I know what you’re thinking. You think that I’ve completely lost the plot, now I’ve started talking about beeswax fabric. Don’t worry, I’m not about to advise you to throw away all of your favourite clothes and start all again with a beehive! Beeswax fabric is something you can use to completely transform the way that you use plastic and approach recycling. The planet that we live on has limited resources, and that is why beeswax fabric is so useful.
What is Beeswax Fabric?
Beeswax fabric is a material, usually cotton, that has been specially treated with beeswax so it can be reused over and over again. It is great for storing food as it is waterproof and airtight. Sometimes referred to as beeswax wraps, you can use it for packed lunches, in the fridge, on cheeses and breads and to cover dishes – the list is endless. It’s also a lovely, personal way of wrapping edible gifts. You can even sew the fabric into reusable pouches.
What’s So Good About Beeswax Fabric?
There are some really obvious advantages to using beeswax fabric. For a start, it is reusable, biodegradable and compostable. It’s a fantastic eco alternative to plastic. See more plastic-free living tips in this other article I posted. Cling film is an incredibly wasteful single-use item but it’s so ingrained in our everyday lives that most of us rarely think about it. How many of you out there have put some cling film in the bin today?
As well as the health issues of wrapping edibles in plastic, when used to store or heat our food, those nasty plastic chemicals leach toxins right into it.
After the initial starting costs of creating the beeswax fabric or buying it, it is a fantastic way to save money. Beeswax fabric also looks beautiful, and is a great way to keep things natural in your kitchen.
There are a few downsides to beeswax fabric. It’s not a substitute for microwave cling film: if you get the fabric too hot, the beeswax that is integral to the fabric, may begin to melt and drip. Also, when you first start using your beeswax fabric, there is a very strong beeswax odour which some find a little overpowering. The good news is that the smell will start to disappear… the bad news is that you may need to recoat your fabric after heavy use.
Make Your Own
With very few downsides, you’d be mad not to pick up some beeswax yourself. Or even better – make your own! Just follow these simple instructions, and before you know it you will have your own personal supply.
You will need:
Using up your scraps from dressmaking is a great way of recycling. If you fancy something new, take a look at some of our organic cottons! Organic is preferable to make it even healthier for your food, and we have some lovely options in our shop. Our voile, or muslin would work well or even some of our printed cottons. A print would brighten up any fridge and the natural and azo free dyes would be perfectly healthy against your food.
You can get pure beeswax in lots of places – there’s a brilliant supply of beeswax blocks on amazon.
An oven, an old baking tray, tin foil, a cheese grater and somewhere to dry your cloths.
- Now put them flat onto a baking sheet which has been lined with tin foil. This is there to make sure that none of the beeswax ends up in your food!
- Heat your oven to around 85°C (185 Fahrenheit.)
- Get your beeswax, and then use a cheese grater or razor to scrape off little parts of the beeswax, and then spread it evenly across your fabric.
- Now you need to pop your trays with fabric and beeswax into your oven, and leave them in there for around ten minutes – or earlier if the beeswax has already melted.
- Take the trays out and remove the fabric from the foil straight away, otherwise you run the risk of the foil melting onto the fabric! Be careful – it will be very hot.
- You can either let the fabric set on a cooling rack, or peg it up to cool in the air (make sure the beeswax has solidified a little so it’s not dripping). Once they are completely dry and back to room temperature, you are ready to use your beeswax fabric! How easy was that?!
If all of that sounds like a little too much effort, then do not worry – there are plenty of places that make beautiful beeswax fabric that you can use throughout your home. We would recommend Bee’s Wrap, who have many different pretty designs that are all very practical. Check them out at www.beeswrap.com.They also infuse their beeswax fabrics with other things like organic jojoba oil and tree resin. If you want another option, check out www.abeego.com/collections/.