Image Credit: Norwegian Rain [CC BY-SA 4.0 ]
It’s summer and you want to be out in the good weather while it lasts, but what do you do if you’re surprised by the rain? Thankfully you don’t need to go out to buy a whole new set of rain-ready outdoor furniture, you can waterproof fabric from the comfort of your own home, and make sure that favourite jacket is fine to wear whatever the weather. Have a look at these easy methods for waterproofing fabric and try them out this summer.
Probably the simplest and quickest way to waterproof fabric is to buy water-repellent spray from your local hardware or outdoor shop. Many companies now offer water-repellent spray that you can apply directly to whatever fabric you want with minimal effort and maximum effect. Just make sure you’re outside or in a well-ventilated area before you spray away.
If don’t mind getting your hands a bit dirty, or if you want to save a little money, there are lots of ways to waterproof fabric yourself, using natural materials and homemade solutions.
Probably the oldest way of waterproofing fabric, this tried-and-tested way of repelling water has been used on boats and tents for hundreds of years. Even today companies like Barbour still use wax to seal their products, and you can too. Just so you know, beeswax may change the colour of the fabric, so test it out on a small section first.
Another natural product you can use to waterproof fabric is linseed oil. This is used to turn your fabric into ‘tincloth’, a name coined by American pioneers for how it makes regular fabrics super-resistant against stains and fire as well as water. As with beeswax, this may change the look and feel of the fabric.
A slightly more intensive process is using alum - aluminumpotassiumsulphate - to waterproof fabric. This chemical is used for waterproofing buildings and construction materials, so it’s certainly a hardy solution, but make sure you handle it carefully because it can be toxic. Definitely use protective clothing and goggles.
These are a few ways to waterproof fabric, each of them easy ways to keep your tent, boat or favorite jacket water-free. Remember, nothing lasts forever; all of these methods will eventually wear off, but they should last you the season. Test them out this summer and let us know how they are!