Cotton Canvas Waxed

Cotton canvas waxed is also known as Barbour wax after the famous brand Barbour and their outdoor garments. Cotton canvas is available with or without wax the difference between both depends on the end use and what you would like the material to do.

Cotton canvas alone is not a waterproof fabric, instead it is just a natural material and the fibres will absorb the water.

Waxed canvas has an application of wax, which is applied during the weaving process and the options are either a paraffin wax or something more expensive like beeswax, both types of wax will perform in similar ways. The wax ensures the material is waterproof and protected from this layer of wax which is embedded in to the fabric covering each fibre.

Bag made off EcoWax Cotton Fabric
Bag made off EcoWax Cotton Fabric
EcoWax Fabric Traditional Wax 100% Cotton
EcoWax Fabric Traditional Wax 100% Cotton

Usage and Applications of Cotton Canvas Waxed

Cotton canvas waxed is one of the main options for fabric used on outdoor products and usage outside, anything from outdoor clothing to tents and outdoor covers. This is a durable material to use for outdoors and it will repel water leaving the material damage free and re-usable.

Outdoor clothing

Outdoor clothing can be made up from cotton canvas waxed the items such as outdoor jackets, waterproof trousers, overalls and hoodies. This fabric is also breathable so this will help anyone wearing the material during expeditions and adventurous days out where you need the protection from the weather but working up a sweat will allow some ventilation protecting you all round.

Jacket made off EcoWax Cotton Fabric

Sailing equipment

Sailors have often used waxed canvas to make up the sails on their boats, this was an invention during the mid 20th century as the sailors needed a material to help enhance the performance of the sails, the waxed canvas was a replacement for the linseed oil they would apply on their sails. The waxed canvas is still used to this day but not on a larger scale.

Tents & Outdoor covering

Outdoor tents are often made up from waxed cotton canvas, this is due to the fact it is water resistant which is quite vital when camping outdoors during all types of weather. Cotton is also useful as a material compared to synthetic materials as cotton isn’t as noisy when you have windy weather with the tent flapping around the edges. Cotton is a breathable fabric, when the wax is applied the fabric still has a percentage of breathability and therefore is able to offer some ventilation.

Aftercare & maintenance

The important things to remember when looking after the material after use is to allow the product to dry out naturally and must be fully dried before it is put away, as any damp material will affect the performance of the fabric in future.

In regard to washing the material you must be careful not to put them in to the wash as washing the material will erode the wax away leaving the material not protected from the weather and water so it will no longer become water resistant. Instead the best way to clean the material is use a damp cold cloth and gently massages the dirt or stain away.

The waxed material also acts as a repellent to slight dirt and dust so this will help keep the material well maintained. If you do have any dirt on the fabric you can scrap this away with a gentle brush.

To keep the product for longer you can get the material re-waxed this will help the durability of the product before the original wax wears out over some time.


Cotton canvas waxed is a useful material for outdoor coverings or products like clothing; it is a breathable, water resistant and durable material when you need it the most. Maintaining the fabric is quite easy and will help once you have finished using the material or product.

Checkout our list of Cotton Wax Fabrics

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