Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Making a Waxed Canvas Bag - Part One

Or, waxed denim, as the case may be! I've been in need of a water-resistant bag lately, the weather is out of control here! But I'm also due for a new travel bag, we're heading overseas, and it rains in some of those places (i.e. Not Colorado.)

I looked online for advice on making waxed canvas, with lots of differing recipes! Many people used Otter Wax, which is a great choice. However, I already have a huge chunk of beeswax at home, no need to buy something. My plan was to make a rub-on wax, which has to have something added to it as beeswax is just slightly too hard to rub on when pure.


I tried three recipes, a few drops of linseed oil, olive oil, and turpentine (no idea if modern synthetic turps is suitable for this, I used what I have!) Melted each one with beeswax, and then cooled them into cakes. Which were stuck to the jar.   >.<  (I tried running hot water on the outside, I tried freezing, they were stuck!) So I added water, then melted and cooled again. The wax sits above the water and can be dislodged from the jar more easily.
 For my fabric, I of course chose denim! I have a huge pile of old pants to choose from. The tricky part was finding pants that were 100% cotton, most pants nowadays seem to have acquired a bit of spandex and the like. I cut out the pieces I will need for the bag, no reason to waste time and wax on scraps! I actually sewed the bag until nearly finished, just to avoid much sewing after the waxing is done.
 Here's the test rub for my three softeners. The two oils were similar in consistency and ease. The Turp on the other hand became a sticky mess! I held the denim over a candle to melt the turp into grain of the fabric. The next day, after curing, the Linseed was slightly darker, but otherwise there was little change. I gave all of them a spray test... WATER BEADS! That means it's working, but it certainly needs a thicker layer for a really good waterproofing.
Next time, I'll show the rest of the waxing, and putting together a good sturdy travel bag.

1 comment:

Clear Chan said...
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