How to re-wax your Bedouin bag
Waxed fabric was developed by British sailors by cutting up the old waxed sails to make weather proof outerwear. Waxing your bag increases the durability of our wax cotton fabric by protecting the fibres from wear and improves its protective properties to better withstand the elements. We generally recommend re-waxing annually, if you are in exceptional weather conditions or high usage re-wax every six months or as required (if you start to see the ‘hairs’ of the fabric or it goes very ‘matt’ it needs a wax.) It should take under an hour to do a thorough job.
What you will need:
A tin or bar of wax re-proofing (Bedouin wax is beeswax based and is best).
A hair dryer or iron.
Find a clean flat surface to work on. Give your bag a brush down making sure its free of any dirt or dust. Use a soft brush, we use a horse grooming brush but a clean indoor dustpan and brush will do.
Begin with a small area. Apply a thin even layer by rubbing in long strokes against the face of the fabric (if using a liquid or paste based wax apply with a clean, dry lint free cloth). Apply downward pressure to get bit of friction, the heat will help spread the wax.
Make sure all areas of the fabric are well covered with wax. Pay particular attention the the seams. you can use the edge of the wax bar to get right into the seams and use your fingers to press in any wax to areas that may not have been thoughrouly coated by the bar. Care and attention to this stage will ensure you get sealed seams for complete waterproofing.
Heat Using a Hairdryer or iron on low to medium heat (without steam), slowly melt the wax into the fabric. Don’t forget to wipe the iron clean before using it on another garment! The wax then seeps into the stitching holes and the weave of the fabric, making your bag fully water proof.
Repeat as required continue this until the bag feels thoroughly coated. For additional water resistance or to better reinforce high friction points, apply several layers of wax instead of one single thick layer, to areas where is constantly folds or rubs against your body.
You are done, leaving the bag in a warm sunny spot for a couple of hours ensures the wax gets into all the seams. Your bag is ready for another year of hard use.
We use only European (usually Belgian or Italian) Vegetable tanned leather, this is the historic method for tanning leather using tree bark and acorns (majority of leather is Chromium tanned today).
Veg tanned leather is very hard wearing and is commonly used to make saddles for horse riding. The most important point in caring for you leather, if you get it saturated by immersing in water or you get caught in a monsoon is to let it dry naturally in a warm spot. Do not try and dry it on a heater or with an artificial heat source as this can damage the leather and dry it out.
Veg tanned leather will naturally gain a darker patina through use, if it feels dry or brittle use some leather oil or cream (try and use a natural based oil is best) and gently rub into the leather. This will darken the leather, so maybe try on a small hidden part first.
Notes on the RAW/TAN veg leather (usually on the Khaki colour variant) this is not dyed, and will take on all the elements around it (rain drops, sunlight, oil from your hands.) We have found over time this becomes a pleasing patina, and uniquely yours. If you wish to speed up this process, or would prefer an immediate even finish, use a natural based leather oil.