Barbour Sylkoil Vs. Waxed Cotton (In-Depth Comparison)

How you like your cotton tells a lot about your fashion sense. Are you among those that prefer your cotton waxed and shiny?

This article brings all the information about the waxed cotton jacket of your choice.

The Barbour sylkoil is a waxed cotton jacket with a drier feel and more flexibility in touch. When it comes to touch, the waxed cotton feels stiffer. The waxed cotton is cotton impregnated with paraffin wax and looks shinier.

What is Barbour Sylkoil

Barbour Sylkoil Vs. Waxed Cotton

The Barbour sylkoil is a waxed cotton classic jacket made from cotton. The cotton is treated with paraffin or natural beeswax.

This cotton, after its treatment, is woven and then made into cloth. One of its popular forms is a classic Barbour jacket.

The Barbour sylkoil has a matte appearance because it lacks luster when looked upon. 

An essential aim of waxing cotton is to make it unbreathable. That is, it becomes water resistant.

When cotton is waxed, it assumes a dull color. For waxed cotton to shine, the cotton has to be treated with an acidic solution in the process of mercerizing cotton.

Another way of making the traditional waxed cotton shine is by adding ammonia to the cotton fabric. The Barbour cotton jacket is made from waxed cotton that is not treated.

The Barbour sylkoil classic jacket is wax-treated cotton that is waterproof. The waterproof jackets are also known as water resistant and non-breathable jackets.

The Barbour jacket is made for extremely cold temperatures. They also come in handy in wet regions because they are waterproof jackets.

The sylkoil used to make the Barbour jacket is an older method of waxing that does not apply shine to the jacket.

The Barbour sylkoil is softer to touch and comfortable as it continues to age.

You can see the character of the weave on the classic Barbour jacket, and the waxing does not mask the threads. They allow the jackets to maintain their originality.

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What is Barbour Waxed Cotton?

Barbour waxed cotton jacket is made from waxed cotton. This cotton goes through a different process when compared to the sylkoil jackets.

The waxed cotton is treated with paraffin wax, and the treated fabric is further processed

This process involves passing the fabric through heated rollers. The heated rollers give the fabric a crispy look.

The shine of the traditional waxed cotton is done by treating the fabric with an acidic solution.

Waxed cotton classic jackets are more resilient because of these processes. You can consider the waxed cotton jacket as a thornproof jacket.

The waxed cotton goes through this process that further seals the weaved cotton. A Barbour waxed jacket appears shinny and more formal.

Barbour Sylkoil Vs. Waxed Cotton Price

The Barbour sylkoil wax would cost about 400 dollars to purchase. There are three types of Barbour sylkoil to choose from.

Whether you choose the Barbour Bedale, Barbour Beaufort, or the Barbour Ashby, they are always worth the penny paid. 

Depending on your location and the size of the jacket, the cost of a sylkoil jacket ranges between 400 dollars and 500 dollars.

That may not be all you will pay for the jacket. You may also be charged another 50 dollars separately to pay for the hood.

A tin of wax costs about 30 dollars: all these expenses add up significantly to the price of the Barbour sylkoil jacket. After purchase, you may need to re-wax the jacket once a year. 

When you do not re-wax it as when due, you will notice some overt changes due to wear and tear.

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It would be best if you continue the wax the jacket to maintain that soft touch and matted appearance. 

The waxed cotton jacket cost relatively cheaper than the sylkoil jacket. The wax jacket costs about 235 dollars in retail.

The price difference is due to the handling process of the jacket during production. The cotton wax jacket is durable and may not require re-waxing. 

This maintenance requirement significantly reduces the amount required to maintain the jacket efficiently.

Although the hood costs the same, it is generally cheaper to buy and maintain the cotton wax jacket than the Barbour sylkoil jacket.

Quality Comparison Between Barbour Sylkoil VS Waxed Cotton

There is much to compare between the Barbour sylkoil jacket and the waxed cotton jacket.

Both jackets are made by pre-treating the cotton fabric with paraffin wax. This process is responsible for the waxy look both jackets have. 

A major difference is recorded in the further treatment with other elements. In the case of the Barbour Jackets, the treatment stops there.

On the other hand, the waxed cotton jacket is treated with caustic solution and ammonia. 

This further treatment accounts for most of the quality differences when comparing both jackets.

This table below puts the comparison of the Barbour sylkoil and the waxed cotton jackets side by side:

QualityBarbour Sylkoil JacketWaxed Cotton Jacket
ColorMostly dark colorsMany colors
AppearanceDull, lacklusterShiny
DurabilityProne to wear Long-lasting
Water penetranceWaterproofWaterproof
CostMore expensiveLess expensive
WeightHeavier, about 6ozLighter, about 4oz

Pros and Cons of Barbour Sylkoil VS Waxed Cotton

The difference between the Barbour sylkoil and the waxed cotton is based on the production process.

The Barbour sylkoil dates back to 1800, while the process used to manufacture waxed cotton is only modern

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The Barbour sylkoil maintains its place as a strictly traditional wear for strenuous outdoor activities such as those found in the older days.

These activities include working in the marines and the mines. The waxed cotton jackets bring a more modern fashionable approach to this jacket.

The cotton waxed jackets are firmer, shiny, and appear in various colors. They seem to have the ability to be more durable since you do not have to re-wax them often. 

The waterproof resistance in the waxed cotton is replaced with a more wind-resistant sylkoil jacket.

The cotton waxed jacket assumes a firm grip because of the thick wax layer covering the surface.

If you want a glossy and more appealing jacket, it would be better to go for the cotton-waxed jacket.

The manufacturing process takes extra care to bring the shine out of the jacket.

In the case of the sylkoil Barbour waxed jacket, you can see the cotton threads they weave through the fabric. 

Barbour waxed jackets highlight the traditional craftsmanship of the Barbour tradition.

In this regard, it shows stains more readily and makes cleaning difficult. Yet, they are less stiff and provide more comfort when worn. 

Regardless of your choice, it would be best if you were extremely careful with how you clean the jacket.

Both jackets have their waxes wearing thin over time. These waxes, though You can replace them, still need stringent care. 

Both machine wash and dry wash are not allowed for both jackets. These washing techniques wear off the cotton on the surface of your jacket.

When stained, you should use a soft cloth to swab out the stain on the jacket.


Waxed cotton jackets come in two major types, the Barbour sylkoil jacket and the classic waxed jacket.

The difference between these jackets majors on the production process involved in their production.

The Barbour sylkoil jacket is soft, more comfortable, and provides warmth, while the cotton waxed jacket is more wind resistant and durable.

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