Beeswax is one of the oldest conditioning treatments still used today in many ways. It helps finish leather edges, waterproofs leather, forms cord, thread and lubricates lace for easier stitching and lacing. However, be careful when using beeswax on unfinished or non-colored leather. Once wax is on the leather, it acts as a “resist” meaning that dye and stains will not penetrate the wax. Complete all coloring and let dry before applying beeswax.
How to Use As An Edge Finish:
After edges have been formed with an edge beveler, sanded, slicked, and colored, if desired, let dry. Then liberally apply beeswax to edges. Then again use a slicker to burnish the edges. This seals, waterproofs and creates a shiny edge.
1. Wood Spindle Slicker – A variety of grooves will fit most leather weights. Either end can be used.
2. Edge Creaser / Folder – Grooves on head fit several leather weights.
3. Canvas – Use a small piece of clean canvas. Vigorously rub back and forth for a burnished, polished look.
4. Cloth – For a final buffing, use a clean cloth for a shiny look.
How to Waterproof Leather:
Beeswax is great for waterproofing boots, belts, satchels and other items that will be exposed to the elements. Beeswax repels water and keeps leather soft and supple.
1. Apply the beeswax to the leather in a circular rubbing motion and work the beeswax into the leather.
2. Lightly buff excess beeswax off the leather with a clean, soft cloth, allowing a thin coating of the beeswax to remain on the surface for softening, conditioning and preservation of the leather grain and texture.
3. Avoid letting beeswax build-up and cake in creases and folds which will dull the leather’s natural sheen.
How to Prep Thread and Lacing for Use:
Beeswax can be used to form thread, cord and make lace slide easily through stitching holes. Pull your thread, cord or lace across the beeswax to coat fiber and lubricate. This makes stitching and lacing easier, it allows the thread to move smoothly through the leather with decreased resistance.
How to Use with Punch Heads and Chisels:
Before using, push the punch ends into the beeswax. This coats the tool and allows it to slide into the leather easier, especially when punching through multiple layers of leather that have been cemented together. It also helps other tools work easier, smoother and lubricates hinges and more.
Be sure to share how you use beeswax in your projects with us on social media. We love seeing your creative ideas!