Make Your Bush Hat Waterproof
For centuries mankind has struggled with keeping clothes and equipment dry. From ancient sea farers to Canadian voyeurs and backwoodsman – keeping dry has been a problem. One solution that was created is to add wax and oils to canvas clothing to make them water repellant. This article will show you how you can quickly, and fairly easily make almost any outerwear water resistant using a few steps.
As with any project, you are going to need to gather some tools:
– Cotton clothing you wish to make waterproof
– Craft Sponge
– Heat Gun
– Stove, pot, and water
– Barbour wax (available at craft stores and leather suppliers)
Once your tools are assembled, be sure you are wearing clothes that you do not mind getting dirty and oily. Like painting a room, this can often be a messy job. Be sure you have something under your project such as a towel or drop cloth as sometimes the wax will splash everywhere.
Fill a bowl with water, and put it on the stove. Put the Barbour wax in the bowl of water and heat it up. This will melt the wax and make it significantly easier to apply when it is in liquid form. It will soak into your fabric significantly easier. When the water boils, remove the Barbour wax with bacon tongs and ensure you do not touch the hot metal container. Other formulas are available, however the author has had most success with the Barbour Wax brand of wax.
Heat your clothing. In this case a bush hat. You can throw it in the dryer for a few minutes on “cotton” to heat it up. A heat gun is excellent to provide localized heating to get the hat warm all the way through.
Using a craft sponge (a sponge with a handle on it) dip it in the Barbour wax, an apply liberally to your hat. While you are doing this, you will need to stop and use the heat gun on the hat. This will ensure the hat stays hot while applying the wax, and keep the wax from pooling on the hat. Use the craft sponge to scrub the wax into the cotton. This is important to ensure the wax penetrates into every fibre of the hat. You will know you are successful when you can see “wet spots” on the other side of the fabric
Be sure to heat the hat with the heat gun as you are applying the Barbour wax. This will ensure proper penetration of the wax as well as keep the finish smooth. Wipe off any excess to give it a nice finish.
Hang the hat and let it dry overnight. This will give a very professional finish to the hat, and make it completely waterproof.
Your new waterproof garment will have a slick, “old world” feel to it. There are a few things to consider when working on a project like this:
– Do this at your own risk!
– If done improperly, you will ruin your hat
– It will void the hats warranty
– The hat will have a permanent “wet look”
– The hat will be significantly darker than it was when you started. (The authors sage green hat turned out black.)
– Be careful not to burn yourself with hot wax, or the heat gun
– Be careful not to set anything on fire with the heat gun!
– The article will have a somewhat oily feel to it. The wax may transfer to other articles of clothing and stain them when new
– The hat will be heavier due to the added weight of the wax
– The wax will need to be re-applied each season
– Super hot temperatures may cause re-application to be more frequent
– You cannot use this process on synthetic fabrics!