Caring For Waxed Canvas

What is waxed canvas?

The waxed canvas we use is sourced from a family-owned and operated company that has been expertly applying this process to high quality fabrics for nearly 100 years in the USA. Waxed canvas is a utilitarian and highly specialized textile that precludes normal cleaning. Just as you wouldn’t wash leather/suede product such as shoes, gloves, or jackets, you won’t be able to wash or dry clean your waxed canvas. A periodic cleaning with a damp cloth is all that is needed. High stress areas such as shoulders, elbows and cuffs can be refinished with a wax refinishing compound, which can help restore the wax finish meant to stand up to weather and hard work. This material can be compared to an oiled leather in many ways and should be cared for in a similar fashion. The wax compound that the fabric mill uses on the canvas is Martexin Wax.

How do I clean waxed canvas?

Applied to the interior of the jacket: Antibacterial sprays, warm water with a damp rag & mild soap, or cheap vodka on a rag and/or baking soda applied to the interior of the jacket are ways to attack odors on the interior of the jacket. Exterior jacket stains that set into the jacket are a part of the life of the jacket now. Do not rub at them with a rag as this will leave a scuffed look and change the color of the fabric in that area. You can use a rag to brush away any dirt sitting on the top of the fabric. Preferably not a French terry cloth or other textured fabric. We recommend using an old t- shirt or plain weave dish cloth.

How is the wax applied?

The US-based fabric mill that we source the fabric from has a proprietary process for applying the waxed finish. The wax is not applied topically. It is applied using a very specialized process which actually impregnates the canvas with the wax, allowing the wax to fully saturate the canvas, and leaving the canvas with very little tackiness or sticky waxy feel. It also adds longevity to the water repellency and overall strength of the fabric. Waxed canvas is NOT water-proof and is not meant to be worn as a rain jacket, but it has natural water repellency due to the waxed finish. If you get your jacket completely soaked in the rain, you can expect shrinkage and overall stripping of the waxed finish.

How do I re-wax my jacket?

We get asked a lot if we re-wax jackets, the answer is no. The fabric comes to us already treated with wax, that is not a process we do ourselves. Over the life of your jacket, the waxed finish will naturally diminish with wear and you can expect to have to re-wax it to maintain the finish. Re-waxing will darken the overall color of the jacket. There are several online tutorials on how to re-wax a jacket, but here's a good "how-to" video.