How to care for your Oilskin

How to care for your Oilskin

Wearing Outback oilskin garments is a durable, breathable and comfortable way to stay dry.  It's made to look after you when your out in the elements.  But so it can keep doing that for a long time, it's important that you look after it a little too!

General care & storage

When you choose your oilskin, make sure it's the right size, as over-stretched seams can let water in and compromise the quality of your garment.

Always store in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area.  A carport or porch is better than a musty closet.  Damp, enclosed spaces and plastic coverings encourage mould.  

Most importantly, clean lightly and re-proof regularly.

How do I clean my oilskin product?

Your oilskin is made to "work" in and get dirty!  However, keeping it clean is an important part of keeping it "working".  It's not to be chucked in the machine after every wear - it's more hands-on.

  • 1) Washing machines, drycleaners, irons, starches, detergents and hot water are a no-no when it comes to Oilskin.  They remove the oils and waxes which are a vital part of your garment's waterproofing protection.
  • If your oilskin gets a bit dirty, simply brush it off or sponge it with cold water
  • If your oilskin is really dirty, soak it in a tub of cold water, or hang outside and hose down!  
  • Allow it to dry naturally - good air circulation, not in direct sunlight or close to a heat source.

How do I reproof my oilskin product?

Periodic application of Duck Back Reproofing cream to the seams, friction points, and any dry areas will prolong the life and waterproof nature of your coat.
1) start with a clean, dry coat and a warm (hot) day
2) place coat in the sunshine for several minutes to allow it to heat up so it feels warm and supple to the touch. Do not leave unattended for an extended period as with many fabrics, extended exposure to sunlight will sun-bleach the fabric.
3) warm up the Duck Back dressing by putting the jar in the sun or in a pan of hot water
4) apply dressing sparingly to the coat using a clean cloth — a little extra to the seams and friction points
5) the sun will spread the dressing evenly and quickly through the coat fabric
6) a hand-held hair drier can be used to work the dressing into the cloth if you are reproofing when it is not hot and sunny

What do I do if it becomes stiff?

Clean and dry according to instructions and then apply a treatment of Duck Back Reproofer (see the previous question for instructions). This will make the coat more supple.

How do I store my oilskin product?

Clean and dry your coat according to instructions. Be sure it is completely dry before storing away for the season by hanging it in an area with unrestricted air circulation.

How do I remove mildew?

Your coat may develop mildew if it is stored wet without being thoroughly dried or in a high humidity environment.

  • It is best to work outside if possible; however, this can be done in a tub indoors if the weather outside will not permit
  • Start by brushing off as much of the mould as possible.
  • Make a solution of 1/3 white vinegar + 2/3 water
  • Apply this solution with a spray bottle while sponging the garment — you can also put the solution in a bucket and use your sponge to apply the solution from the bucket.
  • Be sure to sponge all oilskin areas that you can reach — both sides of the fabric when possible
  • Hang the coat up, hose or rinse off, and allow to dry thoroughly.  Give it time - and keep it out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources.
  • Re-proof as per instructions.
  • *extreme cases may require a 2nd application of the vinegar solution - or - soaking in the solution for several hours after scrubbing.

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