ENSIGN x WAXED COTTON

September 14, 2017

Waxed cotton has long been a traditional technical textile with its roots traced back as far as the 15th century. Early mariners realized their cotton sails were more effective when wet and denser than dry, and so would apply fish oils and grease to their sails.

Around the 1850’s the first waterproofed cotton appeared with linseed oil applied but with age, turned stiff and yellow, the sails would then need to be replaced and mariners would use the old yellowed fabric for waterproof coats known as slickers.


Established in 1880, it was British Millerain who were the first to commercially wax cotton in Britain and perfect its manufacturing recipe, and thus exported this specialist textile around the world. Since, waxed cotton has become a desirable textile in both industry and fashion due to its weather proof and functional qualities.