Have you ever bought something made from waxed canvas? Maybe you wanted to but you weren't sure how to take care of it. Well I am here to tell you everything you need to know about waxed canvas!
First, the benefits. Waxed canvas is durable as well as exceptionally beautiful. It is made by submerging the cotton canvas in hot wax so that the wax soaks into all the fibers. The waxed canvas that I use is hand waxed in Texas by A.L. Frances Textiles, and they use beeswax from Texas bees! After the canvas is dipped in the wax, it is allowed to cool. As the wax hardens it causes the canvas to become slightly stiff and virtually waterproof! The wax repels moisture and dirt, and the stiffer quality of it gives bags a nice structure.
Image courtesy of A.L. Frances Textiles on Etsy
1. The beauty of waxed canvas comes from the wrinkles and creases. As a bag is sewn, it is usually made inside out and then turned right side out at the very end. Flipping the bag right side out causes it to wrinkle, and the wrinkles or creases show up slightly lighter as the actual wax in the canvas is creased. I think these wrinkles add so much character and beauty to a bag! Waxed canvas can also get spots if it is rained on. The wax isn't damaged, but the water droplets cause it to appear slightly lighter, giving it a dappled look. If wrinkles or spots are not your thing, all you have to do is heat up the waxed canvas to get it to smooth completely out again. You can use a hair dryer on low heat, or simply leave it in a hot car for an afternoon. (Ask me how I figured out the second way, haha!)
Check out those glorious creases!
2. Waxed canvas hardly ever needs to be washed! Since it is naturally dirt-resistant, you shouldn't have to clean it too much, but it canNOT be washed in a washing machine. The detergent will strip the wax from the canvas. So if you need to wipe something off, just use a damp cloth. Then you can use the hair dryer trick to smooth out the wax leaving no sign of the dirt!
3. Waxed canvas can be re-waxed at home! Waxed canvas can eventually become less waxy. It will take at least a couple years of continuous use for this to occur, but the wax may eventually start to wear off. There are several inexpensive wax bars that you can use to re-wax your canvas! I use this one from Hobby Lobby. All you need to do is gently heat the wax bar (again a hairdryer works great) and rub it into your fabric. The wax from the bar replenishes the coating on the canvas, making your bag just as good as new!
Only a few bucks for this beeswax bar!
So tell me, do you own anything made from waxed canvas? Have you ever thought about buying a waxed canvas bag or backpack? If so, what's stopping you? Waxed canvas is a beautiful and long-lasting alternative to leather, at a fraction of the price! I love all my waxed canvas bags, and I intend to make many more.