Balmacaan in cotton stay-wax in copper

Prices exclude VAT, shipping is free, and orders leave the workshop within three working days.


£410.00 — ex VAT

Walking coat, made in London, with weatherproof cotton that's of middling weight (9oz) from a mill in Scotland, and with dark horn buttons from the West Midlands.


This version of the balmacaan fits larger than the marked size, so if you are between sizes — even slightly — then it is, for sure, best to go up.

To fit chest 36 38 40 42 44
Pit-to-pit 21 22 23 24 25
Back length 38½ 38¾ 39 39¼ 39½
Sleeve from centre-back 34½       35       35½       36       36½      


This is best washed by hand in lukewarm water, or dry-cleaned. If a washing machine must be used, a cold wash and no tumble-drying is the best option. Before washing, though, the cloth may be rejuvenated with steam: hold it over a kettle and the patina of the wax-like finish will fade away, restoring the appearance of the cotton back to normal.

Behold cotton stay-wax, which is mid-weight cotton heat-treated with a blend of emulsified waxes. It behaves just like waxed cloth in wet weather, but is bone-dry to touch. Also like waxed cloth, it quickly acquires a parchment-like patina — "chalk marks", as some folks call them — from every fold and crease.
A classic walking coat, this: long and single-breasted, and with a two-piece raglan sleeve that allows a great range of movement in the upper body. Very helpful when it comes to layering, too. "Balmacaan" is the traditional name for this style of coat — from the Balmacaan forest in Scotland.
The coat has a collar of significant size, cut to sit straight when down, and really hug the neck when up. On one side there is a little tab. This buttons across, one side to the other, and keeps the collar standing when the going gets breezy. It can be buttoned back, too, or let to hang loose and lopsided.
The coat has a front of five horn buttons — dark in colour and matte in finish. Because each is a thing of nature, they are all unique — differing in shade and markings. The coat has a fly-front, with the buttons hidden away when fastened, and so less likely to snag on brambles and other outdoor perils.
The pockets are set at just the right height for the comfortable plunging of hands, and they're covered by flaps which shield wrists from the wind and rain. Simple enough, you might assume, but they have a secret, these pockets: they serve as a channel which leads to and emerges from the inside of the coat.
Outerwear history says this originates in army coats from a century or more ago — making it easy to access the shirt or jacket or trouser worn underneath the coat. It is both a great party trick and an easy way to access your personal effects with your weaker hand if your lead hand is clutching a coffee.
At the base of the sleeve, pointing towards the back, is a squat and squidged arrow-shaped strap.
At the back lurks a deep inverted pleat, extending almost halfway up the length of the coat. It is constructed in the old-fashioned and faintly over-complicated manner of mid-century British walking coats, and means there's more coat to the coat when the wearer lurches forwards or sideways.
One more pocket: this time on the inside, on the left-side as worn, and set a little lower than normal to make things easier on the elbows. It is a chest pocket of standard wallet- or mobile-size.
The coat has a lining halfway down the back of more of the same weatherproof cotton. In this way, when also taking into account the facing on the inside-front of the coat, you have a double-layer of cloth on the most weather-exposed parts of the exterior. Elsewhere, seams are neatly bound with cotton.

As worn

The gent here is 6'1", 11 stone, and slightly north of 38 in the chest. The balmacaan he's happily wearing here, then, is a size S.

Makers of

The coat is made in north-east London. It is a very specialised skill, assembling coats from heavy cloth, and every reasonable step — and the odd unreasonable step — is taken to ensure things are built to last, from the cutting of the pattern to the work on the machine, but without the results being stiff or bulky.
The cotton comes from Scotland, from a mill on the coast, where the making of heavy, waxed, and otherwise element-proof materials emerged in hand, centuries ago, with local seafaring trades. Industry-strength cottons finished in industry-leading ways is very much the order of the day here.
The horn buttons were cut, shaped, and polished by the last such factory in Britain (now defunct). It was part of a tradition in the Midlands first linked to the meat industry of the 18th century. "It is no easy task," said William Hutton in 1780, "to enumerate the infinite diversity of buttons made in Birmingham."

So they say

Thoroughly astounded to have received the balmacaan in less than a day! Size XL is perfect on me, I’m very glad about it. The garment is on a whole other level. Thick and rough as I like, yet light and fluid in motion. It is so beautifully made, from the cloth, an absolute marvel of no-fuss weaving, to the cut that melds classical timelessness with functional modernism to stunning effect. Undeniably the sturdy and stylish paragon of a balmacaan I was after.

So said a man in France about his balmacaan in tweed from Donegal over Christmas 2021.

Let me tell you — the balmacaan is a work of art. From the texture and colour to the drape of the whole piece, it is so thoughtfully put together that every wear is a pleasure!

A happy customer in Germany, who purchased the balmacaan in heavy barleycorn Donegal tweed in October 2020.

The coat is wonderful. I have in my time worn [list of established British coat-makers] and, in their prime, [another very notable British coat-maker] and none hold a candle to this. It is lightweight, has a great hand and texture, its fit is perfect for me, and so is its cut. Thank you very much. It also arrived beautifully boxed and intact.

So commented a gent in the States about the balmacaan in the Flyweight quality of Ventile in May 2017.

The balmacaan arrived yesterday, intact, beautifully wrapped and boxed. It is beautiful and fits perfectly. Over a suit with cell phone, stethoscope, and assorted EDC gear on board, it is comfortable and not baggy. And the fabric is amazing. A soft hand and drape but seems as if it will wear forever. Love the Donegal slubs, too. I often wear a popped collar — a throwback to my preppy days — and the collar here really pops. I couldn't be more pleased. Thank you again for you great service and superior craftsmanship.

The words of a man who purchased a tweed version of the balmacaan in September 2017.

I have gotten the urge to advance further into the world of well-dressed people, and I was one of the lucky people who got their hands on the sturdy balmacaan in Ventile Canvas.

This is what a gentleman who acquired the balmacaan in (sturdy indeed) Ventile Canvas had to say in February 2016.

The balmacaan has arrived. It is beautiful.

Succinct words from a man who bought the coat in January 2016.

I have received the tweed balmacaan and it is even more beautiful than I remembered. Thank you very much again.

This man had been waiting for a tweed balmacaan for nearly two years, and finally got his hands on one in September 2017.

I'm very pleased — it's beautifully made and detailed.

More succinct words, by a chap who bought the bal in March 2016.

I thought I'd let you know that I'm really pleased with my balmacaan. I've already given it a couple wears despite the weather being a bit chilly, and I love it. The fit and cut is wonderful — modern and classic at the same time, great silhouette and a perfect collar. And the fabric is great, looks and feels lovely, and the way it creases, especially up and down the arms, is amazing. I imagine it ageing very well. A proper rain coat. I'm eagerly anticipating a rainy spring.

Kind words by a man who purchased the balmacaan in canopy cotton in March 2018.