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DIY: How to Wax Canvas Fabric

DIY: How to Wax Canvas Fabric

Centuries ago, sailors noticed their sails caught better wind when wet - but wet sails are heavy sails. So, these gritty, seafaring men figured out how to wax the fabric, which allowed it to receive water on the surface, but not soak in.

Fast forward several hundred years, and we still wax canvas fabric. It’s not a complicated process, and with the right DIY supplies, you can easily learn how to wax the fabric of your own canvas bag. Here are some DIY basics:

DIY Supplies:

- Lint roller

- Hair dryer

- Wax (something like this canvas wax)

- Canvas fabric

1. Prep

The wax will cover whatever is on the fabric, so be sure the canvas is clean and dry. Use a lint roller to remove any strings or dust that may be clinging to the canvas fabric. Then, heat up the surface of the canvas with a blow dryer - this will help the wax spread more smoothly.

2. Apply

Rub the wax on the canvas fabric like a bar of soap. Use broad, even strokes. The pressure and friction will warm up the wax, making it easier to spread and transfer to the fabric. Use the corners and edges of the bar to get into crevices or up close to rivets and leather. Use your fingers to work the wax into the canvas. Then, use the blow dryer to slowly and evenly reheat the fabric. Using your hands, work the wax into the canvas again, helping it to penetrate the fabric.

3. Dry

After completing the DIY waxing process, hang up your bag in a warm, dry area. Allow the canvas fabric to dry and cure for 24-48 hours.

Learning how to wax canvas fabric yourself isn’t complicated. And beyond the practical benefits of repelling water and dirt, a waxed canvas bag has that gritty, weathered look - a quiet nod to those seafaring men.


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