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Washing a rugged twill Filson Bag?

DrTolo

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I was at Steven Alan the other day, and they had some washed Filson bags (URL below if you want to check it out). I really liked the aesthetic, but not the style of the bags b/c they were mostly large duffles. I was told that the washed bags are exclusive to Steven Alan, and I tried to get more details, but everyone there was pretty vague. They said the bags are shipped off to Japan where they are washed in "special" machines using "special" detergents. They discouraged me washing a new bag personally, and recommended I purchase one of their pre-washed bags (obviously).

I've decided I'm going to take my chances and wash a new one, so I recently purchased an Otter Green Filson Large Briefcase.

I was wondering if anyone else has a Filson, and if they have ever washed theirs. If so, what temp? What detergent? Did you put it in the Dryer?

Any details that anyone could give me would be greatly appreciated.


http://www.stevenalan.com/shop/custo...=17573&cat=591
 

Edward Appleby

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That bag looks really fucking cool. It feels a bit like cheating, in the same way washed/distressed denim does, but if it is, then that bag is the fucking Jomon of pre-distressed Filsons.

I do wonder about the durability and water repellency of the washed vs original articles. Filson's warnings against washing their waxed cottons, which antedate the Steve Alan bag, would make me a bit cautious about buying a normal piece of Filson luggage and washing it myself.

I have a feeling that the bags are re-treated after washing with some wax; if they're not, then I would be somewhat concerned about the water resistance.

Still, awesome looking stuff.
 

DrTolo

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The reason why I don't think it would be cheating to wash the bag is b/c I feel that no matter how long you use one of those bags, it will probably never look as cool as they look when you wash them, simply because they are treated so that they won’t deteriorate. Of course, a combination of the two (time/use and washing) would probably have the best result, and that is my plan. Imho, when you buy pre-distressed denim, it NEVER looks as good as if you buy raw and just wear them to death. My biggest qualm with pre-distressed denim is that it is not a reflection on the way you live. If you buy raw, then those jeans become a blank canvas, and whatever the outcome, good or bad, it represents the way you live your life. As far as water repellency goes, Filson sells the same wax they use at the factory, so that would definitely have to be part of this process.
 

Edward Appleby

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Do post results when you get the case.
 

DrTolo

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I will definately post pics.

However, I am hoping to get more input before the bag arrives on Wednesday.
 

j

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Hmm. I'd be tempted to try a washtub with some detergent and a little bleach, and go at it with a big wire brush. The important thing will be taking care of the leather when it dries. For something like that, maybe baseball glove conditioner would be good.
 

blackgrass

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I have a couple of Filson luggage items and I wouldn't wash them....no way. Just use the hell out of it and it will end up looking cool as hell. I had a medium field bag that was well on it's way to looking like the photo of the one you posted before I traded it off....(wish I hadn't). Will Filson still honor the lifetime warrenty if you wash the bag? I think all you are doing is pulling the waterproofing treatment out of the cloth when you wash it which sort of defeats the purpose....Not to mention the leather on the bag you posted looks like a dog has been chewing on it. I think they are a lot like the Red Moon wallets....there are not shortcuts in getting good wabi....just gotta use the hell out of them.
 

DrTolo

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Blackgrass,

Do you have any picks of your Filsons? The only reason for my interest in washing is that I was concerned the wax finish would prevent wear. I don't want to use the bag for 5 years and then have it look similar to the day I bought it. If you don't think that would be the case, then I may just let nature take its course.

I asked Filson specifically, and they said that washing would not void the warranty. They also said it would not effect the integrity of the bag, that it would simply not be water resistant anymore, which is of no consequence to me.

Thanks for the input...
 

blackgrass

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My Filson bag I carried all the time was the Medium Field bag. I sold it a year or so ago just for a change...Wish I hadn't. I have a large duffle that I got for X-mas last year but haven't really used it much so it doesn't have much character.
The wax finish is not going to prevent wear to the bag and probably helps create wear much like a pair of raw denim jeans. I have only owned the tan colored luggage. It seems to show dirt and scuff marks pretty readily....which to some might not be a good thing but I really like a bag that shows character. It will take a while to break in but in the end I think you will be happier knowing you put all those miles on your bag. I really like the briefcases....The field bag I had had an oval cut top that prevented you from being able to stick a standard size file in the bag....that is the real reason I sold it off.
Something you could try is just wetting down your bag and giving it a good scrubbing with a nylon scrub brush. That might remove the outer layer of the wax and help with the break-in process. The leather will break-in nicely with some time. At first the bags are quite stiff but give it a few months of use and I think you will be glad you didn't wash it. I may have to ask for a briefcase for X-mas...had to beat a Filson!
 
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Originally Posted by blackgrass
The wax finish is not going to prevent wear to the bag and probably helps create wear much like a pair of raw denim jeans.
Emphatically seconded. Waxwear develops an amazing patina. No experience with Filson, but my 2-year-old Barbour jacket has great wear.
 

afaludi

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the only problem with wax wear its that it transfers the wax everywhere during the first few weeks until it gets broken in. something I learned the hard way with a brown waxed messenger bag from JCrew. It looks great now though especially with all the indigo that has rubbed of my denim and on to the bag.
 

blackgrass

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One thing to note. I don't think the bags have as much wax on them as the jackets. I have owned both the Shelter Cloth and Tin cloth and they don't seem to have the same waxy feel as a Barbour type jacket (which I have also owned). I haven't had a problem with the wax rubbing off on anything from any Filson product.
 

DrBubba

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For anyone who actually needs to CLEAN a Filson bag...Unbeknownst to me, my 95-lb. Black Lab must have taken a DUMP on my green twill duffle about 2 weeks ago, when he was "under the weather." I called Filson Customer Service where a very helpful dude named Christian suggested that I try a 50/50 mix of WHITE vinegar (NOT red-wine, apple cider etc.) & water, applied w/a wire or toothbrush. I can't find any white vinegar, so I'll have to let anyone interested know
how this goes. He also suggested putting the bag out in the sun to try to deodorize it. (I have a bit of a sinus condition, but the bag really doesn't smell like DOG POOP!)
Not really looking for a STYLISH WASHED look...I just want to try to get a dog shit stain out of my bag!
P.S. This process is supposed to preserve the WAX/water-proofing process.
 

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