Waterproofing cotton

I'm looking for an alternative to my usual hat for cycling: an Akubra is a great thing for keeping the weather off you whiile riding, but it is a bit bulky when not on the bike, and it can get a bit warm. My usual hat when I don't want to stand out too much is a castro-style cap, but of course that isn't very rainproof.

This means rides are frequently delayed while yours truly frets about headgear.

So I'm wondering; what is the difference between my cheapo caps and the "Waxed cotton caps" sold for large sums of money by high-end outfitters? Are they essentially cotton with wax rubbed in, or is there some extra mysterious process the like of which we know not?

Put another way, would it be worth smearing waterproofing wax into a normal cap?
 
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Yes, just buy some wax, either in a block or a spray and use it. I've just waxed my jacket which is just cotton. It did come lightly waxed but I needed some more on it.
 
You can get unbranded cheap waxed cotton hats , (and coats) from farmers shops and (rural) market stalls. Having once had an expensive proper Barbour coat and been hugely disappointed in it, this is one case where you do not get what you pay for and I reckon the cheapies are going to be just as good (or no worse anyway)
 

MichaelW2

Veteran
Nikwax do a water soluble wax treatment for cotton. I use their standard TX on polyester cotton mix and it repels water for a while but the surface beading effect wears off.
 

Cycleops

Guru
Location
Accra, Ghana
Put another way, would it be worth smearing waterproofing wax into a normal cap?
I'm sure that would work. You can use Barbour proofing, it needs heating prior to application.
 

I like Skol

Hold my beer and watch this....
I have a tin of THIS and have used it to rewax older waxed items with great success. The best results are achieved by melting the wax before applying and then reheating the wax with a hairdryer to make it soak into the material.
I have a waxed cap and do use this for occasional wet weather riding but it is completely non-breathable so gets sweaty very quickly. Only really useable for short, low intensity rides.
I think this is the cap - https://www.cherrytreecountryclothing.com/darley-wax-baseball-cap-brown
Be warned, waxed clothing is not breathable.
 

andrew_s

Guru
Location
Gloucester
I use a Barbour sou'wester for cycling in proper rain. Keeps the rain off well, including ingress via the jacket collar, and you can look around properly, which a hood doesn't usually allow.
They've apparently stopped making them now, but Drizabone, Stetson and https://www.farmersmarket.is/ sell similar (doubtless others too)

I've got some Grangers wax cotton dressing for top up if the seams show signs of leaking, but that's no longer available either. I must be getting old.
 
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I have a waxed cap and do use this for occasional wet weather riding but it is completely non-breathable so gets sweaty very quickly. Only really useable for short, low intensity rides.
"Low intensity" describes my riding style perfectly, so I should be okay. Thanks for the tips.

I use a Barbour sou'wester for cycling in proper rain. Keeps the rain off well, including ingress via the jacket collar, and you can look around properly, which a hood doesn't usually allow.
This is the advantage of an Akubra as well, but I'd like to have something less conspicuous, and also I don't want to trash it too quickly.
 
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