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How to take care of your oilskin gear

How to take care of your oilskin gear

Emily Hughes |

Love your oilskin gear but not sure how to care for it? With spring showers upon us, now is the perfect time to make sure your gear is ready to keep you dry. Here is everything you need to know about taking good care of your oilskin and wax cotton gear!

How to clean your oilskin product:

Your oilskin can be cleaned using a dry brush to remove any dirt. If it needs to be washed, use water only and allow it to air-dry in a space with good air circulation and out of direct sunlight or close to a heat source. For large items like your duster, don't be afraid to hang it outside and hose it off to wash it down!

How to reproof your oilskin:

We recommend re-oiling your oilskin products (don't forget your hats!) once a year or as needed to maintain its waterproof qualities with our Duck Back Dressing. For your wax cotton gear like the Matilda Duster, we recommend using our Duck Back Spray to reproof. Please note for large jackets/dusters, anticipate using a full can/jar per item.

  1. Starting with a clean, dry coat on a warm/hot day, place your product in sunshine for several minutes allowing it to heat up so it feels warm and supple to the touch *don't leave unattended products, prolonged sunshine exposure will sun-bleach the fabric*
  2. Warm up your duck back dressing by placing it in the sun or a pan of hot water and apply sparingly to the product using a clean cloth (a little extra to seams and friction points)
  3. The sun will spread the dressing evenly and quickly through the coat fabric, or you can use a handheld hair dryer to work the dressing into the cloth if you are not reproofing on a hot day

Please note to follow those same instructions of cleaning and reproofing if your jacket is stiff, this will also make the coat more supple.

How to remove mildew:

Your coat may develop mildew if it's stored wet without being thoroughly dry or in a high humidity environment. It is best to work outside if possible; however, this can be done in a tub indoors if weather outside does not permit.

  1. Make a solution of 1/3 white vinegar and 2/3 water
  2. Apply this solution with a spray bottle while brushing the coat with a stiff brush, or you can put your solution in a bucket and use your brush to apply the solution
  3. Be sure to scrub all areas of oilskin that you can reach, including both sides of the fabric when possible
  4. Hang the coat up, hose off and allow to air dry thoroughly
  5. Follow the reproofing steps listed above after completely dry

*extreme cases may require a second application of the vinegar solution, or soaking in the solution for several hours after scrubbing*

How to store your oilskin gear:

Clean and dry your coat according to instructions, making sure it is completely dry before storing away for the season by hanging it in an area with unrestricted air circulation.

Check out the following video for a full tutorial on caring for your oilskin products, made by one of our very own ambassadors, Anika! You can follow her on Instagram at @dressageinthemountains

If you have any questions about caring for your gear, feel free to leave us a comment or reach out to our support team and we would be more than happy to help!


How do I remove mineral powder foundation off the collar of my oilskin jacket?


There is an oily residue on a new duster that I purchased. In the care instructions, they say that this is normal, and to avoid contact with other fabrics. Why?

Noah Porter ,

Any way to repair small tears?.. wear and tear. I’ve had the coat for years

Marc gold,

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