Waxed Jackets Vs. Gortex: Which is Best for Winter?

Waxed Jackets Vs. Gortex: Which is Best for Winter?

When it comes to winter outerwear, two contenders have long been in the ring: waxed jackets and gore-tex. Each has its own loyal following, and both have their unique strengths and qualities. But which one is truly the best option for braving the cold, wet, and unpredictable winter weather? 

In this blog, we'll delve into the world of waxed jackets, exploring their seafaring roots and rural traditions, the intricate waxing process that sets them apart, and their adaptability as a seasonal wardrobe staple.

Waxed Jackets: From Seafaring Roots to Rural Tradition

Waxed jackets have a rich history that dates back to the 15th century, making them a true classic in the world of outerwear. Their origins lie in the need for protection against the elements for seafarers and outdoor labourers. These jackets were initially made using sailcloth, which was waxed to enhance its water-repellency and durability. This practical solution soon caught the attention of rural communities and evolved into an essential piece of countryside attire.

Over the centuries, waxed jackets became synonymous with rural traditions and pursuits like hunting, fishing, and farming. Many well-known and well-established leather brands have embraced these roots and turned waxed jackets into iconic fashion statements. Today, waxed jackets are not just practical clothing items but also fashion staples, embraced by both urban dwellers and country aficionados alike.

The Waxing Process: Unveiling the Techniques and Advantages of Waterproofing Fabric

The secret to the durability and water-resistant qualities of waxed jackets lies in the waxing process itself. This intricate technique involves applying a special wax coating to the fabric, typically made from a blend of natural waxes like beeswax and paraffin. The process consists of several stages:

Preparation: The fabric is cleaned and, if necessary, repaired to ensure it is free of dirt and damage.

Wax Application: The wax is melted and applied evenly to the fabric's surface, either by hand or through a machine. This step requires skill and precision to ensure uniform coverage.

Heat Treatment: To bond the wax to the fabric, the jacket is subjected to controlled heat. This process not only strengthens the fabric but also enhances its water-repellent properties.

Quality Control: Each jacket undergoes rigorous quality control checks to ensure the waxing process is executed flawlessly.

The advantages of this traditional waxing process are manifold. First and foremost, it provides excellent water resistance, keeping the wearer dry in rainy or snowy conditions. Additionally, the waxed finish lends the jacket a unique patina and character over time, creating a distinct, vintage aesthetic. This ageing process is highly prized by enthusiasts who appreciate the lived-in look of their waxed jackets.

Furthermore, the waxed surface is breathable, allowing moisture and perspiration to escape, preventing that uncomfortable clammy feeling often associated with synthetic materials. This breathability ensures that you stay comfortable while maintaining warmth, a crucial factor in winter wear.

Transitioning Your Wax Jacket from Autumn to Winter and Beyond

One of the most appealing aspects of waxed jackets for men and women is their adaptability throughout the seasons. While they shine in the wet and windy conditions of autumn and winter, they are not confined to just these months. Here's how you can transition your waxed jacket from season to season:

  1. Autumn: As the leaves change colour and the temperatures drop, your waxed jacket becomes your trusty companion. Layer it over a cosy sweater or flannel shirt for added warmth. Its water-resistant properties make it perfect for those unpredictable autumn showers.
  1. Winter: When winter arrives with its frosty mornings and snow-covered landscapes, your waxed jacket steps up to the plate. Pair it with a thermal liner for extra insulation and layering options. Its ability to repel moisture ensures you stay dry, and its breathability keeps you comfortable during outdoor activities.
  1. Spring: As the days lengthen and the air begins to warm your waxed jacket can still play a role. Remove the thermal liner and wear it as a versatile lightweight outer layer. Its timeless style ensures you look good while staying protected from spring showers.
  1. Summer: While summer might seem like an odd season for a waxed jacket, it's worth considering for cooler evenings or sudden rain showers. Its breathable nature means you won't overheat, and it's a stylish addition to any summer outfit.

In contrast, gore-tex, while a marvel of modern technology, might lack the timeless appeal and adaptability of waxed jackets. Gore-tex jackets are highly effective in waterproofing and windproofing, making them excellent choices for extreme weather conditions. However, they often lack the character and durability of waxed jackets, which can last for generations when properly cared for.

In the battle between waxed jackets and gore-tex for winter wear, the choice ultimately comes down to personal preference and needs. If you value tradition, style, and the ability to transition seamlessly through the seasons, a waxed jacket is a clear winner. However, if you require top-tier waterproofing and windproofing for extreme conditions, a gore-tex jacket might be the better choice.

Should You Choose a Waxed or Gore-Tex Jacket

In conclusion, the timeless appeal of waxed jackets, rooted in seafaring traditions and rural heritage, has earned them a special place in the world of winter fashion. Their intricate waxing process, water resistance, breathability, and adaptability make them a formidable contender against more modern options like gore-tex. 

Ultimately, the choice between waxed jackets and gore-tex depends on your personal style and the specific demands of your winter adventures. Regardless of your decision, one thing is certain: a well-maintained waxed jacket will not only protect you from the elements but also become a cherished companion on your journey through the seasons.

Shop Hidepark’s range of high-quality waxed jackets for women and men today and enjoy FREE UK delivery & returns.