This soy wax comes in flake form for easy melting and measuring.
Soy wax was originally developed as an alternative to beeswax for candle makers. It is derived from an agricultural product (soybeans) rather than petroleum based. It is highly sought after by textile workers because of the low melting point and because it generates less fumes than traditional waxes. When heated it flows beautifully through a tjanting tool and is easy to remove from the cloth after dyeing. Just rinse in 140 F water with a bit of synthrapol detergent. Tools and equipment may be cleaned and used for other projects as well.
This wax is most effective when dyeing with direct application (batch dyeing) techniques. Short immersion dyebaths like indigo are possible, but soy wax will not stand up to longer immersion dyebaths like that of Procion MX. Excellent applicators for applying hot wax are the Japanese Rofude brushes and the many varieties of tjanting tools. Wax requires ironing, boiling or dry-cleaning 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.