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What is Waxed Canvas?

BY Buffalo Jackson Insight canvas care
BY Amanda Uher

Waxed canvas is one of the oldest materials in the world, and is still popular today. Centuries ago, sailors noticed their sails caught better wind when wet; but wet sails are heavy sails, so they figured out they could cure the fabric. This allowed the fabric to receive water on the surface, but not soak in.  

Back then, sailors cured their sails by rubbing linseed oil onto the canvas. The water-repelling fabric grew in popularity to also include waterproof clothing for the sailors. Fast forward to today, and waxed canvas is used to make bags, backpacks, tents, outdoor gear, and so much more.  

Waxing canvas makes a great DIY project, and professionally-made waxed canvas products can offer high-quality formulations that increase the durability and timelessness of the fabric. Additionally, waxed canvas from a manufacturer is not typically made by rubbing oil or wax onto the canvas, but rather the canvas is produced with the wax or oil embedded into the canvas fibers.  

So, what is waxed canvas? A durable, practical, and unique material that has endured—and passed—the test of time.


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