It is an oil forum afterall. The Northern Hemishpere calls them waxed cotton, both are right, it's wax mixed with oil. When I wore leathers I'd dress them with leather dressing every year, oilskins need maintenance too. My motorcycle jacket is an Australian copy of the Belstaff, made by Burke & Wills, and like the Belstaff a quality piece of kit, I love it. I used Outbacks brand Duck Back, I don't like the smell. Not because I don't like the smell of oil skins, it just doesn't smell like the NZ oil skin I grew up with, although the Burke & Wills did. Mum would send me off to school on a wet day in an oil skin rain coat and so'wester, a bullock hide school bag...and no shoes.
Do it in a warm room, or outside on a hot day they say...probably not this hot ! I was burning my fingers on the hot fabric, sweat in my eyes, and the wax was dissapearing soon as I applied it, it was hard to get a full coverage, but made sure the jacket got a good dressing, it's important if you want it fully waterproof. Warm when you can spead the wax evenly would be better...next time.
Next I did my Outback over trousers - seams leak most, so important to do the seat, thighs and knees, the lower leg is not so important on a motorcycle...especially an Airhead. Although if I don't dome up the ankles tight in the rain, the rain whips up under the cylinders and the bottom of my pants get wet...something I only remember as I head into some rain.
I also have an Outback sleeveless vest. I found this in a back room at work when I came back a couple of years ago, it was mouldy and no one would admit to owning it. I wiped the mould off - and it was brand new, never been used ! Mine. A size too large, but good as a top cover for outside use, and over the jacket on the bike for extra warmth in the cold, and extra protection in the rain too. Not a good job on this one, it doesn't really need it...I'll redo it on a warm
I also have an Outback hat - I always wear a hat, and the wide brim Kodiack I wear everytime I go outside, summer or winter. I have a wide brim felt hat too, but it's too hot in summer. The Outback was nearly black when I got it, but has faded to light brown. I had run out of Duck Back, so used some leather balsam I've had for years, and they say it can used on oil skin...so I gave it a go. It really stinks, it's rancid, and much thicker than the Duck Back. It soaked in on the dome and brim, still sticky on the sides..we'll see how it goes. But man, this thing smells bad. Ha, I just noticed - photo bombed by Smokey Joe.