We are happy to bring in Soy Wax as an all natural alternative to petroleum based Paraffin and Microcrystaline waxes for batik, and some other techniques as well. It has some major advantages and a few disadvantages that we shall try to describe below in the Uses section.
- It has a total lack of obnoxious fumes! Other waxes absolutely have to be used in well ventilated areas.
- It can be removed from fabric by washing in hot soapy water (over 140 degrees) and won't mess up your plumbing! No boiling, cooling and skimming. No dry cleaning with toxic Perchloroethylene, which fewer and fewer dry cleaners are using anyway.
- Unlike other water soluble resists (Inko), it CAN be submersed if you are careful, using our tips below, so can be used for some more traditional Batik methods with cooler water dyes like our Fiber Reactive.
- It does not crackle the same as regular waxes, but (unlike other water soluble resists) it will crack, especially if you stick the waxed item in the freezer.
- It comes in flake form, not a solid block like our other waxes, so is easier to measure out and melt just what you need.
- The melting temperature range is 110 to 140 F, lower than other waxes, so a double boiler is adequate, no fancy electric pans needed!
- Clean up of tools is way easy with hot water and any liquid detergent, and you don't have to set them aside just for using with the wax anymore!
- Since it is made from Soy Beans, it is a renewable resource and supports our farmers! It is made with 100% natural soybeans that are domestically grown. This product is manufactured meeting FDA and Kosher standards.
Soy wax is a great resist for Low Immersion techniques like Crystal Wash and to resist a design before Tie Dyeing or Dye Painting using the Cold Batch Method. Your piece can be dried and layered with more wax and dye many times. It is the only water soluble resist that will crackle some to simulate Batik with those techniques.
Using it in the traditional method of submersion or Tub Dyeing Batik is trickier, but doable if you are careful. The samples shown above were done in a Fiber Reactive dye bath or succession of baths. Fiber Reactive dyebaths should be above 70 degrees to be effective, but never more than 90 degrees or so with the soy, as the wax does break down easily, especially in the presence of Soda Ash, which breaks down all wax eventually. It can also just flake off, so careful handling in the dyebath helps to keep the wax on the fabric. Extra wax may need to be applied between dyebaths because of the erosion. Since you want to limit the exposure to the Soda Ash, we recommend you cut the time of the dye bath after the Soda Ash is added. With that and the lower temperature, really dark dye results are probably not possible, but that is more than made up for by the benefits of using Soy. If you want to do very traditional Batik with lots of distinct crackling, many "layers" and dark dye colors, there is no substitute for traditional mixes of "real" waxes.
The only weird things we noticed when we tested it is that it is more viscous than melted petrowaxes and it takes much longer to solidify on the fabric than a normal hot wax,. This may mean you can get more use out of a tjanting tool or brush before you have to re-heat and re-fill, which could be nice. The main thing is to have it hot enough to soak into the fabric rather than just sitting on top. If it doesn't penetrate a thicker fabric enough because of the low temperature and it's viscosity, the fabric can be flipped over and waxed on the back to get better coverage.
If you have ended up using a lot of wax, especially with layering techniques, ironing between layers of paper to remove most of it really does help, especially because you don't want to be putting a lot of wax down your pipes no matter how "washable" it is. The remaining wax will melt easily in HOT water and Synthrapol wash (to remove excess dye) and come out completely.
Made in: UNITED STATES (USA)