December 01, 2001

Making Botanical (Double Pour) Candles

 
 

"The En-Light-ener" December 2001
Candle Making Newsletter

Welcome to the En-light-ener, Candlewic's newsletter for the candle making community.

It's hard to believe that another year is drawing to a close. It seems we just all started selling our Holiday products last week.

We wanted to remind everyone that we will be holding our first ever "Clearance Sale" at our Ottsville facility. This 3-day sale (December 26-December 28) will feature over 500,000 pre-wick assemblies at $10.00 per thousand, thousands of molds, different forms of waxes (granulated, 1-pound blocks colored slabs, etc.) and all of our standard waxes will be on sale at special pricing. If you are within driving distance, we encourage you to attend this first ever event.

As we have been identifying in the last several issues of this newsletter, year-end activity can be a very important time for many candle companies to evaluate the types of candles produced, production capacity and the means in which these candles are produced.

During the course of the year we have identified how to make various types of candles, the differences between types of waxes (blends vs. straight paraffins) and many other important topics related to candle making. This issue will feature the basics on making a botanical candle and we look forward to progressing to other types of candles throughout 2002.

MAKING BOTANICAL (DOUBLE POUR) CANDLES

When making this type of candle, it is important to ensure that it is made as safely as possible. Making a botanical candle is generally a 4-step process. The first step is to make the "core" or a pillar, generally one which is 3" x 3-1/2". This candle can be made using a 131 F melt wax with some stearic or white coloring. The reason is that you want this candle to be white to offer a contrast to the outer shell. It is also important to size the wick to only burn this candle about 2-1/2" inches across. When this candle is finished, remove it from the mold leaving extra wick on the candle so that is may be threaded through the wick hole on the 4" x 4-1/2" mold. Thus far, the process used to make this candle is no different than as if you were making a standard pillar.

The second step is to take the completed 3" candle and center this candle into a 4" diameter candle mold. Once this is centered, you then insert the desired objects between the candle and the mold. (Getting the embeds in the exact area you desire will take some practice.) Once you have all the embed objects inserted and positioned in the manner you would like, you can then begin the third step. The third step is to take a higher melt point wax--we would recommend either the 4045 (141 F) or 5055 (152 F) wax--and pour between the candle and the mold. The 4045 and 5055 waxes are recommended for this application due to their translucent nature. One important note is that wax in its "natural state" is as translucent as you can get. Most additives are designed to give the wax an opaque finish. The fourth and final step is to remove the candle and level the bottom much the same way as a standard pillar.

We look forward to covering how to make ice candles, sand candles and many other specialty candles in the upcoming months. Make sure you follow us throughout the year!

 

MAKING WHITE CANDLES WHITE

One of the most common questions we receive on general candle making is how to make a white candle. In the past, products such as stearic acid, gloss polymers or even titanium dioxide were used to make a candle white. Each of the mentioned products were good for making the candle white and are still very good means for doing so, but in some instances they do have some inherent problems. For example, titanium can clog the wick and keep it from burning; the gloss polymers can raise the melt point of the wax in containers; and in some instances these products do not get the candle white enough.

To assist the candle maker in making a candle white, we have started manufacturing a white color button. This is in coordination with our new line of color buttons. This new white color button will color your candle white when used with 10-15 pounds of wax. Like any dye, this button should not be used in excess because it can also affect the burning properties.

We are pleased to announce our new line of Color Buttons, which have been developed using the latest manufacturing techniques. This allows us to sell these new colorants at very competitive prices. The new line offers new exciting colors such as white, navy blue, purple, Christmas red and a new shade of yellow. To help candle makers maintain consistency, we have matched the colors offered in our Color Block products (the B series colors) where possible. When the new Color Buttons are an exact color match to the Color Block product, we note it by placing a * next to the name on our web site. These new buttons are tea-light sized and are very easy to use. If you are just starting out, looking to expand your color selections or looking to save money, these new color buttons may be just what you are looking for.

Click here for more information about our FAQ

When pouring my candles, I am getting uniform ripples across the top of the candle, what can cause this?

In most instances when you are getting uniform ripples across the top of a candle it is an indication that you have too much vybar in the wax. This can be corrected easily by reducing the amount of vybar added to your formula.

Is mold release necessary for molded candles and votives?

We would highly recommend that a mold release be sprayed before pouring any type of molded candle. The frequency of spraying can vary depending on the wax formula you use, amount of fragrance being added and your pouring temperature. Other suggestions to help with releasing the candle from the mold include: 1. use stearic acid in your formula 2. use the additive "release wax" to your formula 3. place the molded candles in a "chilled" area during the final stage of cooling and 4. pour hotter so you get more shrinkage, thus allowing the candle to release from the mold more easily.

How do I finish off the bottom of my tapers?

Candlewic offers two different base formers, which size the taper to fit in the standard candle holders. The base formers are placed on a heated surface and the taper is smoothly inserted. The former smoothes the bottom or can be formed to a fluted edge.

QUICK FACTS

Weight of various types of candles
3 x 3-1/2" -- .61 pounds
4 x 4-1/2" -- 1.5 pounds
Votive -- 1.5 ounces
6" x 6" -- 5 pounds

This information can be used to assist in costing at certain type of candles you are thinking of producing.


Once again we wish to thank all of our loyal customers and individuals who take the time to read this newsletter. We hope you take the time to continue to read this newsletter and pass it onto fellow candle makers.

We encourage you to visit our website in late December early January for some of the following new products and pricing:

  • reduced pricing on all candle gels
  • more colors of our new color buttons
  • a new line of candle chunks (Bulk Packed)

Happy Holidays to all and we look forward to working with you in 2002!

 

 

 


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