A wax coat or wax jacket is a heavy duty rain coat made from waxed cotton. The garments can be extremely long lasting if well cared for. Owing to this durability, the jackets may pick up wear and tear damage over time so when buying second it is important to ascertain whether a wax coat is simply well worn or ruined beyond repair.
A tear in a wax coat will leave a visible mark, even when stitched up. The blemish will not necessarily affect the waterproofing of a jacket however. Clean tears can be sewn up and waxed over, if material is missing due to a tear, however, then an additional patch may be required.
Stains are permanent as detergent cannot be used on a wax jacket without compromising waterproofing.
Damage to the lining or hood of a wax coat need not be lasting as both these elements of the coat can be replaced.
Dry patches on a wax jacket indicate a lack of maintenance. The drying is usually isolated to areas that receive a lot of surface contact, such as sleeves. This can easily be remedied with reapplication of wax once purchased. However, extensive areas of drying may indicate serious misuse and the the garment may have been irreversibly stripped of proofing wax and oil.
General dirtiness is not a problem and can be cleaned off with a damp cloth, before rewaxing the jacket.
Some manufacturers, such as Barbour, offer a repairs service, however, to be eligible for this service garments bought second hand will need to be purchased with original registration document included.