Thursday, June 18, 2009
My old Jack Spade waxwear messenger
This post can otherwise be entitled Where do all our old bags go? It's about this old messenger I've used for three or more odd years, as it accompanied me in a specific phase in my life. I should love its current state: rugged, used and worn, even with some tears and stains. But about those personal marks, a little later.
I bought this bag because I'd never heard of the concept — waxwear. This is how the little booklet inside one of the pockets described it: "Weatherproofed woven cotton soaked in turn-of-the-century paraffin for greater strength and abrasion resistance. When exposed to heat, the waxed surface 'refinishes' itself, and marks of use fade. Scotchguard's effectiveness fades over time so we recommend Scotchguard to be reapplied every six months or so."
I liked the leather details and the pattern inside the bag. But when I first touched the material, I immediately suspected that, in time, it would tear. The saleslady assured me that it would not. The fact that it was on sale and that I couldn't wait out to test this unheard of technology convinced me to get it.
The "refinishing" indeed worked, but to cut the long story of more than three years short, I was proven right when tears began to appear. At first, I sent the bag to the repair shop for some leather patches, but even more cut through the waxwear. And though I religiously reapplied Scotchguard as instructed, the fabric slowly became more brittle and less responsive to heat.
The bag is still with me and I have decided to keep it in case my mind changes about not wanting to use an aged and rugged messenger (it is, after all, heavy by itself). And though I would want a wallet with the same fabric, I haven't torn the bag apart and sent it to a tailor to be turned into something else. For now it will stay in my cabinet, together with the fond memories of those years I spent with it.
If you owned this piece, what would you do with it?
A chocolate brown version of my waxwear industrial field bag is on sale on the Jack Spade site, in case you want to check. And here's one for laptops, but only available at regular price.