Cycling and walking

Monday, October 31

Barbour jacket - repairing and re-waxing.


This is undoubtedly my most expensive item of clothing! I treated myself to it in 2011 and it cost £211. I love it for its style and utilitarian practicality (lots of pockets!) and the fact that's it's cotton and therefore breathable. I think it's the sort of thing that you can wear anywhere at all and you won't look out of place (not that I care much about looking out of place!!!). I can stuff it in my rucksack or bike panniers and it doesn't take up too much space and is very lightweight. It's Barbour's Amelia Flyweight although I can only find it on an American website now so it looks as if they don't do this one any more.

I've worn it and worn it but only re-waxed it once before. I decided it was time for another re-waxing (actually it was well overdue) after a very wet walk last month reduced it to this state -







The back is the worst.




When I looked it over properly I found that it also needed mending. It had a rip on the back, probably either caused by a thorn or more likely barbed wire (I do tend to crawl through barbed wire fences at times...) -




and this hole and tear on one sleeve -




and this tear on the cuff of the other sleeve. These small tears are actually just where the fabric has worn out on the crease -





For some reason unknown even to me, I decided that mending the holes and rips by stitching would be too tricky - lots of unpicking of seams involved - and so I sent off for some Stormsure glue, which I came across on this YouTube video, intending to copy the methods of mending shown there, but when the glue came I had another look at the jacket and thought - "there really isn't much unpicking involved. And I'd always rather sew than glue if possible." So, unpicker in hand, I set to work. (I'm sure the glue will come in handy for other things though).

I should add that prior to any of this I had wiped the jacket all over with a sponge and cold water (Barbour's instructions) to clean it, and also tried to get some of the creases down the front out, by ironing, using a cloth under the iron. It didn't work - I think the creases are just too old.

Creasing down the front facing

Now we have a picture of the canvas from Husband's boyhood tent. Eh? Why? Because - during our clearout prior to moving I found this ancient tent in our outhouse (been there 32 years...). I said to him - can I cut this up? In typical man fashion he rather reluctantly agreed (what else was he going to do with it????) so before he could change his mind I chopped it up and washed the bits at 60 degrees, thinking that if it was going to fall apart a good hot wash would make it do so, but it didn't, and I now have the pieces in my much-reduced-before-moving fabric stash. Anyway, this was what I used tiny pieces of behind the holes and rips in the jacket. It was just the right weight and I knew that the colour wouldn't show after stitching.




This is the rip on the back, with lining unpicked and piece of tent canvas in place -



I used strips of Steam-A-Seam to hold the patch in place. 



 The rip after mending -



I did the other mends in the same way, unpicking the lining, patching on the wrong side and then stitching on the right side. The thread by the way wasn't a perfect match, but I reckoned that by the time I'd rewaxed the jacket this wouldn't show.

Mend in cuff  -



Mend on sleeve - 



After restitching the lining, I did the re-waxing, which actually took me an hour and forty minutes......They say do it in a warm room - well the room wasn't warm and to be honest I think it would have to be JOLLY warm in order for the melted wax not to solidify pretty soon after applying it, which it did. They also say use either a cloth or a sponge; I used bits of old cloth but can see why using a sponge would be the better option, as I can see tiny bits of fluff from the old white cloth on the jacket. I think the wax might work into the fabric better with a sponge too. However, I'm pleased with the overall results, as shown below.

Mend on back

Sleeve

Cuff

After re-waxing I went over the jacket with a heat gun (we haven't got the recommended hair dryer) which evens out the wax, and then left it overnight. However in the morning I could see that there were still tiny lumps of excess wax on it, particularly at the seams, so I went over it again with the heat gun and wiped off the excess. Result!


The finished article - 





Remember the "before" picture of the back? A lot better now!




This WAS a lot of work, but well worth doing.  Here's an interesting article on Barbour's repair shop oop north.  I'd love to go there! Wonder if they do Open Days....

Lizzie










4 comments:

  1. Barbours original factory was in my home town and i remember that all the motorcycle lads started to wear them. This was back in the 60's before they were so popular. You have dona a really good job. Well done.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Lizzie, I have a waxed riding coat that was quite mucky from being hung up in the garage where my other half does lots of dust producing bike restoring. The dust stuck the coat big time, sponging wouldn't have shifted it so I chucked it in the washer before rewaxing it. I put the wax (not in the tin) in the microwave on the lowest setting to melt it a bit, then used a shoe brush to work it into the fabric. Then finished off with the hairdryer. The coat came up really well. You have done a good job with yours especially the darning. Sharon x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just goes to show - Barbour tells you not to wash their waxed coats, but I'd do the same as you did if I thought it was the only way to refurbish it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

      Delete

I shall read all comments. I appreciate you taking the time to leave them. I'll do my best to reply if you ask a question, so do pop back and check. If I don't, please feel free to email me.