Forest City Portage
A man and his machines.
#10 Martexin Original Waxed Canvas

Materials

Materials

I love the different textures, colors, and graphics that textiles offer. I also love working in upcycled and vintage fabrics. But, that means there are a lot of options. Generally speaking the bags and packs that come out of the doors at Forest City Portage are made from one of 4 common materials. I get my material from the most trusted sources in North America and am happy to share links with you if you want to try making a bag yourself. 

1000 Denier Cordura ™ Brand Fabric - This is a nylon duck weave canvas that is coated with a urethane backing to give it a water resistance. It is abrasion, mildew, and UV resistant and is the industry standard in outdoor gear. Cordura doesn't mill their own fabric, but it is readily available online through outdoor material wholesalers.

#10 Martexin Original Waxed Canvas -  The original waterproof material from mother nature, this was the material of choice for loggers and outdoorsmen long before Gore-Tex was a thing. An all natural cotton duck is impregnated with a proprietary blend of beeswax and linseed oil and gets a beautiful patina as it wears that some compare to leather. I buy mine from Fairfield Textile in New Jersey. The minimum orders and per color cut fees make it expensive to stock which is why it is so costly to upgrade your bag. I think it works really well reinforcing sailcloth and paired with leather for a truly classic look.

Dacron Sailcloth - The original sail material of the 20th century, Dacron is a polyester, waterproof material that comes in a variety of weights but you know it from its classic white appearance. I only source "throw away" sails from owners who can no longer fix it or due to excessive stretch from years of use. This means the material might be dingy from sitting in a basement or garage, or show visible signs of wear. I have even gotten sails from a guy whose boat sunk! I like to consider these blemishes part of the story of the material and scars of their life on the open waters of the Great Lakes and beyond. If you're not so much into that aesthetic but still want Dacron, be sure to ask for "Pristine" sailcloth, but be prepared I might not always have some in stock. Same goes for insignia. I have a lot of call numbers and a fair amount of sail maker brands, but can't ensure I have the one you're looking for. 

Laminate Sailcloth - Manufactured by laminating Dyneema, Spectra, Kevlar, or other lightweight and strong synthetic fibers between sheets of

#10 Martexin Original Waxed Canvas

#10 Martexin Original Waxed Canvas

The original waterproof material from mother nature, this was the material of choice for loggers and outdoorsmen long before Gore-Tex was a thing. An all natural cotton duck is impregnated with a proprietary blend of beeswax and linseed oil and gets a beautiful patina as it wears that some compare to leather. I buy mine from Fairfield Textile in New Jersey. The minimum orders and per color cut fees make it expensive to stock which is why it is so costly to upgrade your bag. I think it works really well reinforcing sailcloth and paired with leather for a truly classic look.