Garmology video: Buying a vintage Barbour

In this Garmology video, I talk about buying a vintage Barbour, specifically a Border or Northumbria. Most of the features and differences are covered, as well as how to clean and rewax the waxed cotton.

Read more about rewaxing a waxed jacket here.

If you’d like to have your waxed jacket waxed or repaired, I recommend Ryan at Mallin & Son (you can also hear Ryan on Garmology episode 25 of season 1).




  • Mitchell 19/02/2021 at 17:45

    My favourite Barbour also. Interestingly, I currently have one labelled as a Northumbria which has the heavier outer fabric but the non-wool lining. Works well with heavy sweaters here on rainy southern Vancouver Island. The inner game pockets nicely fit a bottle of scotch…

  • Mr Twill 17/03/2021 at 20:16

    Nick, thanks so much for this video, and all your other work which I’ve enjoyed. This one finally pushed me over the line to buy my first ever vintage garment, a ‘93 Northumbria in great condition.

    The man made liner is awful, I think you were being generous in your description of it as a product of its time. To be honest, I never wear Barbour liners because they don’t cover the arms, would rather wear a fleece underneath.

    You’re also spot on with your sizing comments, go one under unless you’re packing a big belly. I’m slim and bought my true size which hangs off me. I was also surprised how long mine wears compare to yours, not far off the knee. I wonder if the Northumbria design ever had its length adjusted?

    I also note that it seems to flare out at the bottom in the same way that a lot of country and hunting jackets do, rather than being straight all the way down. I have a Musto Gore tex shooting jacket and the silhouette is very similar.

    I agree on the quality and construction, it’s a big solid thing and the lining is much better than on my current non vintage Beaufort.

    And the smell? Well it’s bearable and I’ll get used to it!

    • nick 18/03/2021 at 08:54

      I’m pleased you found it of some value! I won’t disagree on how awful the acrylic liner is, though they appear surprisingly popular. That synthetic crackle of static electricity seals the deal for me and I’ll admit I can’t recall ever wearing the liner outside (this is a more general issue, when the ratio of jackets to wear vs actual opportunities to wear is to great, so not only a case of crummy liners!). I’ve no idea if the length of these jackets ever changed, though it could well be the case.


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