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Waterproof motorcycle clothing

motorcycle clothing
ER Classics Desktop 2022

Motorcycle clothing is something that has evolved more over the past fifty years than mankind from its Neanderthal era. Until the fifties, a long leather jacket - and then 'leather' was still 'leather' and oversized leather mittens were still top of the bill. 

Because leather was not waterproof - 'leather' is now '- people later invented the linen or canvas motorcycle jacket which were made waterproof with wax. The so-called 'vetcoats' or as our southern neighbors call them 'vetfraks'. In the XNUMXs-XNUMXs, Belstaff or Barbour was a name you could be proud of. 


Waterproofing motorcycle clothing every year was a ritual. Many people used a mixture of petroleum jelly and petroleum. The petroleum was used to dissolve the wax or Vaseline. The result was that the wearer of a jacket that had been treated in this way was exhaling solid petroleum vapor in the spring sun. Our black motorcycle jackets are derived from the pilot jackets from WWII.

Waterproof motorcycle clothing

Classic motorcycle clothing is now perfectly waterproof to get with the stuff that you can find in outdoor sports stores and motorcycle stores. Waterproof sprays and sealants work well on nylon, canvas and leather. But a few things must be taken into account.

  1. Make your fabric waterproof (preferably in the open air or otherwise in a well-ventilated area) on a dry, windless day. You work with sealants in spray form, which can be sensitive to moisture. That spray can be quite aggressive. So watch out for your skin and eyes.
  2. Make sure the fabric of your motorcycle gear is dry. You work with sealants that repel water. If your fabric is slightly damp or wet, the sprays and sealants will not adhere to it
  3. Clean the fabric of your motorcycle clothing if it is dirty. If the fabric cannot be washed and it is only slightly dusty or slightly soiled, you can clean it with a vacuum cleaner or brush. If the fabric is very dirty, use a special means to clean fabrics.
  4. Buy a waterproof spray and a sealant for the seams of your motorcycle clothing. You can also find that stuff at stores with things for outdoor sports or camping gear. If you expect a sunny summer, consider buying a spray that also protects against UV rays. This prevents your dust from fading.
  5. Keep the spray can about 15 to 20 centimeters away from the surface of the motorcycle clothing and spray the substance in a thin, even layer on the fabric. Lightly overlap each line.
  6. Wait until the spray on the motorcycle clothing has dried and then apply a second layer. Let the spray dry completely. Most waterproof sprays dry in about four hours, but it's best to read the instructions on the spray can.

Also interesting: Protective motorcycle clothing, a column

The seams and the alternatives

Use a sealant on all seams of the motorcycle clothing. Sealants for seams are usually for sale in a small bottle with an applicator. Roll the sealant over the seams while squeezing the bottle gently. This makes the seams extra durable and prevents water from entering.

And then there is the traditional approach with detergent and onion or the approach with turpentine and soybean oil. You saturate the fabric of the motorcycle clothing in the latter case with oil diluted with turpentine. Oil generally causes substances to darken one or two shades. You can also buy a block of beeswax and rub your garment with it. Impregnating the material with linseed oil is also completely vintage. And, oh yes: You can use lard to make leather shoes waterproof, but you have to reapply this every time you wear the shoes in the rain or snow. Rub it in well. And don't be surprised if your dog or cat suddenly starts to love your motorcycle boots.

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