WAXED COTTON - A glimpse behind the scenes.

I wanted to give you an insight into the rich history and background of the waxed cotton fabric I use for each and every waxed cotton coat or accessory here at KerrieALDO. 

I source the waxed cotton exclusively from Halley Stevenson's who have been manufacturing in Dundee since 1864.  They are the leading specialists in waxed cotton fabric and I am proud to continue this strong link to my hometown of Dundee. It’s been a delight to work with a skilled and experienced team of people who are passionate about not only the heritage of the company but also it’s progression in terms new techniques and finishes.

The idea of waxed cotton dates right back to the early 15th century. Scottish North Sea herring fleets operating from east coast ports began treating flax sailcloth with fish oils and grease in an attempt to waterproof their sails. The off cuts of these sails were used as capes to withstand the severe weather conditions this led to the development of the widely known fisherman’s jacket.

For anyone who doesn’t yet know a great deal about waxed cotton here it is described in the words of the specialists themselves…

 ‘The beauty of waxed cotton is its durability and longevity, it is built to last. The fabrics are breathable, the wax adjusting to ambient temperature to be softer/more breathable in warm weather and stiffer/more wind proof in cold conditions. Its proofing can be maintained by the end user, by applying wax into the surface, keeping it soft, supple and weather-resistant. The densely woven cotton is strong and reliable, while the finish ensures that the fabric looks better with age. The wax naturally picks up marks and creases through use, which adds to the character of the fabric itself. Garments continually adapt to the wearers personality, creating unique, one-of-a-kind products.’

I personally love to work with the waxed cotton; it’s strong, durable, practical and versatile.  I have been wearing the first waxed cotton coat that I made myself for 4 years now.  The idea has never been to design something that will be tucked away in the back of your cupboard and forgotten about within a few months.  I want to promote buying things that last, investment pieces.  A quality handmade product designed to last.  Halley Stevensons waxed cotton is just one of the materials that I work with which helps meet this goal.

Below are some of the behind the scenes shots I took whilst at the factory for the lookbook shoot last month.

Spending a full day at the factory has only furthered my knowledge of the fabric and connection to the cloth so thank you once again to Halley Stevensons for accommodating us for the day whilst maintaining a busy working factory.


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