Eco-Innovation: Waxed Cotton - Riley Studio

Eco-Innovation: Waxed Cotton

by Riley Studio |

Did you know that the concept of waxed cotton was originally developed in the early 15th century by sailors? Scottish North Sea fleets began treating flax sailcloth with fish oils and grease in an attempt to waterproof their sails, keeping them light and efficient. Remnants of these sails were used by the sailors as capes to withstand high winds and sea spray, keeping them warm and dry. Genius!


When we are sourcing fabrics and yarns, we always have durability, longevity and functionality in mind. Waxed cotton has proven it can stand the test of time and so it was the perfect fabric for us to use for our limited edition Modular Anoraks. Another benefit is that it is a breathable fabric, the wax adjusts to ambient temperature to be softer/more breathable in warm weather and stiffer/more wind proof in cold conditions.


We sourced our waxed cotton from an incredible factory called Halley Stevensons, based in Dundee Scotland. They have been innovating textiles since 1864, and got their first patent for waterproofing fabrics in 1910, so we knew we were using the best! All of their cotton is certified by the Better Cotton Initiative, and they source loom state cotton from mills in India and Pakistan and then the cotton yarn used in these mills is from America. Once the fabric is at Halley Stevensons, they prep it and dye it in their in-house lab. When the fabric has been dyed, it is finished with a water repellent coating.

Once you invest in a waxed cotton garment, you can keep it soft, supple and weather-resistant by applying wax to the surface yourself. 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 to be handed down generations.


Available in Marine or Slate, shop our Modular Anoraks here.