After finishing up the last bag a few days ago, I now give you the new and improved army duffel totes! Each bag is one of a kind and this was both the fun and difficult part. Since no two are the same the difficult part is that it’s not possible to apply the same technique to each which can be slow going, each requires a lot of thought and time as to how they are going to be cut so that whatever markings/stamps are retained, this in turn is also the fun part since there is no repetition to the totes it’s fun to sew each one and see how it turns out. But the basic process is to remove the side strap handle and reposition, make any repairs, and finish any raw edges, add straps, machine wash, dry and wax.
The waxing is a new thing for me and after doing some research found Otter Wax which is an all natural wax that gives a matte finish. What I love about their product is that since you have to work it in with your hands you get the bonus of a paraffin wax spa treatment by the time you’re finished. On Otter Wax’s website The Coveted have posted a tutorial about waxing your jeans, which looked pretty simple and gave me the basic guideline to waxing:
I would say maybe this is accurate for already waxed denim, but for 16oz canvas it needs a lot more work than shown above. For my totes, I put some heavy card inside the bag and passed the wax over a few swipes, worked it in with my fingers til I saw it had spread evenly, then you would turn your hairdryer on high heat and do the same. I waited until I had done an entire bag before applying heat, then it goes in a cool place to cure and set for minimum 24 hours. Rub a chamois over after a few days has passed to collect any residual tackiness.
Here is a few photos along the way of how one of the bags was done and where you can find them – make/match/modify
And then here are a bunch more that I just loaded up as well – all these babies are a snip at $120, with free shipping in the US for one week only!