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how to wax canvas fabric


We all know applying wax to cotton fabric gives it extra water resistance and helps to prevent it from external damages as well. Today, we have different types of fabric available that have inbuilt water resistance such as nylon, PU leather, etc. But in earlier times, clothing and accessories were made waterproof by applying wax.

So after knowing that it is a great idea to wax your canvas fabric products to make them water-repellent, let's see how can you do it at home by yourself in some easy steps.


Waxed canvas fabric has certain advantages that make it a great option for your bags, clothes, etc. Let's see some of them listed below-

1. Water-resistant

Wax makes the fabric nearly waterproof and becomes a great choice especially when you are living in a rainy place. Waxing the canvas bags and clothing can definitely save you and your belongings from unexpected rains.

2. Durability

Applying a coating of wax on canvas can make it extra durable and hence it won't easily get ripped or tear apart. Treating canvas with wax will definitely increase its life by some years. The wear and tear that would damage another product or fabric, will actually develop a patina in the waxed fabric that makes the products look more desirable and valuable.

3. Economical

When canvas fabric is waxed, it takes the appearance of aged leather but it is far less expensive than real leather. Maintaining and caring for waxed canvas products is comparatively easy and economical as compared to caring for leather goods. After some time the wax coating becomes thin and hence it requires re-waxing to restore it. Re-waxing the canvas is a fairly simple process that only requires only some wax and a hairdryer to set the wax.

4. Easy to Clean

Oils, dirt, and water can easily get absorbed into the leather surface and can cause stains on the leather so it requires to be wiped regularly with a dry or damp cloth to clean it. A little dust is not going to harm the waxed canvas so it doesn't require regular cleaning. But if there are some major dirt or mud deposits then you can clean it with cold water and mild soap or simply rub it with a brush to remove the dirt.


Waxing canvas is a simple method and can be done in some simple steps. Let's first see the supplies required for waxing canvas -

  • Canvas - You can wax nearly any fabric. But waxing any fabric will leave it less breathable and will also make it a bit darker in color. Waxing is a great option for outerwear, bags, shoes, or anything similar. It is not advisable for things you might need to wash.
  • Wax- You can use any canvas wax available in the market such as otter wax or you can use any beeswax to work on the canvas. If you are using paraffin wax then make sure you do this process in a well-ventilated room. For a much smoother process, we recommend using bar wax such as otter wax.
  • Hairdryer - A heat gun or blow dryer will help the wax melt and set on the canvas making the process much smoother.

  • Lint roller - It will help you to remove any unwanted dirt and dust from the surface of the canvas to ensure you start with a clean surface.



Yes, waxing your canvas products is an easy task and can be done at home in a few simple steps mentioned below -

Step 1 - Preparation

The wax will cover everything on the canvas surface so make sure the surface is free from any dust and dirt before starting. Use the lint roller on the canvas surface to remove any strings and dirt from it and heat the surface with a hairdryer or heat gun so that the wax will spread more smoothly on the canvas.

If you are doing this process in summer then you can start applying the wax directly now. If it is the time of winter then you can leave the wax bar in sunlight for some time to make it warm and easy to apply.

Step 2- Apply Wax

Start to rub the wax on canvas like a soap bar. Try using big and even strokes to apply the wax. Apply the wax covering all the corners and edges as much as possible. You can also use your fingers to cover the difficult-to-reach areas.

If the wax is not warm then you might need to work with more pressure while applying the wax. So it is always advisable to work with warm wax.

Step 3 - Heat

Once a good layer of wax is applied on the canvas, start slowly heating the surface with a hairdryer to evenly spread the wax and help it penetrate into the canvas. Use your fingers to spread the wax in the edges and corners to cover everything as much as possible for an evenly waxed surface.

Step 4 - Let It Dry

After completing the application of wax, hang the product in an open warm, and dry place to let it dry and set for about 1-2 days. If you find any excess wax on the surface then you can simply use a heat gun or dryer to blend it or you can wipe off the excess wax with a clean cloth.

You will find that wax gives it a very desirable weathered and vintage look instantly. After the wax has been cooled and set, examine if you missed any areas and if there is a second coating needed. You can re-wax the areas which have been by following the same process.

So now that we know you can easily wax your canvas items at home. Try this process on your old or new canvas products and make them instantly water-resistant while giving them a vintage and rugged appearance.


Although waxed canvas products are easy to maintain and do not require much effort but here are some tips to care for your waxed cotton fabric products.

  1. We recommend that you re-apply wax once every year to maintain its appearance. It is not a strict look as you can re-wax it anytime you feel the need for it.
  2. Do not dry clean or machine washes the waxed canvas items as it will break down the wax coating, and will reduce its water-resistant quality.
  3. Do not use any detergent or warm and hot water on waxed canvas.
  4. To clean the waxed fabric you can simply wipe it with a clean damp cloth. For removing any dirt and dried mud, lightly scrub the dirty areas with a brush.
  5. If there is too much dirt or mud, try using cold water to wash it off. If the stains are still there then use a small amount of mild soap with cold water and rub it with a sponge to wash it off. Rinse it properly and let it dry.
  6. To reduce the scratches and marks from the waxed fabric, use a hairdryer on a high setting from a few inches away from the fabric.



So now we know that restoring your waxed cotton fabric or applying wax coating on your new canvas goods is a simple process and can be done at home by yourself. Give your canvas bags, clothes, or other items a waterproof and vintage look by following this process. Remember to always do a patch test before working on the whole product to avoid any miss-happenings. 

If you are also interested in buying genuine leather bags and accessories, then do check out our vast collection of leather products.

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