THE BEE’S KNEES: Textile designer Emma Howard is delighted with the success of her fledgling business that helps to reduce single use plastic                                                                                        TM pic
THE BEE’S KNEES: Textile designer Emma Howard is delighted with the success of her fledgling business that helps to reduce single use plastic TM pic

A TEESDALE textile designer’s new business has “snowballed” thanks to help from her ten-year-old son.

Emma Howard, from Barningham, says it was down to her son Alexander that her new environmentally-friendly, natural beeswax wraps business has “taken off”.

Mrs Howard, who trained and worked as a textile designer, said she’d been trying to perfect the technique for creating her wraps, which eliminates single-use plastic cling film, when her son brought one home that he had created at school.

She said: “I have always been interested in natural products and I had been trying to get the technique right for the wraps, but was failing miserably.

“I’d tried sprinkling the wax onto the cotton then heating it in the oven but it just wasn’t working properly.

“Then Alexander came from from Staindrop Primary where they’d been doing forest school and he said look at the wrap he had made.”

With his help and a professional waxing machine, Mrs Howard was able to continue perfecting the wraps, which are waterproof and have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.

She added: “Once I’d got the mix right with the beeswax and pine resin so they are pliable, I posted a few photos online to show my friends and they asked if they could have some. Then their friends asked and it just snowballed from there.”

The colourful wraps are available in a variety of sizes and even include specific sandwich sized ones to keep your lunch fresh. They are all handmade, help protect foods and reduce the risk of contamination.

Mrs Howard said: “They’re great for all kinds of food except raw meat. They can be used as tops to cover bowls and other containers and last about six months to a year as long as you don’t get them hot as the wax will melt. You wrap them around open, fresh food and then use the warmth of your hands to mold them around the food. They will create a seal once cooled.

“The wraps are also compostable and biodegradable and come in a range of colours and bundle sizes. I’ve even just started a new gin pack to keep lemons and limes fresh as well.”

Even though her business is only two months old she has been inundated with requests for the wraps, which are priced from £2.99, from as far as Australia. Initially she supplied a number of fox-inspired wraps to her friend Donna Dobson’s clothing shop, Fox and Field, to help raise funds for Centrepoint.

The success of the business has taken her by surprise and she has yet to set up a website, but says she is delighted that it has “re-awoken” her inner designer.

For more information on the Natural Beeswax Wraps you can visit Mrs Howard’s social media page at

beeswaxwraps/ or call into Cross Lanes Organics on the A66 stocking them as well.

And although she is busy keeping up with demand Mrs Howard is also keen to expand her range and reduce the environmental impact.

She added: “What I’m really looking for now is a local beekeeper as I currently buy my wax online and I’d like to be more environmentally-friendly and use a local keeper to purchase from.

“I’m also looking into designing my own textile, but although I know lots of fabric printers abroad in Asia, I really want to find someone close to home to keep my carbon footprint down. So if there are any out there I would love to hear from them.”