The Legacy Behind the Waxed Trucker Jacket

From Scottish fisherman to Western soil, the rugged path that led to a menswear classic
November 28, 2018Words by Jon Gugala

Tough, timeless, and weather resistant, it’s no big surprise that the waxed trucker jacket is an American menswear staple—but how’d we get here? The legendary waxed trucker jacket owes its classic silhouette and weather-resistant fabric to Levi Strauss and Scottish fishermen. Allow us to explain. 

Flint and Tinder Waxed Trucker

The weather-resistant waxed canvas fabric of the American classic was actually born across the Atlantic in the 15th century, where wind-lashed Scottish sailors are rubbing fish oils onto flax sails to improve their hydrophobic characteristics. This primitive treatment would eventually evolve to linseed oil, and finally paraffin, each making the affected fibers more water-resistant. Waxed cotton—or waxed canvas—would later be adapted into water-resistant apparel, especially slickers and sailcloth jackets.

Scottish sailors were the first to wear waxed canvas jackets


In 1838, waxed canvas migrates to the U.S. with Irish immigrant James Martin, who settles in Philadelphia and builds his fabric company, Martin Corporation. Now an iconic American heritage brand, Martin Corporation’s flagship fabric—Martinex Original Wax—was first popularized by American loggers and is now considered the pinnacle of high-quality waxed canvas, used on jackets like the Flint and Tinder Waxed Trucker.

Around the time James Martin was building Martin Corporation, another American heritage brand was taking shape. A young Levi Strauss was migrating west to make his fortune. What he made instead was a dry-goods business—probably a good idea with the eventual bust of the ‘49ers. He also made the first workwear—blue jeans—and, later, the Type I denim trucker jackets. It’s from this iconic piece that the Waxed Trucker can trace the second half of its heritage.

Flint and Tinder Waxed Trucker

The waxed trucker jacket draws from the style of the staple denim trucker silhouette and the performance of sailcloth fabric—it’s an iconic combination, ready to establish a legacy of its own.

Flint and Tinder Waxed Trucker

Our favorite interpretation of the American classic? It almost goes without saying—the Flint and Tinder Waxed Trucker Jacket. Durable but soft out of the box, the 7-oz. Martexin sailcloth fabric offers both wind- and water-resistance and develops a custom patina as you wear it over time. Even better, the flannel or wool, lining makes it cozy enough to wear with just a t-shirt. The Flannel-lined Waxed Trucker Jacket uses a soft blanket lining, and the Wool-lined Waxed Trucker Jacket uses wool blanket cloth from the 183-year-old American textile company, Woolrich. For the price, you simply can’t beat the quality, construction, and versatility of this bad boy.

Flint and Tinder Waxed Trucker

>>Next: Huaraches Through the Decades

Trending Gear