Shellac is made from seedlac by melting and removing the foreign material. The best grades of Indian made orange shellac are made from Kusmi seedlac. Several grades are available ranging from Superior Kusmi, which is the lightest, to T.N. which is the darkest. Bleached shellac is made by dissolving lower grades of orange shellac in water using a base, if dewaxed shellac is desired, it is filtered to remove the wax. The bleaching agent is added to bleach the shellac, it is then precipitated by adding acid, filtered and dried. It is used exactly as orange shellac, but is much lighter in color for use on light woods. Dewaxed shellac when dissolved in alcohol, will give perfectly clear solutions. Dewaxed Extra Light, Dewaxed Golden Orange Shellac and Dewaxed Garnetlac are made by dissolving in alcohol removing the color if necessary with activated charcoal, filtered and the alcohol evaporated to give the shellac. Orange shellac made by this method is of higher quality than that made in India and will not polymerize for several years.
In the summer months we suggest shipping shellac by air to prevent it from softening in transit and fusing into a solid block.