Lately we've been receiving questions lately about the Outback Trading Co.'s classic Oilskin outerwear. See our oilskin collection at www.outbacktrading.com
So here's some great trivia information: What is Oilskin?
Oilskin is an impregnated cotton fabric. The cotton is very tightly woven and then immersed in a special oil bath. The hats and coats are sewn with a special non-wicking thread that is a polyester core wrapped with a cotton outer shell which absorbs the oil.
Why does Oilskin work so well? We asked Wilson King from Outback who told us:
True to the old adage "they get along like oil and water", the reason oilskin works is the oil coating will not let the water pass through the fabric. This is why oilskin works, and is the "Natural Waterproof Fabric". Cotton, as a natural fabric, does have a slight nap to it. Sometimes with heavy rains or long term exposure to rain and mist, the surface of the fabric will "wet out". Wetting out is not an indication of leaking or failure of the protection. This phenomenon also occurs with seam sealed, waterproof, breathable fabrics as they age. The wearer should not be getting wet.
After some years the oil will dissipate. Then, it is time to reproof with Ducks Back reproofing cream. It is especially important to reseal the seams of both hats and coats.