Makeshifter Canvas Works
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About the Maker

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Makeshifter Canvas Works is a one-woman canvas bag company in Portland, Oregon, founded upon the belief that there is a place for handsome, characterful handcrafted items in the bicycle industry. USA-milled canvas and wool are the primary materials used, creating bags that are as durable and functional as they are pretty.

I started Makeshifter Canvas Works with a mission to bring alternative products to a male-dominated industry, and to help women and casual cyclists feel more welcome, represented, and inspired by the cycling world. Makeshifter bags channel the love for a slow and rambling ride, a disregard for lightweight and competitive ideals, and a sense of whimsy and humor that I hope will invite all to ride more.

When I started bike touring years ago, I was disappointed by the existing options for cycling bags--mostly synthetic, characterless, techy, masculine--and began designing and constructing my own bags. I sought an aesthetic that would pay homage to the cultures and places through which I pedal: the vibrant, art-filled city of Portland, rich Northwest forests and high desert, and a historical landscape that includes indigenous cultures,  pioneers, and traditional handcrafts. The materials, colors, patterns and design details you see in every Makeshifter product are a celebration of these roots.


Local pickup

If you live in the Portland area and don't want your item shipped, choose "Local Pickup" as your shipping option and you will not be charged for shipping. You will receive notice via email once your order is ready, with instructions on where to retrieve it. You can pick it up from my workshop in NE Portland (this is not a retail space and is for pickup only).


Lead Times

Lead times per order generally run 1-2 weeks. Sometimes, especially in the case of smaller products like Snackholes and Hangdowns, I have them readymade and they will ship within a day or two. To inquire which colors are readymade, or if you need your order by a specific date, you can always email me. 

Bandanas are readymade and ship within a day or two.

Wholesale orders have longer lead times, depending on the size of the order. 4-5 weeks is typical.


Shipping

Orders ship via USPS, 2-3 times weekly. You'll be emailed shipment confirmation and tracking info when your order ships. 

Small, single items (bandanas & single Snackholes) ship First Class. Everything else goes Priority. It all takes 2-3 days. I don't offer anything faster because 2-3 days is pretty darn quick.


Warranty

My goal is that Makeshifter bags last a really long time; at the very least I hope to do everything I can to keep them relevant, functional, and out of landfills. I learn from seeing how the bags wear over time, and make adjustments to designs when I note flaws or weaknesses. But even really well-made and durable stuff wears over time You can always send/bring back your bag for a repair. If it just needs some labor and TLC, I'll fix it free of charge (you pick up the shipping cost). If it is damaged or worn beyond repair, let's talk about a trade-in for a new bag.


Water-Resistance

Most Makeshifter bags are made of water-repellent waxed canvas, and will keep your gear dry through rainy commutes, depending on the bag and the conditions.

Canvas, which is woven of natural cotton fibers, expands when it absorbs water--closing pores in the fabric and keeping water out of the bag. You may notice in a total downpour that the bag will become saturated, but the inside of the bag is completely dry. Additionally, details like zipper flaps, taped seams, and roll-top openings help keep water out.

 


Clean/Care

Canvas is pretty darn good at keeping dirt out, and I tend to consider trail dust an aesthetic improvement. The wool patterns on a Makeshifter bag can shrink or become misshapen if scrubbed vigorously, as in a washing machine. The best way to wash your bag is to rinse in cold water, and reshape to air dry. A hose (ALWAYS cold water!) & air dry works best. Keep in mind that too much washing will wear out the natural water/mildew repellency. Waxed canvas should never be ironed, and shouldn't need any more than a wipe down with a damp cloth. A little dirt don't hurt.


Re-waxing

It usually takes years of wear for waxed canvas to require re-waxing. You may notice areas that get a lot of wear, perhaps in contact with a rack or basket, develop dry spots. 

The Outback Saddlebag, BasketCase, and the Hangdown are all constructed of Martexin waxed canvas, and the same compound should be used to re-wax these spots. You can acquire some here.

The Snackhole, Bootypack, Temaki Tool Roll and APP are all beeswaxed, and should be re-waxed with natural beeswax.

  1. Warm up the fabric and the wax a bit. You can let your fabric sit in the sun for a while, hit it with a hair dryer, or put it in the clothes dryer on LOW for a minute or two.
  2. Rub a little of the wax compound in with your fingers. Apply a little more heat so the wax sinks into the canvas then let it cool and dry. Use wax sparingly.


Snackholing

The beauty of the Snackhole Stem Bag is that it fits any bike and adjusts very easily. Every bike is different though, so you will have to figure out the best placement for each Velcro strap. Here's a basic diagram of how  & where to setup the straps on a Snackhole:


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Tips:

Feed the straps through the daisy chain around the top. There are lots of options, so see what works best for your setup. The Snackhole should fit snugly in that 90 degree angle between your handlebars & your stem.

One you're happy with your setup, you can trim the velcro straps if they're too long. Straps should fit as snugly as possible to your bike to keep the Snackhole stable.

Keep the soft, fuzzy side of the velcro against your metal bits, and the crunchy, rough side outward. This will prevent the wearing of paint/finish from contact points.