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Waxed cotton is engineered to weather the storms and protect your essentials from the elements. It is a performance fabric trusted by generations of explorers and outdoors people alike. It’s a material with heritage at its core, and one of the main reasons we chose it as a staple material in our waxed canvas backpacks, weekender bags and tote bags.
Like a high quality pair of leather boots, waxed canvas looks and feels better the more you use it. The surface of the waxed cotton will mark and crease where handled, unique to the way you use it. The wax can come off when scraped or scuffed. These markings are not faults of the bag, and are a normal, inherent characteristic of a wax finished product. In fact, some of us in the waxed canvas community strive for this appearance! These naturally forming markings are what’s referred to as a patina. It’s a sign of a well travelled individual!
The patina builds a unique character to your bag, one that tells stories of the adventures in your past. So just remember, when we say care and attention, we mean treating it right so it will last for many adventures and travels to come.
Before every single bag leaves our workshop, each one is inspected to ensure you receive a bag that gives you the confidence to travel on the journey yet unfound. Your bag will arrive, fully wax treated for a longer life and resistance to the great outdoors. But despite careful inspections and quality control, every now and again it will pay to give your bag a little care and attention.
HOW TO CLEAN WAXED CANVAS
With regular use, a mix of weather conditions, and dragging your bag through your daily travels, every now and again your carry companion might start to need a little freshen up. The great news is, it’s super simple to clean and then re-treat your waxed canvas bags.
Using a damp and soft, sponge or cloth, to remove dry dirt or mud and clean both the waxed canvas and the leather on your bag. If needed, clean the bag with a little plain water, at a cold or room temperature.
For stubborn stains, you can consider using a small amount of mild soap (not detergent). Once you’re done, always rinse away any soap you use, and allow the canvas to dry before any further treatment.
When cleaning anything, we recommend dabbing at first to avoid any marks. Start cleaning on a less noticeable area, like the underneath of the bag. Just take it easy and see how the bag reacts to what you are using. You should get a feel for it.
Do not use heavier or more aggressive soaps. These can break down the wax coating, and compromise the finish and water resistance of the bag. Similarly, do not use more aggressive cleaning options: machine wash, tumble, dry clean, use washing detergent or super hot water.
HOW TO RE-WAX WAXED COTTON CANVAS
Every now and again, you might need to re-wax your bag. As time goes on, you might see the wax coating on your bag start to thin, or notice spots where the waterproofing has broken down. You can restore your bag to its former glory by re-waxing it, giving it a new lease of life, helping to build on the durability and longevity of the waxed canvas & leather materials.
We generally recommend either of the below two options for re-waxing your waxed canvas. They have slightly different application methods, one being a solid bar, while the other is a spray treatment. We always recommend reading the treatment product reviews, and getting a feel for which one fits you best.
The Fjallraven Greenland Wax is made by a long standing super well respected outdoor company in Sweden, and they have made a fantastic solid wax.
The Nikwax Wax Cotton Proofer is another very highly regarded outdoor leather and wax treatment, and is a spray on solution for reproofing your cotton canvas.
To apply, follow the instructions on the re-waxing option you choose. You might need to apply heat in some way, like using a hairdryer, to help the wax treatment fully set in. But always double check instructions on the wax treatment you go for, as every one will have different behaviour.
Apon re-waxing the patina you have worked to create is often enriched and possibly more pronounced. If you need to apply heat, these creases may become less pronounced. The colour of your bag might also change, and darken a little, that’s completely natural and goes hand in hand with re-waxing cotton canvas.
Again with everything we recommend, try treatment on a small unnoticeable place first, like the underneath of the bag. This just helps you stay extra careful, and see how the bag reacts to the treatment you are using. You should get a feel for it pretty quickly, and get an idea if you’re happy with the result.
Caring for your waxed canvas bag is all part of the experience of the material. Waxed canvas is naturally a super durable material, and with a little care it can really help the piece last for so many more years of use.
If you’re interested in learning more about our range of waxed canvas backpacks, duffle bags, and tote bags, check out our collections below.