Caring for waxed canvas!
I’ve written about this before, but it’s always a good reminder – especially with all the new jenneng bag owners out there from the holidays. This info pertains to most products made out of waxed canvas, not only jenneng bags.
Characteristics of Waxed Canvas:
The unique wax formula is applied to the surface of the canvas. The waxed canvas creates natural color shifts when creased or used. It is normal to see creases and highlights in waxed canvas. The stiffness and rigidity will lessen over time and use. Waxed canvas is naturally water repellent yet breathable, but not waterproof. As the fabric ages, it will develop a well-worn and comfortable patina, the same way that leather ages and burnishes with time.
Caring for Waxed Canvas:
Do not dry clean, machine wash/dry your waxed canvas! Use cold tap water to gently surface clean with yours hands, a sponge, or a scrub brush. Do not use detergent – it will break down the wax and you will loose that water-resistant coating! If the canvas is really soiled use bar, flaked or saddle soap (not liquid/powder detergent). Do this only if necessary and on specific areas only.
The wax coating will eventually wear away over time and may lose it’s water resistant quality. You can restore your waxed canvas easily by using Otter Wax or Martexin Wax. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. In general, after a thin layer is applied, you then apply heat to allow the wax to impregnate back into the canvas. You can use a hair dryer, a heat gun, or just let it bake in the sun :)
Remember that this is one of the characteristics of waxed canvas. But, if unwanted highlights or creases are formed they are usually removable with a heat source. Using a light iron, hair dryer or heat gun (on low) – you are basically melting the wax back into the material by rubbing it in with your finger tips.
How to clean the inner lining:
If your waxed canvas is lined with an unwaxed material like cotton or a synthetic, you can easily reverse the lining out and hand wash with soap and cold tap water. Using cold water will prevent less shrinkage.