Professional Candle Making Supplies Since 1972
October 01, 2002
Candle Making as a Second Language
On behalf of the Candlewic Company we would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to read each edition of the En-Light-ner. This newsletter has been developed for candle makers of all levels to assist in learning new things about candle making. We have covered a wide range of topics including: A Wax Overview, Paraffin waxes, Natural Waxes and Gels, a series of articles on How to Market your candles and one of the newer features which is the “project” of the month. We truly encourage you to visit past issues to assist in many aspects of candle making.
It also seems as though new terminology and phrases are constantly being added. Terms such as polar and non-polar have always existed, however their reference to candle making is relatively new. This seems like an appropriate place to start.
POLAR/NON-POLAR These phrases generally apply when making gel candles and clear candle technology products. In order to be safe when using the referenced products a fragrance must be non-polar. In general, non-polar fragrance means it will be compatible to the gel that it is going into. A polar fragrance can bleed out of the gel causing a safety concern when the candle is burned. If making paraffin candles this terminology is not necessary.
MOTTLING This is a fracturing of the wax which will create a look on the exterior of the candle that is “whited out,” snowflake looking or “washed out.” This look has been made famous by several “big name” candle companies. Not all waxes are designed to mottle so be sure to chose a wax designed for that application. If you are making mottled candles be sure to check out our brand new product being offered below.
BACK FILL/TOPPING OFF With the exception of those blended waxes that have been designed as one-pour, all waxes have some level of shrinkage. As the candle sets up it will shrink around the middle of the candle requiring additional wax to be added. The back fill/top off will be necessary to create a smooth top in containers or in the case of pillars a fairly uniform bottom to the candle.
MELT POINT This is the temperature at which the wax will become fully liquid. There is an important distinction between melt point and pouring temperature. Be sure to check the product data sheet to determine which one is applicable to you.
VYBAR This is an additive used in straight paraffins to help hold the fragrance in the wax. This a is patented and trademarked product.
MUSHROOMING This is what can appear on top of your wick during the burning cycle. Specifically, these are carbon deposits. The following factors are some of reasons why this can occur: the core of the wick, lack of oxygen (in containers), scent load and incorrect sizing of the wick. Other factors can cause mushrooming, but these are the most common. Mushrooming can cause excessive smoking in the candle and should be reduce as much as possible.
CORED WICK This is any wick that has zinc, paper or cotton in the middle to provide additional rigidity to the wick. Wicks such as flat braided, square braided and round wicks do not have any type of core.
In future editions of the Englightner we will continue to provide additional definitions that should be helpful in understanding the “World of Candle Making.”