Waxed fabrics - cotton alternatives

  • Hey Guest, For sale we have Hultafors Outdoor Knives with Firesteel PLEASE LOOK HERE for more information or use the Pay Now button in the sidebar

Redhand Jack

Member
Jan 25, 2021
46
31
Devon
Evening all, I'm planning on making my own waxed fabric and was wondering if anybody knows how heavy duty linen or hemp canvas would stand up to treatment with linseed oil and beeswax?. The fabrics will be used to make a couple of stool tops, a pair of chaps and maybe even a large tarp.
I've already got a bit of cotton canvas to play with but was curious as to how native fibres might react to traditional waterproofing techniques. A quick google comes up with a bit about waxed linen cloth being used like cling film but little about heavier grade materials..
 

Lean'n'mean

Nomad
Nov 18, 2020
416
171
France
If you want waxed fabrics to be rainproof, then the key factor is the tightness of the weave. Hold the fabric up to a strong light & if you see holes between the threads then no amount of gunk will render that fabric rainproof.
Also an oil/wax dressing wouldn't be the best thing for anything you're going to be sitting on.
If by "native fibres" you mean grown in the UK, it may be difficult to ascertain the origin of the raw materials, even if the finished fabric is labelled as made in the UK.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Redhand Jack

John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
22,276
1,785
64
Pembrokeshire
Hemp canvas is the real deal - "canvas" comes from " cannabis" - and the original Levis were made from hemp canvas tent fabric. Tarpaulin was originally tarred hemp canvas, so oiling hemp should work fine :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Redhand Jack

Redhand Jack

Member
Jan 25, 2021
46
31
Devon
@Lean'n'mean I hadn't thought of hot bottoms melting the wax, maybe a waxed version for winter and a plain version for summer use is the way to go
By native fibres I just ment anything but cotton - flax and hemp realistically but I'm sure nettles, brambles and a whole host of other plants could be worked to make a waterproofable fabric if money were no option.

@John Fenna I hadn't considered the etymology of canvas, although I may have pointed out that Hemel Hempstead got it's name from hemp farming. I was planning to add a splash of pine tar to my wax mix anyway but I feel a damn sight more confident with that little historical nugget, cheers!.
 

Hultafors Outdoor knife for Sale

We have a a number of Hultafors Outdoor Knives with Firesteels for sale.

You can see more details here in this thread OUTDOOR KNIVES The price is £27 posted to the UK. Pay via the paypal button below.