wash-in world, re-treating this kind of jacket is a time-consuming process that requires a fair bit of elbow grease to do it right.