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Fernweh UK - Re-Waxing Tutorial

by Laura Sherriffs |

Hey guys! 
We really hope you have been loving the latest products we have been releasing - it's been a busy busy time at Fernweh HQ but we wouldn't have it any other way! :) We are also working on a new collection that we can't wait to release to y'all -  also Winter is coming, and it wouldn't be winter without a Fernweh hand knit, would it? 
But new collections are for a later blog post, today's post is about how to keep your wax cotton products as fresh as possible! 
At Fernweh, I pride myself on creating quality products that will last - I hope you all agree with me or then I'm not doing a great job as a designer, and that is pretty awkward! However, due to the nature of the fabrics used in many Fernweh products, spending just a little time caring for it will ensure it will look fantastic and prolong its lifespan! 
I love creating products that are long lasting, the sort of product you love and cherish for years, and is a trusty sidekick on all your adventures! In today's world, 'fast fashion'  is the norm - where products are mass made for cheap labour, using bad quality materials and then sold inexpensively, and most likely will last a couple of wears before becoming misshapen, ripped or faded. 
Being an outdoorsy person, I care about the environment and believe us designers have a social responsibility to look after this fantastic planet we live on, and I try my best to be as conscious and ethical as possible in my design process & collections  but I also believe that the best way to do this is to create products that are made to last. Sustainability through longevity, using natural and traditional fabrics and methods, not only create a much more ethical product, but create pieces that last, that will become cherished, timeless pieces in my customer's lives. 
Wax Cotton is a fabric that features heavily in my Fernweh products, as it is a super durable cloth & is water resistant. It was originally used to make sailing cloths by sailors and then used in military uniforms. Wax cotton is a cotton that has been treated with a wax barrier to make it water resistant. Through time and wear however, this wax coating may fade slightly or become less effective - a sin of a well used and well loved product!
Fortunately, spending a little time re-waxing your product will prolong its lifespan and restore it to an as-new condition!
I recommend re-waxing your wax product 2/3 times a year for optimum performance and this tutorial will show you how to re-wax your garment. I will be rewaxing my own Fernweh "MHAIRI" tote bag -  which is in need of some TLC. I have been using my prototype tote bag since I launched the 'MHAIRI' tote collection in September/October last year & it has been used pretty much every day since so has taken a fair beating!
Although look at the lovely caramel colour our vegetable tan leather straps have developed over the past months!
Okay, so this is what you will need to re wax your item:
- Wax Bar
- Paintbrush
- Hairdryer (Apologies for the VERY inconspicuous hairdryer!)
-Also - I use an old pan & an old bowl for melting my wax in
Simple! I use my own Fernweh homemade wax bar, made from a homemade mix of paraffin & beeswax, scented with a hint of pine for the smell of the outdoors - but you can purchase wax bars online or even make your own. 
To re wax your product, follow these easy steps; 
Step 1: Put the wax in a glass bowl and melt over a pan of boiling water. I tend to melt the wax in this method so that it when I take it off the hob, the wax will stay melted in the pan for longer.
Step 2: Take an old paintbrush and paint a layer of wax onto the desired area (in this case I am rewaxing the entire bag.) I put an old cutting mat in between the layers to stop the wax seeping through to the other side, and do both sides separately. 
This method tends to create a thicker layer of wax, which I prefer as I like the vintage, distressed look you can create this way but its totally personal preference! Alternatively, you can just heat the bar slightly to soften it and rub the wax bar onto the desired area, which creates a slightly thinner layer. 
Step 3: Grab a hairdryer & blast the wax, melting it into the fabric. Repeat a couple of times if the wax is really thickly painted on and needs a couple of blasts to melt in.  Also, if you want to repeat the wax process or spot fill any areas missed, this is when to do this! 
Step 4: Voila!
Rewaxed and back to original condition to battle against the elements for years to come! 
If you are like me, I prefer a vintage, distressed feel to the wax, which can be done like the image below simply by creasing some of the waxed areas!
Hope you all enjoyed this tutorial and find it an easy guide to re-waxing your products. We are also going to start offering a re-waxing service, drop us an email at to enquire further.
Fernweh UK
Go Further. Stay Curious.

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