What Wick?

Whether you are a seasoned candle maker or new to the craft you should be aware of the importance of the wick in how your candle burns.

In one of previous blogs  we went through a glossary of terms – wax pool was one of them. Here we will discuss the importance of the wick selection and how it affects your candle burn and the size of your wax pool.

The wax pool is the diameter of the melted wax around the wick. The thickness of the selected wick will determine this and this should be selected so that this diameter is equal to the size of the jar you are using. If the wick is too small, your candle will tunnel wasting your wax.

In the case of soy candles, the wick of choice is the HTP wick which is a cotton braided with paper.

The length of the wick is usually a standard 15 cm for jars and tins but longer wicks are also available as are cotton wicks by the metre. The HTP wicks are usually pre-tabbed and coated.

Now that you have selected the right wick, there are also other considerations and these will all affect how your candle burns.

  • Fragrance
  • Colour
  • Type of Wax
  • Position of wick ( we supply our students with a wick centering template)

If you are new to candle making or simply changing your technique or supplier, it would be wise to do your test burns. By doing it this way you can determine if any are affecting the burn style of your candle. Try:

  1.  wax and wick only
  2.  wax, wick & fragrance
  3.  wax, wick, fragrance & colour

By adding one component at a time you will see how it affects your candle and this will include flame height, appearance of smoke or soot, size of wax pool (no tunneling) and the rate at which it burns.

What you are looking for is a fragrant candle, that has a full wax pool, no soot and a long burn time. This is what we all aim for in our candle making. There is no point having a candle that looks great but behaves poorly.

dodgy wick
Found in a retail outlet. If you look closely, the wick is way off centre. This candle may look nice in it’s copper container but it will NOT burn correctly with the wick in this position.

 

 

 

 

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