Tuesday, 28 August 2007

organic cottons and boiling out wax

Normally I boil cotton for a few minutes to remove wax from small cloths, longer only for larger ones. Of the organic cottons it wasn't enough for the voile, natural percale, and powerloom. Natural percale had an additional five minutes; voile and powerloom an additional fifteen but even that wasn't enough. On ironing wax remnants transferred to newsprint on all boiled pieces and the warm-wash powerloom, natural percale and just slightly with voile.

Completely unplanned-for results: using Isabella's wax on the warm-wash pieces gave clear comparisons... her wax was cooler and fresher than mine, which was hot but old well-used wax (the intention being not-wasteful on tests about dyeing not waxing). Her supplier and wax recipe also are different... opening an idea for future wax testing! To be fair, I have occasionally had wax removal problems before and put it down to old, over-used (and probably over-heated) wax. But I don't want to over-analyse wax removal now - the tests were about indigo and natural cotton.

Whatever, there seems an issue with boiling wax out with powerloom, natural percale and voile. The latter is most surprising as it's such a loose weave. Another mysterious observation with the powerlooms is that wax in the boiling water transferred to the frayed edges, made apparent on ironing it out. Or in (it melted and spread but didn't fully transfer).

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