Sylkoil Vs. Thornproof (In-Depth Comparison)

Waxed cotton helps in fabric production with its unique style and appearance. Even with this peculiar cotton, different manufacturers like Sylkoil and Thornproof exist.

If you’re here, it certainly means you’re curious about the difference between Sylkoil and thornproof.

This article explains everything you need to know about both finishes, i.e., Sylkoil and thornproof. Therefore, Sylkoil vs. Thornproof, let’s check out the comparison.

Sylkoil and thornproof are both waxed cotton. However, one significant difference is how they finish the cotton before the wax application. Wax is applied to Sylkoil cotton straight from the loom while still a little fluffy. However, thornproof cotton is first treated in heated rollers for smoothness before the wax is applied.

What Is the Difference Between Sylkoil and Thornproof?

Sylkoil Vs. Thornproof

Sylkoil is a traditional finish to cotton material straight from the loom while the cotton is still fluffy. And after the application of the Xfinish, the cotton is then dyed and waxed.

Sylkoil is also known as unshorn cotton. The reason is that any cotton material with a Sylkoil finish is lusterless.

While thornproof is also a finish applied to a cotton material after the cotton material has first been smoothened.

They will first treat the cotton by running it through rollers at high temperatures and pressures, called calendered finishing.

Due to the production process of thornproof cotton, the materials appear lustered and smooth.

So, Sylkoil and thornproof are finishes, and Barbour outerwear commonly uses them. Still, there are some notable differences between them. 

Check out the table below to learn more about the differences between thornproof and Sylkoil.

Thornproof cotton is highly waterproof Sylkoil cotton is also weatherproof, but they are more wind-resistant.
Thornproof cotton materials are glossierSylkoil cotton has a matte finish, and this makes them less shiny
Thornproof cotton is durable but requires optimum maintenance and careSylkoil cotton requires less maintenance 
The cotton materials are available in eye-catching stylesAvailable in variations of color.
Thornproof cotton has a pleasant odor.Sylkoil cotton is odorless.
The cotton materials have thicker wax which makes them tougherThe cotton materials are softer and drier to feel

What Material Is Thornproof Made from?

Unlike typical tweeds woven from a single yarn, thornproof tweed is produced from 2-fold twisted yarn. 

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Therefore, thornproof are made of quality materials, making them durable and waterproof. Thornproof materials are primarily in salt and pepper coloring style, i.e., in grey.

Their colors are gotten by waxing their dyed wool before they wave them into yarns. You may be curious about what tweed is. 

Tweed is a traditional clothing material that’s usually woolen, rough, flexible, and drier to feel, and it’s primarily used to manufacture moisture-resistant outfits.

Tweeds can withstand harsh weather conditions, primarily common in England, Scotland, and Ireland. As a result, these countries use tweeds to produce most of their informal outfits. 

Tweeds are available in different types, and they go as follows:

  • Silk tweed
  • Harris tweed
  • Saxony tweed
  • Donegal tweed.

#1. Silk Tweed

Silk tweed, as the name implies, is the kind of tweed made from raw silk. Silk tweed is said to be the most stylish compared to other types of tweed.

Meanwhile, silk tweed has the standard color of woolen tweed, which is grey.

#2. Haris Tweed

Haris tweed is a fabric made from pure virgin wool dyed and woven in the Outer Hebrides.

Haris tweed is said to be handwoven by the Islanders at their homes in the outer Hebrides about Haris Tweed Act 1993.

#3. Saxony Tweed

Saxony tweed is a clothing material made from the wool of merino sheep. Due to the nature of merino sheep, Saxony tweed is incredibly smooth and soft.

#4. Donegal Tweed

Donegal tweed is a type of clothing material made from locally-bred sheep, and it’s said to be handwoven by the people of Ireland.

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The dye used in Donegal tweed is made from indigenous plants such as moss, gorse, blackberries, etc.

What Are the Features of Sylkoil?

Sylkoil cotton materials have some fantastic features, and they include:

  • Sylkoil cotton has a matte finish, i.e., a rough surface, which makes them less shiny.
  • Also, Sylkoil materials are highly silky, soft, and drier to the touch. 
  • Furthermore, Sylkoil materials are slightly warm and resistant to wind.
  • In addition, Sylkoil finish makes cotton materials available in several colors and styles.
  • Sylkoil materials don’t have many finishes compared to non-Sylkoil materials; therefore, they require less maintenance and care.
  • And lastly, Sylkoil cotton materials are odorless.

Meanwhile, Sylkoil and thornproof cotton materials, such as Barbour jackets, require good maintenance and care. 

You need to know that you can only wash them with the machine if you want the wax finishes on their surfaces to wear off over time and if you’re going to maintain their durability.

To know the best way of washing your thornproof and Sylkoil cotton materials, check one of the pockets of your jacket; it contains the jacket’s laundry instructions.

Barbour recommends that you wash your jackets with a sponge and cold water.

Regardless, Barbour recommends re-applicating wax on both cotton materials, i.e., Sylkoil and thornproof, at least once a year. 

You can do the re-application yourself; this is made easier with the thornproof wax container that Barbour offers their customers. You can use the thornproof wax on both cotton finishes.

Moreover, Barbour provides maintenance service, that is, wax re-application for their customer’s jackets every year. Hence, you can send your jackets to their company for wax re-application.

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Is Sylkoil More Comfortable than Thornproof?

This question Is one of the frequently asked questions of harbor outerwear users. But, of course, your comfortability should come first whenever you’re choosing what you wear.

The truth is, the answer to this question depends on your preference. If you are the type that prefers traditional clothing to other kinds of clothing, then we recommend thornproof.

Thornproof clothes are more traditional looking; they’re thicker and, most times, heavier than Sylkoil clothing. 

It’s essential to note thornproof clothing materials require optimum maintenance and care. 

Barbour always recommends that you should be reproofing thornproof materials at least once a year to preserve its weatherproofing feature.

Meanwhile, if you’re the type that prefers colored, soft, breathable, warm clothes that require less maintenance, then you should opt for Sylkoil materials.

Also, Sylkoil clothing tends to show stains compared to thornproof wax cotton. 

Therefore, if you’re the type that feels uncomfortable seeing stains on your clothes, then stay away from Sylkoil jackets; thornproof is the best option.

Hence, if you choose between Sylkoil and thornproof materials, for instance, jackets, ensure that you choose the one that suits your taste the most.

You may want to know more about Barbour to be convinced if you can trust the company’s products. 

Barbour is a fantastic, reputable, and luxurious brand. The company is well-known for producing quality and durable products, especially its jackets.

Barbour makes stylish, breathable, warm, comfortable, and long-lasting jackets that you can wear anywhere.

These reasons and more are why their customers patronize them every time. So ensure you follow all the instructions with their product to enjoy using them for a long time.


Sylkoil and thornproof are both waxes. However, some essential things differentiate them, such as their texture, physical appearance, etc. 

Sylkoil gives clothing materials a matte finish, making them less shiny compared to thornproof materials, which are incredibly shiny. 

This article explains everything you need to know about Sylkoil and thornproof.

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