Belstaff is a designer fashion label that has grown from a sportswear label manufacturing clothing aimed at motorcyclists, into a couture fashion house. Belstaff was the very first clothing manufacturer to use waxed cotton material, and the label is well known for its cutting-edge power dressing designs, made popular by celebrities. The materials used by Belstaff are top-of-the-range leathers and cotton, materials chosen largely for their ability to withstand the elements, since despite its fashion credentials, Belstaff is still popular with the biker set. The leather jackets in particular are used as protective clothing for use by motorcyclists. Because of the expense of the line and the unique quality of the fabrics, Belstaff clothing needs a certain amount of care and attention. If your clothing is given due care and attention, it will extend its lifespan in your wardrobe.
Keep the material away from liquids. Leather should be regularly treated with a leather protector, and leather materials should be kept away from water and the elements to preserve the fabric.
Apply a leather protector. If you have purchased the Belstaff item for use specifically as a motorcycling jacket, be prepared to reapply the leather protector on a regular basis to keep it waterproof. Once every six months is ideal. Leather protectors cost around £13 for a canister as of 2010, and one canister will last you between one and two years, depending on the size of the garment in question. To apply the protector, spray the entire surface of the garment with the protector, holding the nozzle around six inches away from the material. Leave it to dry overnight, and repeat.
Minimise the damage caused by water. If the garment does come into contact with a liquid, leave it to dry in a cool, dry place to avoid damage. If the leather is dried in a warm, humid environment, the leather is liable to crack as it dries.
Maintain the waxen surface layer. Waxed cotton is produced by weaving two layers of cotton into a canvas, which is then treated with a special type of wax. The result is a high-performance fabric that is built to withstand extreme weather. To care for waxed cotton, you will need to maintain the waxen barrier covering the cotton base. The wax payer needs to be a special type of fabric wax and should not be substituted for a basic paraffin wax. Clothing wax has no odour, and is designed to breathable and water and wind-resistant.
Wash your garment regularly. A wax cotton fabric is susceptible to damage in the same way that a car's paintwork is susceptible to damage; maintain the protective surface layer of wax, and any debris (dirt, rain, leaves etc.) that comes into contact with the surface will not penetrate the wax and cause damage. If your waxen surface layer is neglected, the debris will penetrate the neglected waxen layer and reach the fragile cotton underneath. Regularly washing your clothes ensures that any surface dirt does not scratch at the waxy layer and damage the surface. Wash your waxed cotton garment by wiping it down with a warm damp sponge once a month.
Store your wax-cotton garment carefully. Wax-cotton requires a cool, dry environment to maintain the waxy surface. If you store the garment in a hot or humid atmosphere, you risk destabilising the surface layer.
Things you need
- Waxed cotton care kit
- Leather protector spray (canister)