Warren asks: I bought a Barbour jacket on ebay a while back, and unfortunately it’s got a musty smell. I’ve been hanging it in my garage for most of the spring, and put it outside on sunny days in an attempt to let the sun clear the smell out… but the musty smell remains. Any ideas on how I could get rid of it? I’d like to avoid having the scent transfer to my other clothes…
There’s a reason that an English farmer keeps his Barbour in the foyer by the back door and not in his coat closet. Barbour jackets are musty.
Partly this odor is due to the proofing itself – the wax sealed into the jacket that keeps it waterproof. Partly this is due to the fact that the jackets can’t be washed without ruining said proofing.
It’s not usually an overwhelming odor, and for a lot of folks it just reminds them of the great outdoors. For others, it’s a dealbreaker.
There is one way to dramatically reduce the smell, if you so chose. You can have the jacket cleaned and re-proofed. In the United States, the primary company that does this work is New England Reproofers. They’ll strip the jacket, clean it, then re-proof it. The cleaning costs $30, and the reproofing costs $45. They’ll also repair your coat for you if it needs it.
Just remember: even sparkling clean, Barbour jackets have a smell.