Switching to Soy (wax)

I recently sat down to place an order as I needed both a dye-fixer and some colors. My favorite place to order from is PRO Chemical and Dye in Fall River, MA. They are super quick, kinda local and high quality. I must confess that each time I place a supply order, I let myself order one thing that I did not log in for. My last order I came away with 2 dye ready T-shirts, one of which is almost done and will be given away to one lucky fan!

Since I’ve started this work, I have researched and experimented with the type of wax I use. I have been using a Batik Wax from Jacquard. It is a 50/50 blend of paraffin and microcrystalline waxes. Different companies have a variety of wax blends, with different properties that melt at different temperatures. At one point I mixed my own paraffin & beeswax blend, but that proved to be a big hassle and was the same price as the Jacquard wax so I stopped.

During this last order I decided to try soy wax:

It is different. They say it’s fume free- maybe so, but it smells AWFUL. Maybe I’d just gotten used to the smell of melting batik wax, but this is taking longer. It’s a non petroleum renewable source that supports American Farmers. It has a lower melting point and is supposedly easier to get off the fabric (which I have noticed when I iron off the wax). But, it also crackles differently, and breaks down quicker in dye baths- and is in fact not recommended for the type of immersion dying that I do. Uh oh.

I like the idea of using soy wax, but I’m struggling to figure the balance between principle and practical. I’ll keep you posted, the verdict is still out on soy wax.

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