I've had the idea to wax my own fabric for a while now. I've experimented with Otter brand wax, a company based in Portland, on some hemp canvas that I hand dyed. Here's one of the mini backpacks that resulted:
and here's a video of hand waxing that hemp canvas:
Although Otter brand wax is all natural, I wanted to experiment with beeswax only. Pretty much everything I've researched has you combining beeswax with a petroleum based product. I've read that bees-waxed fabric is just as durable as other waxed fabric and I thought to try out a small swatch of fabric as an experiment. I found some beeswax at a small local grocery store. If you don't have local beeswax to work with you can find beeswax pellets (which melt easier) here.
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- canvas fabric
- putty knife or screw driver
- saucepan with water
- glass container or aluminum (use only for beeswax from now on)
- a wooden stirring stick (use only for beeswax from now on)
- hot pads
- paint brush (use only for beeswax from now on)
- hair dryer
Put down newspaper or paper to protect the surface you're working on. I used printer paper since it was a small swatch of fabric. The lines are a chalk pencil. That's what I use before cutting out the pattern on fabric. I wanted to see if it would still be visible after applying wax.
Here is the large piece of wax.
Beeswax is quite solid and hard to break apart. I used a palate knife and a hammer. It didn't work too well (because the palate knife bends), though it was enough for a sample. In the future, I might try using a screw driver or something more durable to break off pieces.
Place water in saucepan on stove and beeswax in glass container in the saucepan. Bring water to a boil, then turn down to simmer. Stir the wax occasionally with the stirring stick until the wax is completely melted.
Using hot pads to protect your hands, pick up the glass container and place on a hot pad close to your work surface. Use a brush to paint the beeswax on to the canvas as even as possible. Use up and down and side to side motions. It didn't turn out that even for me because the brush was too big for the glass opening so I poured the wax. Tip: use a brush that fits in the beeswax container. I ended up having to pour the wax so the result is quite uneven.
The wax is kind of uneven. You can see why using a brush that fits into the container would be helpful. The chalk disappeared into the fabric so I know not to use it before waxing fabric. I placed water on the fabric and it soaked through a little bit. This most likely has to do with the uneven wax application. More experiments are in order!
Instead of waxing canvas myself for BLISS JOY BULL products, I've outsourced to a company in Texas. They use 100% triple filtered beeswax. It leaves a wonderful honey scent in the fabric. I get 100% hemp canvas waxed and make these cute 'lil pouches with them. Head over here to view.
Order our waxed cotton canvas by the yard
To order your own waxed cotton for small projects, click above. Limited edition and limited quantities. Sold by the piece. Once it's gone, it's gone. This waxed cotton is a light weight waxed cotton, easy to sew up on a home sewing machine. Great for small DIY sewing projects like makeup bags, pencil cases, organizer bags, and toiletry bags.
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Hi, I tried the exact same experiment, though I had a smaller brush. My outcome was the same because the wax dries very fast. But I was able to fix it! I placed a piece of cotton (scrap) cloth over my waxed fabric and ironed over it. That heated the wax up again and the excess was absorbed into the scrap cloth. I repeated until the wax looked evenly applied. It turned out beautiful!
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