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Subject: Wax on textile

Wax on textile

From: Dee Stubbs-Lee <dee.stubbs-lee>
Date: Friday, December 1, 2006
Alan J. Hawk <alan.hawk [at] afip__osd__mil> writes

>What is the best way to remove candle wax that has dripped onto a
>textile.  We have physically removed the big chunks, but would
>appreciate advice on how to remove the wax that has been absorbed
>into the fibers.

If the fabric appears to be in good condition and is not a
synthetic, you may be able to try carefully melting the wax out.
Luckily candle wax has a fairly low melting point. Physical removal
by melting might pose less risk to the textile than would chemical
removal with a solvent. In order to dissolve wax chemically, you
would probably have to chose a non-polar solvent.

A few years ago our museum received a donation of an early 20th
century tulle wedding veil with a delicate spray of wax flowers
across the headband. Unfortunately, the donor had left the veil
folded in her car on a hot summer day and the wax flowers began to
melt, effectively "gluing" the veil into its folded state. Working
carefully with a tacking iron on a low heat setting, I was able
successfully remove the wax by melting it through the tulle fabric
onto a pad of absorbent paper towelling beneath.

Dee Stubbs-Lee
The New Brunswick Museum
277 Douglas Avenue
Saint John, New Brunswick
Canada E2K 1E5
Fax: 506-643-2360

                  Conservation DistList Instance 20:30
                 Distributed: Friday, December 1, 2006
                       Message Id: cdl-20-30-005
Received on Friday, 1 December, 2006

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