How to Soften Canvas Fabric

Are you tired of having stiff, uncomfortable canvas fabric? It might seem like no matter how much wear and tear your material has to endure it never gets softer. If this is a problem you’re struggling with then don’t worry – we have the perfect solution.

In this blog post, we’ll be breaking down exactly how to soften canvas fabric so that it’s comfortable and plush. By the time you finish reading this post, you’ll know all the tips and tricks for making any piece of Canvas more supple and strong in durability.

How to Soften Canvas Fabric

Whether it’s for clothing, a bag or even some curtains, softening the canvas material is an easy task with the right techniques. In this blog post, we’ll explain what really makes canvas so different from other fabrics and why it needs special treatment when it comes to cleaning.

We’ll also discuss several methods to soften canvas fabric without damaging them in any way! With our tips and tricks, you’ll be able to easily enjoy softer textures in all of your favorite canvas projects.

Why May You Want to Soften Canvas Fabric?

1 . To Give Canvas Fabric a Soft, Supple Feel

Canvas fabric is known for its heavy-duty durability and strength. However, it can often be quite stiff and uncomfortable when used in clothing or other projects. Softening canvas fabric makes it more comfortable to wear and use in crafts, as well as giving the fabric a softer, suppler texture that looks better than its stiffer counterpart.

2 . To Restore Canvas Fabric to Its Former Softness

Sometimes canvas fabric can become stiff and rigid over time, especially if it has been exposed to a lot of wear and tear or harsh elements like the sun or rain. Softening the fabric can help restore it to its former glory, making it look as good as new!

3 . To Make Working With Canvas Fabric Easier

Softening canvas fabric makes it easier to work with when crafting or creating projects. It’s easier to cut, sew and manipulate when the fabric is soft and supple, so you can create a perfect result every time.

4 . To Add Extra Protection to Canvas Fabric

Softening canvas fabric can also add an extra layer of protection against the elements. The softer texture allows the fabric to better resist water, dirt and other damage for a longer-lasting result.

Add an Extra Layer of Protection

10 Methods Of How to Soften Canvas Fabric

Now that you know why you might want to soften canvas fabric, let’s take a look at the best methods for doing so.

1 . Wash and Dry on Gentle Settings

The simplest method is to wash the fabric in a washing machine on a gentle cycle with cold water. The use of laundry detergent can help release dirt, oil and grime, while the gentle cycle and cold water help avoid further damage to the fabric. After washing, dry on a low heat setting or lay flat to air dry.

2 . Soak in a Solution of Fabric Softener

Soaking canvas fabric in a solution of liquid fabric softener is also effective. Mix one part fabric softener with four parts warm water, then submerge the fabric and allow it to soak for at least 30 minutes. After soaking, rinse with cold water and air dry.

3 . Spot Treat With a Fabric Softener Spray

Spot-treating small areas of stiff canvas fabric with a spray-on fabric softener can be effective when you are trying to avoid washing the entire fabric. Spray the solution onto the fabric and use a soft brush to work it into the fibers. This will also help release dirt, oil and grime while softening the fabric.

4 . Iron on Low Heat

Ironing canvas fabric on a low heat setting can help soften it up. Be sure to place a piece of muslin or cotton cloth between the iron and fabric to protect it from any damage. Start at a low heat setting, then gradually increase if needed.

5 . Use a Hot Steam Setting on an Iron

Using a hot steam setting on an iron is another effective way of softening canvas fabric. Make sure to hold the iron several inches away from the fabric and keep it moving to avoid any damage. After steaming, give the fabric a quick press with the iron on a low setting before allowing it to air dry.

Using a Hot Steam Setting on an Iron

6 . Soak in Hot Water

Another option is to soak canvas fabric in hot water. Fill a bathtub or bucket with warm water and add one cup of baking soda for extra softening power. Once the fabric has been submerged, let it soak for at least 30 minutes before rinsing with cold water and air drying.

7 . Use a Bristle Brush

Using a bristle brush to scrub the canvas fabric is an effective method of softening it up. Start by dampening the fabric with warm water, then use short, firm strokes with the brush. This will help release dirt and oil while also helping to soften up the fabric.

8 . Use a Hair Dryer

Using a hair dryer on low heat is another option for softening canvas fabric. Hold the dryer several inches away from the fabric and keep it moving to avoid any damage. Give it a few passes until the fabric has softened up, then allow it to air dry.

9 . Rub With a Natural Softening Agent

Rubbing canvas fabric with a natural softening agent such as olive oil or coconut oil can also help soften it up. Start by rubbing a small amount of the oil into the fabric, then use a bristle brush to work it into the fibers. This will help release dirt and grime while also softening up the fabric.

10 . Use a Clothes Dryer

Using a clothes dryer on a low heat setting can also be effective for softening canvas fabric. Add two to three clean tennis balls or other heavy items to the drum and turn on the machine for about ten minutes. The bouncing of th e balls will help soften up the fabric while also releasing any dirt or grime that has become embedded in the fibers.

Using a Clothes Dryer on a Low Heat Setting

Softening canvas fabric isn’t difficult, and with a few easy steps, you can have softer, suppler canvas fabric in no time. Whether you are looking to make it more comfortable to wear, restore its former softness or make it easier to work with, one of these methods should do the trick!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Precautions Should You Take Before Softening Canvas Fabric?

Before attempting to soften canvas fabric, it is important to clean the material first. This can be accomplished by either spot cleaning or machine washing it in cold water. Make sure that all zippers and buttons are fastened securely before placing the fabric into the washer. It is also a good idea to use a gentle detergent and avoid any fabric softening agents, as these can damage the canvas over time.

What Are Some Common Methods to Soften Canvas Fabric?

There are several common methods for softening canvas fabric. One of the safest and most popular is machine washing with a gentle laundry detergent followed by air drying. Another option is to soak the fabric in a solution of one part vinegar and two parts water for 15 minutes before rinsing it with cold water. Finally, you can try rubbing the fabric with a small amount of hair conditioner for a few minutes before washing it in cold water.

Are There Any Tips to Make Canvas Fabric Last Longer?

Yes, there are several tips to make canvas fabric last longer. First, avoid using any harsh detergents as these can cause the material to become brittle over time. Also, refrain from washing the fabric in hot water or drying it in the dryer, as this may weaken the fibers in the canvas.

Finally, use a light pressing iron set on a low temperature to remove wrinkles without damaging the fabric. By following these tips, you can ensure that your canvas fabric stays soft and in good condition for many years to come.

Use a Light Pressing Iron Set


It is possible to soften canvas fabric and make it even more comfortable and cozy. With a few simple steps, such as washing on a gentle cycle, using a fabric softener, and tumble drying with low heat, your canvas fabric will look and feel like new. Make sure to pay careful attention when laundering money-can-buy items such as cotton duckcloth or duck canvases; they can shrink if you’re not paying attention. When in doubt, it’s always best to test a small sample first.

Now that you’ve learned how to soften canvas fabric at home, why not give it a try yourself? You may be surprised by the results! Plus, you can save money by not having to buy new clothes or take them in for dry cleaning every time they start to lose their softness. So go ahead – put your newfound knowledge into action today and soften your canvas fabrics!

Nancy Behan

Nancy Behan

Nancy is an embroidery artist, fashion blogger and a full time editor at DIY quickly. Nancy edits the fashion section on DIY quickly, focusing on the embroidery and cross stitch articles, alongside with fabric and other costume design elements. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts in Art History. She loves to work on her own projects, read books and watch romantic movies in her spare time.

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