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Barbour Stinks

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Stylish Dinosaur
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These coats are designed for a specific purpose. They are rather utilitarian and made for outdoor wear in the country. When it's raining (lightly) and you have chores around the estate ... or you want to walk the beagles ... nothing beats a Barbour. And if you shoot skeet (I do) or hunt, they are ideal.

I leave mine in the country. New York and London call for different attire. Of course we live in a world where much is used in ways that differ from those originally intended. And Barbour has expanded to such a degree it now bills itself as a "lifestyle brand". But, if you don't care for the aroma of linseed oil, buy something else.
 
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Thin White Duke

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These coats are designed for a specific purpose. They are rather utilitarian and made for outdoor wear in the country. When it's raining (lightly) and you have chores around the estate ... or you want to walk the beagles ... nothing beats a Barbour. And if you shoot skeet (I do) or hunt, they are ideal.

I leave mine in the country. New York and London call for different attire. Of course we live in a world where much is used in ways that differ from those originally intended. And Barbour has expanded to such a degree it now bills itself as a "lifestyle brand". But, if you don't care for the aroma of linseed oil, buy something else.
I’m in Buffalo NY and yesterday visited O’Connell’s in which there is a long rack of brand new Barbour coats and nary a hint of stench. Someone is doing something right or wrong!
 

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Stylish Dinosaur
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I don't recall using the word "stench". I have worn Barbour for more than 60 years ... and I ALWAYS smell the linseed oil in a Barbour that has been waxed (or rewaxed). It's an aroma I associate with being in the country. My coats usually last more than a few years and I have wax professionally reapplied on occasion. That said, Barbour changed the formula a few years ago. When I was last in their New York store -- maybe a year ago -- I noticed this and asked about it. The newest ones ARE different. Personally I prefer the old ones.

I do find it interesting that you are looking at garments you described as gruesome only yesterday. And when someone described them as looking and smelling like "shit" ... you responded that this description is "brief, succinct, accurate". Now you say there isn't a hint of smell. What has changed?
 
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mrjamescost

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I was searching this thread for the way to get the musty smell from a vintage Barbour jacket. Apparently the solution is to spray vodka on the lining. I made a concoction of white vinegar, bicarbonate soda and water and sprayed it liberally onto the lining and conservatively on the shell of the jacket. I left it on the washing line on a windy English afternoon. By the time I returned from work, it was virtually dry. I then sprayed the whole thing in a similar fashion with vodka. We’ll see how everything is after 24 hours and a good hard brush.
 

leadbelly2550

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I recently got a hold of a second-hand Barbour. It's a Beaufort, to be exact. Anyway, it stinks.

Barbours are supposed to last forever so I wasn't concerned about getting a used one. I should have been.

This jacket doesn't just smell funny. It really reeks. It smells like an old canvas tent. Worse, you can smell this thing across the room. You could probably smell it across the street but I don't dare take it out in public in its current condition.

I've had other waxed jackets and none of them smelled like this. In fact, I have a long one that I use for riding in the rain. It is covered with all sorts of interesting material and even it doesn't smell this bad.

I tried leaving it out in the sun but it doesn't seem to have helped. If it were a normal jacket, I'd just have it dry cleaned/throw it in the wash. But as it's waxed, I can't do that. I'm hesitant to start spraying it with random household cleaning products as I don't want to wreck it.

Any suggestions?
Yes. clean it the same way you would clean a backpack. hang it on a hanger outside (in decent weather, obviously); buy, borrow or rent a power-washer; then be careful to adjust the nozzle almost as fine as you can, because depending on how 'powerful' your power washer might be, it could damage the fabric; and power wash your jacket, then let it hang in the sun to dry. you will probably want to re-proof the jacket after that. I haven't used a power-washer on waxed cotton, but I have used it to get pine sap, road grit, mold and mildew out of many outdoor products like backpacks, tents, tent flies, duffel bags.

setting aside the snotty attitude in some of the replies you received about purchasing used items, it's a mixed bag. I purchased an old, long-discontinued Patagonia pile jacket that, it turns out, must have lived in a smoker's house for years. It took me 4 runs through the laundry, alternately adding colorfast bleach and borax, to eliminate the odor and enjoy the jacket.

best of luck.
 

Spaghettimatt

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I own a smelly old Barbour. The smell has never gone away despite doing the vodka trick, sending it to NE Reproofers, etc. I suspect I might need to have NE remove and clean the lining.

It smells kind of like crayons or an overheated hairdryer. I don’t really care and wear it to work and on the subway anyways because I like it. Fuck it.

It should be noted that this is only a problem affecting older Barbours. The newer ones do not smell musty in the same way. My understanding is that Barbour changed the composition of their wax at some point and that eliminated the musty smell. This is unfortunate because the older Barbours are superior to the new ones (heavier cotton and stiffer wax make for a better patina).
 

Spaghettimatt

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My old, waxed cotton Barbour has a years of patina from caked Cheeto dust
Never pegged you for a Cheeto eater, Derek. But I like it.

I realize that kind of sentiment (older version is better) is usually elitist bullshit. But I’ve got two Bedales in the same size and color(ish)—one from the early 2000s and the other from 2010—and there is a noticeable difference in weight and wear from aging. That said, the older one is much clammier.
 

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
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Never pegged you for a Cheeto eater, Derek. But I like it.

I realize that kind of sentiment (older version is better) is usually elitist bullshit. But I’ve got two Bedales in the same size and color(ish)—one from the early 2000s and the other from 2010—and there is a noticeable difference in weight and wear from aging. That said, the older one is much clammier.
Not at all! I didn't know they changed their formula, but the old version does sound cool.
 

Spaghettimatt

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Not at all! I didn't know they changed their formula, but the old version does sound cool.
See: https://www.barbour.com/us/cms/page/view/page_id/94

I think 2005 also coincides with Barbour introducing the Sylkoil v Thornproof distinction and generally “modernizing” its line. Anyways, this is the only thing that I can think of to account for why the new ones—whether Sylkoil olive or Thornproof sage—don’t stink. Has to be that cupro-ammonia.
 

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
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See: https://www.barbour.com/us/cms/page/view/page_id/94

I think 2005 also coincides with Barbour introducing the Sylkoil v Thornproof distinction and generally “modernizing” its line. Anyways, this is the only thing that I can think of to account for why the new ones—whether Sylkoil olive or Thornproof sage—don’t stink. Has to be that cupro-ammonia.
A member here has developed a technique for testing fabrics

 

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