You've got yourself a shop apron. How do you protect it, and yourself, in the process of using it?
Wax. A centuries-old method for waterproofing and protecting clothing, sailor capes, pioneer tents, logger pants and hunter jackets were all made from sturdy waxed canvas.
Coating a fabric with wax and then curing it improves water resistance and durability. It also builds the patina on the material.
How to Wax Your Shop Apron (or Anything Else For That Matter)
It's so easy you're going to want to go on a waxing binge with everything you wear outside. Keep in mind natural fabrics work best, and waxing can change the look of some fabrics like wool. Do a little spot test before you wax your favourite hat.
Here's what you need to wax fabric:
- Your shop apron - or any other natural fabric that you want to protect
- Bar of wax - we use natural beeswax but also recommend Otterwax or Greenland wax from Fjallraven
- Heat source - hair dryer or heat gun
Step One: Rub the wax into the canvas. You may need to warm the wax up a little first so it rubs in nicely. And you may need to apply some pressure, but you'll see it on the surface of the fabric. Give the canvas a nice even coat of wax.
Step Two: Heat the waxed areas with the dryer to allow it to soak into the fabric.
Step Three: Allow your shop apron to dry and 'cure' for 24 hours before using it.
The wax absorbs into the fibers making them resistant. So for areas that need more waterproofing, you can repeat the process. You can build it up as much as you can in these high traffic spots.
Step Four: And you're done. This is a picture (of Tattooer Matt Houston) reflecting how good you'll feel knowing the front of you is properly protected.
Repeat as needed which could be 6 months or so. You can't wax it too much as it builds and builds on itself improving water resistance.