Australian Drovers Coat

The oilskin drovers coat, worn by Australia’s most well-natured group, has been the subject of anecdotes and yarns since it graced our shores. There have been stories of providing protection against a venomous bite for the unsuspecting wearer. At a watering hole in Alice Springs, there was a bloke who swore he used his as a makeshift rope, to winch his ute out of a treacherous bog. These stories may seem outlandish, but regardless of the genuinity, shows the passion that these hard working men and women have for this certain piece of coated outerwear.

The Iconic Aussie Workwear and the Oilskin that makes it.

At Kakadu Traders Australia, we appreciate the ever-green classic workwear that built a nation. Our drovers coat has provided hard working Aussies unbeatable protection from the elements. As the coat remains ever popular, we look back on the jacket type, and the hardworking oilskin fabric that is beloved by many.

The story behind the drovers coat

A drovers coat is a type of heavy, knee-length coat that was traditionally worn by drovers or cattle herders. The coat is designed to provide protection from the elements and to withstand the rugged conditions of herding cattle over long distances.

Drover coats are typically made from heavy, durable materials such as oilskin, which provide excellent protection from rain, wind, and other forms of inclement weather. The coat often features a wide collar and a double-breasted front, which provides additional protection from the elements and helps to keep the wearer warm. Additionally, its large pockets prove useful for carrying tools and other items while they work. 

The beauty of Oilskin

Oilskin fabric has a long and rich history, dating back to the early days of seafaring and exploration. The earliest known oilskin fabric was developed by the ancient Greeks, who used a type of oil-coated canvas to create waterproof sails for their ships.

During the 1800s, oilskin fabric became popular among sailors, fishermen, and explorers, who needed a durable and waterproof material to protect them from the harsh weather conditions they encountered on their voyages. It was during this time that the modern oilskin fabric that we know today was developed.

The process of creating oilskin fabric involves treating a heavy cotton canvas with a mixture of linseed oil and wax. This process creates a water-resistant and windproof fabric that is highly durable and ideal for use in harsh weather conditions.

Oilskin fabric became widely used in the 19th century, particularly in maritime industries, where it was used to create waterproof clothing, sails, and tarpaulins. In the early 20th century, oilskin fabric began to be used for other outdoor clothing, such as jackets and hats, including that of the inland Australian cattle drover.

As an Australian owned company, we celebrate this iconic style, and continue to celebrate its heritage with Australian made coat and cropped jacket varieties. Whether it gets you out of the wild weather, a sticky situation, or even a wild animal encounter, this jacket has the blue collared backers that this brand is about.