Vintage Filson 262 Part II
This week, I am featuring images of Mark’s beautiful Filson 262 Rucksack, which has been waxed and aged to perfection. Notice that the back of the bag has not been treated to prevent the wax from rubbing off on the wearer’s clothing, which is a great tip. The leather on this bag looks fantastic and has aged naturally over time. As usual, I will let the owner’s comments tell the story…enjoy and thanks again, Mark!
“The 262 Rucksack was my second Filson purchase and I have used this bag quite a bit. I purchased the older version, which has the strap buckle sewn to the side seam. In the newer version, a triangular canvas piece has been added to attach the strap buckle, which makes it fit a little better.
I waxed mine and it darkens the canvas and kind of mats it. I really like the unevenness it gives the bag. I need to wax it again soon; I’m sure it’ll add more character. I did not wax the back since it sits against my clothing. The wax does tend to rub off on stuff. Also note, I haven’t treated the leather…it has lightened on its own.”
Is it possible to get waxing instructions for the Filson Twill? Love the look of Mark’s rucksack. Obviously it has some miles on it, but the waxing does seem to help the patina.
Thanks for your question. I have never personally waxed a Filson bag, but I will contact Mark and see if he would be kind enough to prepare a brief summary or provide a link with instructions. Stay tuned…
I used Filson’s wax and rubbed it into the surface a small section at a time with my fingers. Then I heated the surface with a hair dryer, which causes the wax to absorb better into the twill. You can see it melt into the twill. You can then evaluate the look and decide if you want to apply more wax. It takes a while to apply the wax. I did so while watching TV to pass the time.
It takes some effort but is worth it. In addition to my bags, I’ve rewaxed a couple of my jackets, too. That really takes a while. Good luck.
Thanks so much Mark. I have tons of those tins and haven’t used them yet. Sadly, my 12+ yr old Rucksack went back to Filson and they couldn’t repair it, so maybe after breaking in the new one for 5 years I’ll finally get to wax.
Thanks for your posts on vintage outfitters bags. I have an old Signature Orvis Battenkill Duffle Bag with similar bottom zip compartment. However, the old metal zipper (brass?) is very difficult to slide and takes work to open & close. It is, surprisingly, not musty, canvas has faded in certain areas. I was wondering how I can find out the age of it. Cannot find matching one on internet. It seems atleast pre 1965, but with zipper perhaps older. I will try to send picture of it.
Hello, Janet…thanks for your comment. Unfortunately my knowledge is limited to Filson but I would try sending some pics in an email to Orvis and see what you can find out. They have excellent customer service and would be the best resource to address your questions.
Hey there, I was wondering how long it would take for the wax to dry to the point that it won’t rub off on your clothes afterwards? I recently just waxed a briefcase myself, but I would like to carry it without the fear that I’m going to get wax all over my shirt or pants.
Thanks for your comment, I have never personally waxed one of my Filson pieces, but I have handled a few and notice that when wax is applied at home, it does permanently change the character/feel of the bag. The factory finish (on Twill) is lighter and much dryer to the touch (almost as if it is sprayed on). When wax is applied by the end user it tends to significantly darken the bag and it makes it feel colder and stickier (more like an oil cloth). In my experience, the bag will never “dry” enough to return it to the factory finish, but after a week or so it will have cured as much as it is going to; however, this may still rub off on clothing depending on how liberally it was applied.
Sorry I couldn’t be more help:)
I had reached out to FIlson directly, and was told, “I do not suggest that you use our Filson Oil Finish Wax. You can use bees wax or scotch guard it wont be as harsh on those fabrics.”
I have since used beeswax on 2 of my bags and have been pleased. It doesn’t seem to darken the fabric too much (and may even fade back over time) and there is hardly any waxy feel to it. Rub wax on the fabric and then hit it with a blow dryer or a heat gun.
Ok, I have an update. I was seriously worrying that I messed up big time by putting the oil finish wax on. It was streaky looking and sticky and I was afraid I ruined it. I took a shoe polish brush and a blow dryer and turned it on high heat and brushed the twill with the grain and that smoothed it out big time. The bag looks like it did before I put the wax on, just maybe a little darker. So I’m no longer freaking out, and now its water proofed to boot!
Also Charles, I stumbled on this blog not too long ago and I think its great. I’m sure its not the easiest thing to keep posting regularly, but if you start that up again, know that you’ll have at least one reader here!
Fantastic tips on the waxing process; as a person who has never waxed any of my Filson bags, it is always nice to hear about other people’s experiences. Thanks for your post.
Thank you also for the kind words…I tend to acquire new Filson pieces in the Fall so I expect to be posting new content during the next few months, so stay tuned and thanks for visiting the site.
Thanks for posting the pics of the rugged twill after it has been waxed. I recently waxed my ~6 year old 256 briefcase and have some before and after pics if you have any interest. It definitely darkens the material and the resulting look probably isn’t for everyone, but I was happy with the way it turned out.