In the beginning, you won’t be so mindful of what materials you’re using for making DIY candles. You probably ordered random stuff from Amazon because you’re just venturing out into the game, and you want to know if you can apply some online skills to the physical world.
After a few tries and you now know that you can pour wax nicely into different molds and glass jars, you’re beginning to think about appearance and performance. Tweaking the appearance of a candle is always easy – you can change the wax and add different dyes to get a different visual effect each time.
But what happens when your candles won’t light properly, or they don’t seem to want to stay lit for hours, as they should? This is when you should start looking at what candle wicks you have been using all this time.
Contrary to what stores would have you believe, not all candle wicks are equal. Some burn more brightly than others, while others don’t want to stay burning at all. What makes a candlewick worthy of your precious DIY candles?
Common Types of Candle Wicks
To select the best kind of candlewick for your project, you need to know how candle wicks differ in the first place.
1.Natural Candle Wicks – These are fibrous wicks that have not been pre-coated with any wax. The majority of low-cost wicks in the market are natural candle wicks. You can use these wicks as they are, they will work, or you can pre-coat them if you want, whichever is most suitable for your DIY candle-making work.
2.Coated Candle Wicks – Any wick that has been pre-coated with wax before being commercially sold is called a coated candlewick. The extra layer of wax makes the wick stiffer, so it stands up properly when you’re pouring hot wax into the candle jar.
3.Pre-tabbed Candle Wicks – Pre-tabbed candle wicks come with a small metal tab at the opposite end. The metal tab extinguishes the flame when it reaches the end of the wick. Sometimes, the heat from the flame can crack smaller and more lightweight candle jars, so if you want to reuse your jars since you’re already doing DIY candles at home, you might want to use these candle wicks instead.
4.Flat Braided Candle Wicks – Undoubtedly one of the most popular types of wicks for amateur and professional candle work; these wicks comprise three separate fibers intertwined, and the fibers curl as the flame consumes the wax. Votive candles and pillar candles are often outfitted with flat braided candle wicks.
5.Square Braided Candle Wicks – The make of these wicks is similar to the previous one, but they are made to be rounder and less flat. This wick also curls perfectly as it burns, which reduces the phenomenon of mushrooming at the tip of the wick during use.
6.Core Candle Wicks – Core candle wicks are widely used for votive candles, pillar candles, and container candles of all sizes. Core candle wicks have a rounded structure and often contain different kinds of materials that help keep the wick structure stiff and durable.
Cotton Wick VS Wooden Wick VS Hemp Wick
Apart from having different kinds of wicks, there are also variations in the materials used for manufacturing wicks. Three of the top materials used for candle wicks are the cotton wick, the wooden wick, and the hemp wick. How do these wicks differ?
Cotton Candle Wicks
Cotton is the oldest material used for manufacturing wicks. It makes sense – cotton has been around since the dawn of civilization, and cotton is fast on the wax uptake and provides a clean burn, too. A cotton candlewick can either be 100% cotton or have a cotton core, with another fiber wrapped around the cotton core.
Wooden candle wicks are considered eco-friendlier than other kinds of fibers used for making wicks. This type of wick burns evenly and naturally releases fragrance over an extended period, too. You know that your wick is made of wooden fibers when you hear a consistent crackling sound as the fire consumes the fibers.
Hemp candle wicks are manufactured from the hemp plant’s durable and cost-friendly fibers (also known as the marijuana plant). The majority of manufacturers who produce hemp candle wicks use natural beeswax to coat the wicks to provide a fast-firing wick that burns evenly, too.
Metalcore Candle Wicks
Like core cotton candle wicks, metalcore candle wicks have a metal core instead of another stiff fiber. Zinc and tin are usually the preferred metals for metalcore candle wicks.
Why Are Wicks Pre-Waxed?
The pre-waxing of candle wicks has everything to do with appearance and performance.
Pre-waxed wicks will remain stiff and rigid as you pour the hot wax into the jar, so they’re easier to work with. You are no more using a popsicle stick to steady the wick as you pour the hot wax. A high-quality, pre-coated candlewick will have a stable melting point but will remain rigid enough during the pouring process to make it easier for you to complete each candle.
How to Choose the Right Candle Wick?
Different factors can affect your choice of a candle wick. Ultimately it boils down to your personal preferences. Use the guide questions below to find out what your particular preference is for candle wicks.
- Is the candlewick nontoxic, and does it provide a clean, bright burn?
- Is the resulting flame small and manageable? Overly large flames can be dangerous.
- Does the wick burn for a considerably longer time compared to cheap wicks? The wick quality has an impact on the life of the candle.
- Does the wick produce a lot of smoke or no smoke at all?
- Does the fire resulting from the wick operate at a stable temperature that is neither too low nor too high?
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