Why do you Need Waxed Canvas and How to Use It

Now’s the time to create some amazing sewing projects at home. Whether you need a new messenger bag or want to pitch a durable tent in your yard, we’ve got the fabric for you. Today we explore why you need waxed canvas and how to use it.

Great for DIY Projects for Waxed Canvas

Waxed canvas as a longstanding history. As a woven cotton fabric, treated with wax, it has an added layer of protection. This beloved fabric is prized for its natural water resistance and durability, which we’ll talk more abogut later. From a DIY perspective, this material is highly workable both by hand and in your sewing machine. 


For all it’s durability, waxed canvas is highly flexible, soft, and easy to work with. Already have a DIY project in mind? Great! If not, we’ve got some more ideas for you!

Extremely Durable & Water Resistant

Waxed canvas is naturally water resistant. This means it repels rain, moisture, and other elements. If you leave your waxed canvas exposed, it will eventually soak through. Re-waxing your bag periodically will depend on how much you use it. Martexin Wax is one such product that allows you to re-wax your fabric.


As you use the canvas, you’ll see it develops a nice patina that looks quite fashionable – especially on accessories such as bags. All the scuffs and scratches make it unique to you. It’s an accessory that can’t be duplicated!

Uses for Waxed Canvas

  • Bags: Messenger bags, backpacks, handbags – they all benefit from being made from waxed fabrics, plus it protects your belongings. It’s a perfect material for commuters and bike riders.
  • Tents: Tents made from the canvas are hyper-durable. Old-fashioned tents made from waxed canvas have been known to last decades as long as it’s cared for. 
  • Jackets: Canvas jackets are extremely desirable and durable. Retailers, like L.L. Bean, carry waxed canvas jackets for both men and women. If you’re savvy with a sewing machine, now may be the time to make yourself a one-of-a-kind canvas jacket.
  • Outdoor Gear: Pretty much any and all outdoor gear made from it is going to exceed your expectations. Use waxed fabrics to make a log carrier or a cover for your pack. You won’t be disappointed.

Can You Wash It?

Thankfully, it also repels dirt. Dust can’t penetrate the canvas. Therefore cleaning it is often as simple as letting it dry and knocking it off or wiping away with a damp cloth. Oil stains are a different story. One method to remove oil stains is to place cornstarch on the stain and allow it to absorb the oil. Leave it on for two days and then brush away with a still brush. If the stain is still there, repeat the process. And remember – never, EVER put our waxed canvas into the washing machine.

A Note on Sewing

The canvas will leave residue on your sewing machine. The needle and feed dogs will need a good scraping after you use it. Over time, repeated use of waxed canvas in your sewing machine will create a buildup that requires cleaning. We suggest taking apart your machine once the buildup becomes problematic, and use some rubbing alcohol and an old toothbrush to get the gunk out.

Waxed Canvas from Canvas ETC

At Canvas ETC, we carry a variety of canvas for your sewing projects. Our canvas comes in a variety of colors! You’re not restricted to a neutral palette. If you have any questions about our waxed fabric and its uses, please contact us.