What is Oilskin, And Why.
While new technical fabrics are being made all the time to contend with harsh weather conditions, oilskin cloth still holds a place as the original – and perhaps most versatile. It also happens to be one of our favorites.
Oilskin or Oilcloth fabric was first made in the 15th century when Scottish fishermen/sailors discovered that their canvas sails caught the wind more efficiently when impregnated with linseed oil. When the sail came to the end of its life, the fishermen would recycle it into weather-resistant garments to wear while at sea.
Eventually, the practice became more widespread and the proofing perfected. Today, the best oilskin is still made in the UK – which is where our range is produced.
Our organic cotton oilskin is the most traditional of all our oilskin, often referred to as oilcloth or waxed cotton.
All our oilskin is made from GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) cotton from Turkey that is spun in Pakistan. The cloth is densely woven and processed to make it thirsty for the coating, and then submerged into a bath of petroleum-based wax. The oilskin is made water resistant from the coating itself, naturally repelling water.
Over time and use, the fabric develops a history of its own. It marks easily – crackling and creasing to give the cloth a more casual look, completely unique to how you wear it in. Over time the cloth will polish, and unlike waxed canvas, oilskin it light in weight. Making your bag a light weight before you fill it up.
Being able to work with Nina one on one, to customize my bag, made it all the more special. I have a bag that will travel with me for years.