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waterproofing denim?

schoonerchick | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

i’m wondering if there is an easy way to waterproof denim, i’m making a messenger bag and would like to make it water resistant at least. can it be waxed? any info would be appriciated!

Edited 2/4/2003 8:23:06 PM ET by schoonergrrl


  1. Tikiclub | | #1

    3M used to make this spray-on fabric protector, which might be as close as you can get. Although the product I am referring to is more that a few years old, I think they pulled it and reformulated it due to environmental hazards, etc. I can't remember if I've seen it in the fabric store lately, but that would be the first place to check. It may not get your fabric water proof, but it might make it water resistant.

    Another thought is I've seen this iron-on vinyl-izing product. It turns any fabric into vinyl coated. Do not know the cost on it, though. I've only seen it 'demonstrated' on tv shows. It also might affect the hand of the denim too much for your application.

    1. schoonerchick | | #2

      thanks for the suggestion, i'll broaden my search in those directions! i've been experimenting with waxing, but no satisfactory results so far... i may just end up lining the bag with some waterproof "rain coat" type material i have.

      anyone have any more suggestions? i'd love to hear them!



      1. ChrisHaynes | | #4

        You might try a product used to waterproof tents and camping equipment.  Visit an outdoor supply place or camping store for ideas.

        There are also fabric stores that specialize in outdoor fabrics... and one I know of carries "Nikwax".  I've used the wash-in stuff to waterproof a very old Army fatigue jacket I use for gardening (I used the "Cotton Proof" bottle).  It essentially adds a layer of wax.

        I'm not affliated but here is a link to an outdoor fabric store with information on the stuff:  http://www.seattlefabrics.com/nikwax_frameset.html

        1. schoonerchick | | #6

          yay! thanks so much! i've used nikwax products for shoes and re-proofing goretex, i had no idea that they made a cotton product. it sounds perfect! i'm glad that i did not just carry on with my test bag, i almost just sewed it up several times. now i'll find the nikwax first! my local outdoor shop has many nikwax products, but thanks for the link in case i cannot find it here.

  2. sewphaedra | | #3

    I've seen it mentioned in magazines (maybe Martha Stewart?) that you can send fabric off to have it waterproofed, I guess they put a coating of something on it. If you Scotchguard it (the stuff in the can) know that it wears off, and it's only water repellant. So you'd have to keep reapplying it.

  3. joress | | #5

    For waterproofing products, also try Outdoor Wilderness Fabrics (online at http://www.owfinc.com). They were a huge help to me by phone and had great prices for outdoor fabric I was looking for.

    1. schoonerchick | | #7

      excellent info, thanks! i've been wondering where to get "outdoor" and high preformance fabrics.

      1. ChrisHaynes | | #8

        Your profile seems to place you on the other side of Puget Sound from me.  You can also get some outdoor fabrics at Pacific Fabrics (the closest to you seem to be Everett and Bremerton)... and sometimes even at JoAnns (depends on the store, the closest one to me in Lake Forest Park does NOT).  But if you take the ferry to over to this side of the Sound you should probably shoot down Highway 99 to the brick and morter version of Seattle Fabrics.  They are the corner of 88th and Aurora (8702 Aurora Ave. N). The outdoor fabrics are literally to the ceiling.

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