How To Make Old Fashion Candles In A Tin Can Making Candle Wicks – Everything You Need to Know

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Making Candle Wicks – Everything You Need to Know

Making candle wicks is really easy and vital to successful candle making at home. While most people think of a candle’s color, shape or fragrance as its most important feature, most candle manufacturers would probably instead say that it’s the wick that makes the candle. A candle wick is string, cord, or wooden object that holds the flame of a candle. The purpose of the a wick is to deliver fuel or wax to the flame. A candle wick works like a fuel pump, drawing the fuel (wax) to the flame. Once the liquefied fuel, generally melted candle wax, extends to the flame it then gasifies and burns. The candle wick influences how the candle burns and different sizes of wicks allow for different amounts of fuel to be drawn into the flame. Too much fuel, the flame will flare and soot or too little fuel, the flame will sputter out.

Significant features of the wick include diameter, rigor, fire-resistance, and tethering.

Wicks consist of bundles of fibers that are twisted, braided or knitted together. These fibers absorb the liquefied wax and transport it to the flame by capillary action. Large diameter wicks will result in a larger flame, a larger pool of melted wax, and the candle burning faster. Some wicks may contain a stiff core. This core was usually made of lead, but obviously due to concerns about lead poisoning, lead wick cores have been banned for several years in the U.S. by CPSC. Now, zinc is commonly used a safer replacement for a stiff core although other core stiffeners, such as paper or synthetic fiber can also be used.

Most candle wicks are coated with wax to provide the initial fuel source when the candle is first lit. While the wick is used up in the candle burning process, the true fuel for the flame is the melted wax. Therefore, all wicks are treated with various flame-resistant solutions in a process known as mordanting. Without this processing the wick would be burned by the flames and the flow of liquefied wax to the flame would discontinue.

Wicks are occasionally plaited flat, so that as they burn they also coil back into the flame, thus making them self-consuming. For tea lights, the wick is bound to a piece of metal to block it from drifting to the top of the molten wax and burning before the wax does. Candles fashioned to float in water necessitate not just a tether for the wick, but also a seal on the bottom of the candle to prevent the wick from wicking water and quenching the flame. In many birthday candles, the wick is a nub. This restricts how long the candle can burn.

There are more than one hundred specific wicks in the marketplace today. The candle’s size, shape, the wax used, the fragrance materials used and color all impact which wick type to is to be used. Selecting the correct wick is crucial to making a candle that burns cleanly and properly. Reputable candle manufacturers take great care in selecting a wick of the proper size, shape and material to meet the burn requirements of a particular candle.

Types of Wicks

In general, wicks can be divided into four major types:

Flat Wicks: These flat-plaited or knitted wicks, commonly formed from three parcels of fiber, are very uniform in their burning and coil in the flame for a self-trimming result. These are the most generally used wicks, and can be typically found in taper and pillar candles.

Square Wicks: These braided or knitted wicks also curl in the flame, but are more rounded and a bit burlier than flat wicks. They are preferred for beeswax applications and can help inhibit clogging of the wick, which can occur with certain types of pigments or fragrances. Square wicks are most often used in taper and pillar applications.

Cored Wicks: Plaited or knitted wicks employ a core material to keep the wick upright or straight when burning. The wicks feature a circular cross section, and the employment of different core materials allows for a range of stiffness effects. The most often used core materials for wicks are cotton, paper, zinc or tin. Cored wicks can be found in jar candles, pillars, votives and devotional lights.

Special and Oil Lamp Wicks: These wicks are specially fashioned to match the burn characteristics of specialized candle applications, such as oil lamps and insect-repelling candles.

Approximately 80 percent of the wicks manufactured in the United States are made of all-cotton or cotton-paper combination’s. The balances are chiefly metal and paper cored wicks.

The metal-core wicks occasionally found in candles are generally zinc or tin core wicks. They are most often used in container candles and votives to keep the wick upright when the surrounding wax liquefies. Technological analysis has repeatedly proven both zinc and tin core wicks to be safe.

So there you have it. Everything you needed to know about making candle wicks. Now you can feel completely confident in choosing and making the perfect wick for your candle.

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