Monday, May 18, 2015

Waxed Canvas Bag - Part II

In which the crafter learns that science is only half the trouble...

After I performed some experiments with wax, I felt ready to start my waterproofing! I sewed the sturdy backpack pieces together, until there were only two sides to be sewn, I didn't want to wax each piece and then deal with sewing all the waxed seams.

So, using my little blocks of prepped wax, I began rubbing. And rubbing... and rubbing... and I finally completed one section. It wasn't sinking into the grain quite as much as I wanted, so I figured I would warm it up a little. I held it over a candle, which works swimmingly, but took a while. I realized I couldn't use this technique as some parts of the bag had multiple layers of fabric to warm thru.

 So I decided to go the alternative route, heating wax and brushing it on directly. I still used a small amount of turpentine to help the wax spread and soak in. This leaves clumps of wax sitting on the surface of the fabric, so it then must be Ironed in. Placing parchment paper over the wax and ironing seemed to let the wax soak in in a fairly uniform fashion.

If I make any more waxed items I think I will invest in a thrift store hair dryer, faster than the candle, more versatile than the iron.
 I then finished sewing the bag together. It's a big boxy affair, with large inner pockets and compartments. I sewed a leather bottom on to protect from bike splash up and setting down in soggy spots. TIL - sew the corner gussets before sewing on to the bag! It's hard to fold leather and shove it under the presser foot, particularly when it is attached to several pounds of stiff denim...

I riveted on leather straps for closures, and a belt that serves as shoulder strap. Not pictured - me hammering nails through the belt to get holes... it is very thick leather!

Ready to Travel! It's taken a while, and I think some spots may need another layer to be solidly waterproofed. My only material cost were a few ounces of wax, and a small piece of leather! One might be able to find some leather bags and strap materials at a thrift store. But looking like a super Hipster? Priceless...

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