Vegetable wax

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Low melting mixtures of long chain hydrocarbon compounds (C30 to C60) found in or on plants. Their properties range widely from the soft, white of Japan wax to the hard, yellow of Carnauba wax to the brownish black of Bitumen wax. Vegetable waxes also contain fatty acids or alcohols along with the hydrocarbon series. They are often used for leather dressing because the polar end groups allow them to emulsify with water.

Synonyms and Related Terms

cera vegetal (Esp.); cire végétale (Fr.); cera vegetale (It)

Examples include: Candelilla wax; Carnauba wax; Japan wax; Rice wax




Properties of Natural Waxes

Resources and Citations

  • R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966 Comment: p. 73
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 862
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982