We've posted wax sealed letters from metro areas to regional towns, interstate across Australia and overseas to test how wax seals on envelopes survive the mail journey. Read on for our top tips.
USE FLEXIBLE WAX NOT TRADITIONAL WAX
Traditional wax is brittle and designed to break easily as historically, its main purpose was to indicate to the receiver that the seal had been tampered with.
Nowadays, flexible sealing wax is available, which is better able to withstand being churned through automatic sorting machines and efficient handling by postal workers.
All of the wax granules and wickless wax sticks available for purchase on our website are the flexible variety.
EXPECT SOME MINOR SCUFFING
The journey of a letter through the postal system can be quite complex! It passes through sophisticated equipment including letter cullers, feeders, indexing machines, and automatic sorting machines, which means the wax seal can be easily squashed between rollers and machinery.
These photos show what your addressee can typically expect to receive. Part of the raised section of the wax seal has been slightly flattened, and there are a few smudges on the envelope. Australia Post has also added some orange barcoding along the bottom of the envelope.
CAN I MAIL THE LETTER IN A STREET POSTING BOX?
Short answer, yes. Your wax sealed letter will most likely survive the journey with some minor scuffing.
If you’re worried, you can lodge it at your local post office in Australia and ask if they will ‘hand cancel’ the stamp for you. This is to protect the seals from having to go through the stamp cancelling machine at a sorting facility. (This is not an official Australia Post service so it may be best to enquire beforehand).
FOR EXTRA PROTECTION, ENCASE IT IN A VELLUM ENVELOPE
This is extra helpful if you’ve written the address in non-waterproof ink (as some calligraphy and fountain pen inks are) since the vellum envelope adds an extra layer of protection from the rain. Just make sure the address is clearly visible from the outset. If not, stick an address label on the outside that is big enough to cover any writing that is visible through envelope. You must also stick the stamp on the outside of the vellum envelope as this will allow the postal system to mark it as used/ cancelled.
We have a free C6 envelope template which you can use to make the envelopes from a sheet of vellum or tracing paper.
I love seeing all the creative projects that you come up with! Feel free to send them over via email, social media, or tag me (@fionaariva on Instagram).
Fun! I saw you were doing this post and I have been looking forward to reading it. This is something I’ve actually wondered about! Love the blog.