Microcrystalline wax is also known as synthetic beeswax or sticky wax. It is a strong batik wax that when used alone gives a light crackle effect. It can withstand the alkali of a typical dyebath and is most often used to strengthen a beeswax and paraffin mixture. A general – all purpose wax recipe is 33% beeswax, 33% paraffin and 33% microcrystalline wax To obtain strong concise detail for direct application through a tjanting tool, a ratio of 70% beeswax to 30% microcrystalline wax is a good place to start experimenting. Excellent applicators for applying hot wax are the Japanese Rofude brushes and the many varieties of tjanting tools. Wax requires ironing, boiling or drycleaning to remove.
Our favorite way to melt wax is by using an electric fry pan (one with a working thermostat), as it is easy to work from, control the temperature and to store wax in for future use. Wax can also be melted directly in a small metal container placed over a Bunsen burner, or on a heating element. Do not exceed the melting point of 260° F., as the wax will begin to break down and discolor the fabric, and too high a temperature will cause unnecessary toxic smoke and possibly ignite. PROPER VENTILATION IN YOUR WORK AREA IS A MUST WHEN WORKING WITH HOT WAX.