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Subject: Wax on textile

Wax on textile

From: Valerie Tomlinson <valerie_tomlinson>
Date: Wednesday, December 6, 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.

As other have written, if the textile is robust enough it can be
placed between sheets of paper and the worst of the wax will melt
off and absorb into the paper. With repeated changes of paper, most
of the wax will be removed this way. Depending on the textile, a
slight residue of wax may remain, saturating the colour slightly,
and/or leaving the fabric a little stiff. If need be, this last
residue can be removed with Stoddard's solvent/mineral spirits and
blotters. The warmer the solvent is the better it works, but it is
flammable so there are limits to warming it. Room temperature does
work acceptably anyway. Again, the use of solvents will depend on
the robustness of of the textile and the solubility of dyes

Valerie Tomlinson
Former conservator

                  Conservation DistList Instance 20:31
                Distributed: Saturday, December 9, 2006
                       Message Id: cdl-20-31-010
Received on Wednesday, 6 December, 2006

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