When you want a product that's weather-resistant, outdoor-ready, and tough as all hell, you should consider canvas. It's got a long history of being some of the sturdiest fabrics around, and still easily holds it own as the material of choice for clothes and gear that need to be extra durable. Why? Keep reading to find out...
Heavy cotton fibers are woven together in a simple over-under pattern called a plain weave. That separates canvas from denim, which is similar but uses a twill weave for a subtle diagonal pattern.
Canvas is actually divided into two types: plain canvas, and duck canvas. The plain stuff is woven tightly enough to be tough and weather-proof, but not quite as tightly as duck canvas, which uses an extra dense weave. That makes duck more weather-resistant, but less breathable.
As if the fabric wasn't rugged enough, canvas often gets a treatment of wax to amplify the heavy-duty benefits. It started way back in the 15th century, when grizzled sailors during the Age of Discovery realised that their sails caught the wind better when they were soaked with water.
Since keeping the sails wet all the time wasn't practical, and since all that water would have made them too heavy anyway, they used fish oil to wax the fabric. That way, the sails would be stiffer, but wouldn't soak through with water. Once they realized how effective it was, the sailors sewed together excess sail scraps to wear as sea spray-proof capes.
In the early 1900s, canvas became the fabric of choice for nature-fighting outdoor types when versions coated with more modern types of wax started to appear. Back then, tin was some of the strongest material known to man, and waxed canvas was so impressively impenetrable that it earned the nickname "tin cloth," a title that Filson (who have been around since the nickname's inception) still uses on their impressively strong and sharp outdoor gear made out of the stuff.
Waterproof and Windproof
Canvas can be so tightly woven during manufacturing that it has a waterproof quality, which is often augmented by waterproofing treatments at the completion of the manufacturing process. In addition to being wind and waterproof, canvas is a sturdy fabric that does not yield to frequent stress or tugs. For this reason, it is often used in tent and awning construction, as well as the basis for several types of shoe and animal rugs.
Explore the AniMac canvas rug range.
pic credit: the fold line