Waxed cotton innovation

Spring/Summer '23

Halley Stevensons journal

Our latest collaborations

We collaborate with designers and businesses across the world to bring unique and sustainable waterproofed textiles to market. As specialists in waxed cotton, the team at Halley Stevensons pride ourselves on our ability to work closely with clients to help them bring their designs to reality, giving them a premium material that will stand the test of time.

Explore our collaborations archive to see examples of waxed cotton and waterproofed textiles in use.

LifeCycle Hannah Howell textiles graduate final collection waxed cotton cycle garment

Waxed cotton fabric

A wide range of waxed cotton finishes

Waxed cotton fabric by type

Waxed cotton fabric by availability

Global leaders in waxed cotton

About Halley Stevensons

Halley Stevensons are the world’s leading manufacturers and innovators in waxed and weatherproofed fabrics. All our dyeing and finishing is ‘under one roof’ based at Baltic Works in Dundee, UK.

Based in Dundee, our team of skilled technicians are constantly striving to develop and refine new and existing products. Our processes are incredibly flexible, allowing us the ability to craft huge international orders to minimum quantities of 30 metres in our customers own colours and finishes.

With a focus on innovation, we regularly design and build our own bespoke machinery to give us optimum manufacturing capabilities. This means our waxed cotton product range is full of possibilities in terms of colour, handle and performance.

Advanced textiles machinery for waxed cotton by Halley Stevensons
Halley Stevensons are innovators in waxed cotton

Patents and innovation

Where science meets art

Sustainable innovation is the life blood of our business past and present. While fashions change throughout the years, Halley Stevensons waxed cotton fabric continues to stand the test of time. Our commitment to innovation allows us to develop unique and groundbreaking waterproofed textiles for some of the worlds most prestigious fashion houses.

Quality is paramount and we embrace the inherent challenges to continue producing the best waxed fabrics in today’s industry. We believe that sustainable innovation must underpin our work to ensure the materials we produce not only stand out aesthetically, but are also technically superior and responsibly produced.

Halley Stevensons since 1864

The origins of waxed cotton​

The concept of waxed cotton was originally developed in the early 15th century by sailors. Scottish North Sea herring fleets operating from east coast ports began treating flax sailcloth with fish oils and grease in an attempt to water proof their sails, keeping them light and efficient. Remnants of these sails were used as capes to withstand the high winds and sea spray, keeping the sailors warm and dry. These capes were the forerunner to the fisherman’s slicker.

With care and a commitment to innovation, sailcloth evolved and by the mid 1850’s, was made from lighter weight double fold cotton yarns, treated with linseed oil. Early Royal Navy sailing ships and tea clippers were amongst the first to use these light weight cotton sails, famously “The Discovery“, that still sits in Dundee’s port today. Since 1864, Halley Stevensons have continued this tradition by using by-products from other industries to create innovative new waxed cotton textiles. 

Halley Stevensons continue our tradition as manufacturers and innovators in waxed cotton.

Why waxed cotton?

Built to last

The beauty of waxed cotton is its durability and longevity — it is built to last. The densely woven cotton is strong and reliable and unlike many alternatives, can be maintained by the end user.


Responsibly sourced cotton and low impact manufacturing make our waxed cotton a sustainable choice. Garments can be proofed to keep up performance and protection levels, ensuring they last for many years.

Adaptive by nature

The fabrics are naturally breathable. The wax adjusts to ambient temperature, becoming softer/more breathable in warm weather and stiffer/more wind proof in cold conditions.

Unique character

Our various finishes ensure that garments look better with age. The wax naturally picks up marks and creases through use, which adds to the character of the fabric itself.