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Waxed canvas is a tight woven cotton fabric saturated with wax, giving it an extra layer of protection against water and the elements. Its quality and strength are determined by the wax, thickness of the yarn, and weave density. Most waxed canvas is created using a paraffin-based wax, although there are also hybrid waxes which use paraffin and fluorocarbon to improve the water repellence.
Waxed canvas is considered to be the original waterproof fabric and it became popular with the help of British sailors since they observed that waxed canvas sails caught the wind more effectively as they would not get heavy by absorbing water from storms.
That being said, waxed canvas is water-resistant and will repel water and moisture, but when immersed in water for a long period, it will eventually get soaked.
The waxed coating gives the fabric structure without compromising flexibility. The fabric gets soft and pliable getting a “memory” quality because it records folds and creases, giving it a weathered patina over time. And talking about time, waxed canvas is a strong, hard-wearing material resistant to tearing and, when properly maintained it will give a lifetime of use.
To smooth out unwanted creases and wrinkles you can use a fabric roller. And if you really need an iron, only use a medium setting and a protective press cloth to keep your iron free of wax. Nevertheless, the best way to avoid any damage to the fabric is by using a hairdryer. You only need to hover a blow dryer on high above the fabric, moving quickly, not heating any particular spot too long.
Waxed canvas is water-resistant, but not oil resistant. If your apron gets an oil stain, apply corn starch to the area and leave for forty-eight hours before removing it with a stiff brush. Repeat if necessary. Most soil stains can be spot cleaned with a damp towel, but cold water and a gentle soap may also be used. Never wash your apron, so no washing machine or dryer.
Over time the wax will dry out and will need re-waxing. For that, you can use any commercial wax specific for waxed canvas.