I’ve always used them, well before they became cool to use. I even gift them to all my friends because I think they’re useful, convenient, obviously less waste (if used in place of plastic wrap or onetime use containers) and I love the unique designs of the material. Plus they smell divine. We wrap everything but meat in ours.
However I have a confession, I’ve been using them for a number of years now and only just recently attempted to make my own.
I had most of the necessary ingredients, 100% cotton material and of course beeswax. But after copious amounts of research and also after thinking about what actually works best for us, I decided to buy some jojoba oil and pine resin.
Beeswax alone, is great for it’s antibacterial properties. However to prevent cracking of the wax when wrapping and shaping, pine resin and jojoba oil are used. Pine resin assists to give the wrap the cling wrap stick (tackiness) and allows more durability to fold, flex and wrap.
Pine resin possesses antimicrobial properties and has the most amazing fresh pine smell. After reading about rock resin or preground powder, I opted for the powder due to time and ease of use. Basically, it melts faster when ground.
Jojoba oil is also antibacterial and provides further durability to the wrap ensuring that it doesn’t crack or crumble through the use of just beeswax alone.
All recipes say to use organic cotton which is obviously preferred however after sourcing some gorgeous prints from my local buy, swap or sell, I decided to give the wraps a go with these!
Onto the process – that I did.
Firstly, in a small pot over a very low flame I melted down the wax – our very own, all organic OTG Life bee produced wax. I kept stirring frequently with a metal spoon ensuring that it didn’t overheat.
Secondly, I added in the jojoba oil stirring again until well combined.
Thirdly, I added the pine resin powder and stirred until I could no longer see any pieces/fragments of resin.
Once all was melted and well combined I folded a large rectangle of material into quarters on a piece of baking paper on an oven tray. I slowly poured a trickle of liquid over the material ensuring it covered the corners and folds, then poured the rest evenly in rows until all the liquid was poured over the material.
I placed it in the oven on 100 degrees Celsius for approximately 3 minutes until all the liquid had melted through. Then removing from the oven, I used a pastry brush to evenly distribute the liquid over the wrap ensuring it was covering all the material. I returned it to the oven for a further 2 minutes more.
Using tongs to unfold it (remember it’s wax, wax burns when hot – Don’t use your fingers!), I took the 2 corners at the top and gently cooled it down in the air by swishing backwards and forwards until it was dry. Then I folded it up, scrunched it up, smelt it, took photos, then tested it by wrapping up some food – so far so good!
I’m still working out my quantities. I’ve been testing different quantities of pine resin and jojoba oil and also tried reducing the amount of bees wax as I think my recipes thus far have been a bit generous. I still need pinking shears to cut the cotton edges to prevent them from fraying.
I’ll keep testing the versions that I have made and then post the recipe at a later date. However, I have now made my own sustainable packaging to keep our food fresh and of course, reduce our landfill. Happy Tuesday!
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