Waxed cotton is a style of manufactured cotton textile that is produced by impregnating cotton thread with paraffin wax. The purpose of this is to create a waterproof textile that can be used in the construction of waterproof clothing and ship sails. For approximately 100 years between the mid 1800s and mid 1900s clothing made from waxed cotton was incredibly popular among sailors. In addition to sailors, waxed cotton was a popular clothing material among UK motorcyclists between the 1930s and 70s as well as a popular packaging material for goods destined for sea transport.
Today waxed cotton clothing and goods have been primarily replaced with synthetic alternatives that are more durable, fashionable (in the case of clothing) and easier to manufacture.