Oilskin Care Instructions

Wearing Swanndri Oilskin gear is a durable, breathable and comfortable way to stay dry. It’s made to look after you when you’re 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. Here’s how.

General care & storage

  • It all starts when you’re choosing 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 porch is better than a musty closet. Damp, enclosed spaces and plastic coverings encourage mould.
  • Don’t stich through or cut the outside of the fabric – talk to us first!
  • And most importantly, clean lightly and re-proof regularly.

Cleaning

Your Swanndri Oilskin is made to deal with a bit of dirt. That said, keeping it clean is an important part of caring for its protective coating. It’s not a chuck-it-in-the-washing-machine-after-every-wear kind of deal. It’s more hands-on.

  • First things first: washing machines, drycleaners, irons, starches, detergents and hot water are not your friends. They remove the oil and wax 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 gets very dirty, hand wash the whole thing in cold water then give it a good chance to dry.
  • If your oilskin somehow ends up looking like it’s been submerged in mud, hand wash in cold water but add a dash of Oilskin Detergent. (Note that it will need to be re-proofed after this as the detergent removes your garment’s protective coating).
  • Always rinse well after washing and hang up to dry in a well-ventilated area – no dryers, radiators or fires. Just good old fresh air.

Removing mould

Your Swanndri Oilskin is made to deal with a bit of dirt. That said, keeping it clean is an important part of caring for its protective coating. It’s not a chuck-it-in-the-washing-machine-after-every-wear kind of deal. It’s more hands-on.

  • Start by brushing off as much of the mould as possible. Sponge isopropyl alcohol onto any persistent patches.
  • Quickly hand wash in warm water (not hot!) with a dash of Oilskin Detergent.
  • Rinse thoroughly and hang out to dry. Give it time – and keep it out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources.
  • Re-proof as per instructions.

Re-proofing

Over time, the protective coating on an oilskin naturally wears and dries out. Regular re-proofing will not only help keep you dry, it’ll make your oilskin last longer. Like polishing your favourite pair of leather boots, we reckon there’s a simple pleasure to be found in this ritual of looking after things that have looked after you. Here’s how it’s done.

  • Brush or sponge off any excess dirt from your Swanndri Oilskin.
  • Rub re-proofing product into your garment with a lint free clean cotton cloth or a soft brush if it’s very dry.
  • Pay particular attention to seams and areas the experience the most wear.
  • NB: for Swanndri Oilskin products, we recommend using British Millerain Waxed Cotton Dressing, available here.
  • After re-proofing, hang out in the sun on a hot day or use a hairdryer on a low setting to dry the new wax, then leave to cool.
  • Repeat monthly if you’re wearing your oilskin often, or every six months if it’s not getting much use.