Box 1748 Conway, NH 03818
Phone: (603) 447-2344 Fax: (603) 447-8377

18th Century Oilskin Watchcoats

18th Century Oilskin Watchcoat

Finally, there is a truly authentic way to keep dry at events. No longer is it necessary to parade around under a modern styled poncho built from treated canvas. We are combining the use of oilskin material with a description from the mid 1750s.

William Smith took the time to write a letter to his commander, Henry Bouquet, describing the need for, and the construction of a “Watchcoat”. Basically, he took an 18th shirt and modified it by taking the cuffs off, opening the shirt collar and slitting the front open. From that point, the shirt was treated with oil, heat and time to make it waterproof. This all sounded like a great idea. We (and others) tried it with not much success.

WatchcoatSix years ago, we took a different approach. We researched and found “oilskin” cloth. This is the same cloth used in the Australian drover’s dusters and the famous British “thornproofs” prized by so many sportsmen. The cloth is a 6.25 oz., long staple cotton treated with an oil/wax finish. This material is extremely durable for it’s weight and very effective at keeping you dry. We use a dark brown color to blend and hide in the woods and build the coat as Mr. Smith described.

We offer the “coat” in two styles, Open Front for ease of entry and venting possibilities and Closed Front for more effective weather sealing. The sleeves are large enough to shove a musket butt up to the lock and protect it’s workings while allowing quick access. The bodies are cut large enough to go over everything and are available in three sizes. Watchcoats roll or fold up small enough to fit in your haversack and weighing only 1.6 pounds, there is no reason to leave it behind!

Sizing of watchcoats would be helpful at this point.                                                       Example:  A person who weighs 220 lbs and is 6′ tall would take a Large.  These are made oversized as to fit over all the layers of clothing and gear one might have.

We make an XXLarge now for $130.  In both styles of open or closed front.













OILSKIN FABRIC is available by the yard for your own projects.


6oz. fabric

60″ width


WatchcoatTO ORDER:  CALL 603-447-2344 OR EMAIL

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