Removing Wax From Fabric

Feb. 21, 2018

It has been a long, long time since I posted here. I am trying to get back into the groove of it. In this age of everyone living their lives via cell phone screens, it’s even more important to live a life filled with lush, sensory details. A lovely garden. Pretty items in your home that have meaning. Fresh, healthy food that has both taste and texture. Creating a better life, in spite of the current Administration, who believes that if you can’t afford to buy them, you deserve to die in the dirt.

Today’s post isn’t particularly lush, but it does offer tips for something I find necessary: removing wax from fabric.

I like to cover surfaces with fabrics for different colors and holidays. It brightens up a room and changes the mood to fit the season.

I also burn candles. Since I have cats, I’m careful to keep them in containers. I don’t want any burnt whiskers or tails. But, sometimes, glass holders shatter. Candles drip beyond their holders.

You can scrape off the wax, but that doesn’t get all of it.

If you put it in the washer and dryer, you can hurt your machines.

I learned this technique working in theatre, and it translates well to life. This works on cottons, cotton blends, some synthetic fabrics, most laces. Any delicate fabric should be tested first, or taken to a professional.

Items Needed:
–Ironing board or other flat, sturdy surface
–Iron
–Craft or butcher paper (thicker rather than thinner)

Technique:
Cover the surface with a large sheet of craft paper. Tape it down if necessary.

Cut a few smaller pieces of craft paper and keep them handy. They should be three or four times larger than the areas with wax on them.

Heat up the iron as a dry iron. No water in it. Turn the steam function OFF. Make sure the heat is compatible with the type of fabric with which you’re working. Not too hot, not too cold.

Place the fabric with wax on it face up on the large sheet of paper. Put one of the smaller pieces of paper on top of the waxy area.

Use the hot iron in swift, circular motions on the top sheet of paper.

You will see the wax seep into the paper. Each time you can see the seepage, quickly move the paper so there’s a clean area over the wax and run the iron over again. Make sure you move it before any wax gets on the iron itself. Keep it up until there’s no more seepage.

It’s important to keep the pressure on the iron light to medium, and to keep the iron moving. Do NOT press the iron down and hold it there. You’ll get the wax on your iron and can ruin it.

After (For Washable fabric only):
Once the bulk of the wax has been absorbed, there will still be what looks like a greasy residue on the fabric. If it’s a white or light cloth and a colored candle, there might be some dye residue left.

Pre-treat the area with Zout or (if the cloth is white) a Clorox bleach pen.

Wash as normal in your machine, or, with more delicate fabrics and laces, by hand in Woolite.

It might take more than one wash cycle to get out the residue, but enough wax will have been lifted off so it won’t hurt your machines.

If the fabric is non-washable, check with a dry cleaner.

Use iron cleaner on the iron, just to make sure there’s no residue left.

Throw out the craft paper.

Be careful with the iron and the fabric, and you’ll increase the life of both.

I hope this works for you.

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Finally! A new post and a project . . .

I’ve been neglecting this blog terribly.

Not only that, I’ve been neglecting my fiber craft work. Sigh.

In fact, during the preparation for the new windows getting put in, most of my yarn, etc., went into the storage unit I rented. And you know what? I really hated not having it in the apartment, even if I wasn’t using it. So I’m in the process of bringing it back.

I started a Cute Crocheting Project in lovely autumnal colors a few months back, when it looked like I would actually finish it in time for the colors to be relevant. Unfortunately, I got sidetracked. And then both yarn and instructions got sent to storage. Now, the yarn’s back, but the instructions . . .haven’t found them yet. Which is very frustrating, because I have the urge to crochet once again (hello, it’ll be hot soon and I want to work with yarn. Yeah, makes sense).

So, today, when I was at the store gathering some fronds to create a wreath for the front door so I can then hang my bagua mirror in the center because whatever they treated the new doors with won’t hold adhesive and said bagua keeps flying across the building — don’t ask, trust me, you’ll need serious cocktails by the first five sentences —

ANYWAY . . .I saw Bamboo yarn. In a lovely, soft, gray-green-silver that reminds me of artemesia leaves. So I bought three skeins of it, and I’ve already nearly crocheted up one of it.

I SHOULD be writing, I’m on DEADLINE, but we won’t go there . . .

It’s so lovely and soft to work with, and I’m delighted. The plan is to make a small blanket, lapquilt or travel-sized. Since the airlines have decided their obscene prices mean they don’t have to provide any customer service at all, and they can merely screw their clients even deeper, I’m making a travel blanket. The bamboo is lightweight, will travel well, and can fold up very small in the carry-on, and, at the same time, will provide both a physical warmth and the same kind of psychological warmth a toddler’s blankey provides.

So, yes, I’m crocheting my very own “blankey”.

And I’ll try to be more diligent about posting here. Because then I’ll do more — after all, I’ll need something to write about!

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

This is soothing?

I tried to practice knitting. Truly, I did.

I’m just plain bad at it.

I realize that it’s practice, and I just have to keep trying. But I’m discouraged with it.

I’m still having trouble casting on, and have shed many a tear and yelled at many a piece of yarn. Any idiot can cast on — except me. Once I get the first row done, I’m okay — not brilliant, but okay. But casting on –and binding off — are difficult.

I undid the garter stitch bit of scarf and started knitting stockinette squares. An acquaintance has a lovely throw made out of square in stockinette stitch, and I thought that would be useful as well as pretty. And I have enough scarves.

It’s frustrating. I got three squares done — they’re okay, but not great. Then my mom, who’s a knitter extraordinaire, got excited about it and started knitting squares herself.

And I went back to the yellow cotton blanket I started to crochet.

That, however, is coming along beautifully. In the next few days, I’ll photograph it and post it. I was going to do most of it single crochet with some double and half-double rows for pattern, but it looks better in the simple single crochet, so I took out the more openwork stitches, and I’m doing the entire thing in single crochet. It’s good practice — I’m surprised I can keep the stitches so even — and, most importantly, it’s soothing.

So — the knitting is NOT going well, but the crocheting is going well. Once I feel like I have a bit more equilibrium, I’m going to go back to knitting. A pair of pointy sticks and some yarn are NOT going to intimidate me! 😉

Well, not for long, anyway!