Waxed canvas is a tough material that can withstand plenty of abuse and still look great, but it’s not without its quirks. While it offers fantastic weatherproofing, the wax coating reduces breathability, and it usually needs to be hand washed (it can’t go in the washing machine). However, this rugged fabric is ideal for bags that get a lot of wear, such as messenger bags, backpacks and even duffels. And unlike some of their synthetic counterparts, the scuffs and scrapes that would quickly wear out and tear up other bags instead develop the character that makes them stand out as well-loved accessories with a unique personality.
The best way to maintain your waxed canvas bag is to regularly re-wax it. You can use a beeswax or carnauba wax, which is easy to find at most hardware stores and natural food stores. You can also buy wax specifically designed for bags, such as Martexin Wax, which comes in a variety of finishes and is available online. Just apply the wax to your bag using a cloth or rag, and be sure to apply it evenly, especially to the corners and bottom of the bag.
Once the wax has been applied, let your bag dry naturally overnight, and try not to accelerate the process with a blow dryer. This can cause the canvas to shrink, which will weaken it over time. For a little extra protection, you can re-wax your bag again the next day, but only if it’s completely dry.
You can spot clean your bag by gently wiping it down with a damp cloth, avoiding any areas that have a significant amount of dirt or oil on them. If you notice more serious staining, you can use a mild detergent and cold water to wash the affected area. Then, you can apply a water repellent to the bag, such as carnauba wax or beeswax, and allow it to dry fully. This will protect the bag from rain, allowing you to take it out on your next adventure.
Waxed canvas bags are a perfect complement to rugged outerwear, such as flannel shirts or wool vests. They also look great with leather, which is becoming increasingly popular in clothing and bags. For instance, the CLASSIC duffle from Go Forth Goods is made from 20-ounce waxed canvas in field tan or navy and has veg-tanned leather straps. It has multiple pockets for carrying everything you need on your next hike or camping trip. The heavy-duty Garrison bag from Troop London is another good choice, made from sturdy vegetable tanned leather handles and waxed canvas in a navy blue colorway. It can accommodate a large load, while also featuring an internal padded laptop pocket. Waxed canvas bags