A Buyer’s Guide to Barbour Jackets

From composition and cleaning to sizing and styles, we’ve teamed up with the experts at The Hut for the ultimate buyer’s guide to Barbour. Since its birth 125 years ago, Barbour has continued to put Britain on the map for its outerwear offering, in particular its selection of signature wax jackets. Particularly proud of it’s northern heritage, Barbour’s first shop opened in 1894 in South Shields, North East England. From here the brand has evolved to become the go-to brand for a plethora of occasions, including farming, motorcycling and more recently festival goers. With recent collaborations with model and fashion designer Alexa Chung and illustrator Josh Parkin, the brand continues to push the brand to explore new audiences and contemporary styles. 


#1 Is Barbour International the same as Barbour?

No, Barbour International is a sub-brand of Barbour created in 1936 when Duncan Barbour, a keen motorcyclist, launched an all in one wax cotton suit called the Barbour International. Designed specifically for motorcyclists racing in the International Six Day Trials, the popularity of the Barbour International suit continued throughout the 1950s-70s where the all-in-one was worn by almost every rider in the trials. Fast forward to the modern-day and the Barbour International collection has stayed true to its motorcycling heritage with designs inspired by the biker look. Classic designs have been replicated in contemporary fabrics including the signature wax cotton to bring this authentic jacket into the modern-day.

#2 Are Barbour jackets waterproof?

Yes, Barbour jackets are made for life in the great outdoors, and designed to be weatherproof. Each Barbour, from wax to quilted have various finishes to align with the conditions for which the jacket has been designed (e.g. a Bedale and a quilted Barbour have been made with different conditions in mind) but each of them share the waterproof properties.

#3 Why do I need to re-wax my Barbour?

Barbour jackets are known for their durability, however with any garment over time the quality will diminish. In order to maintain the jackets waterproof and protective properties, it’s recommended to re-wax once a year to ensure the longevity of colour, waterproof qualities and overall finish. When Barbour jackets are finished in the South Shields factory, a distinctive premium Barbour made wax is used, this wax is key to the brands success and the composition of the wax is one of the brands best kept secrets.



A Buyer's Guide to The North Face

Sports & Outdoor

A Buyer's Guide to The North Face

The North Face is synonymous with exploration and has been ever since its creation in 1966. Read our buyer's guide for everything you need to know about the brand.

2020-02-28 15:27:58By Emma Bowkett

#4 How to re-wax my Barbour Jacket

#5 Barbour style guide

Barbour jackets come in a variety of styles and fits, so it’s important you’re in the know when it comes to purchasing your first jacket. Both men’s and women’s jackets come in slim, regular and relaxed fit, with each tailored to create a different silhouette.

Slim Fit

Slim fit Barbour jackets are designed to be flattering and figure hugging with more focus on creating a streamline silhouette. If you are wearing your Barbour for more of a style and fashion forward fit, this is the style for you.

Regular Fit

Regular fit Barbour jackets are designed to suit every shape and occasion. Whether you’re off on a country walk or nipping to the supermarket, this style is versatile enough to pair with wellies or trainers.

Relaxed Fit

Relaxed fit Barbour jackets are perfect for when you want to layer underneath. A more generous fit, the relaxed style Barbour embodies the classic style but allows for more movement.

#6 Where are Barbour jackets made?

Barbour has always manufactured its traditional waxed jackets from its homestead factory in South Shields, North East England. Until this day, a mostly female workforce of almost 200 workers handcraft over 3000 wax jackets every week.  Each jacket is subjected to over 36 individual processes by skilled craftsmen and women before going through a rigorous quality control system to make sure they are of the standard for which Barbour has made its name. It is no surprise that the brand holds three Royal Warrants, from the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales.


#7 Can quilted Barbour jackets be washed?

Yes, quilted Barbour jackets can be washed easily, as the fabric and materials used to make the jackets are machine washable and can also be dry cleaned. Each Barbour quilt jacket will have a care label sewn into the jacket, so always double check before cleaning for temperature and aftercare advice.

#8 Barbour jacket collaborations

With a heritage like Barbour’s, it’s no surprise that they’ve collaborated with a long list of designers, including Alexa Chung’s eponymous label, END clothing and now Emma Bridgewater. The collection consists of a mix of wax, quilts and waterproof jackets, alongside a selection of women’s knitwear, dresses, shirts and gilets. A natural pairing, both brands are proud of their British manufacturing values and combine functionality with style effortlessly.

#9 Where can I buy Barbour jackets online?



Written by Emma Bowkett

Emma Bowkett

Emma Bowkett

Writer and expert