October 01, 2004

The Trend Continues!

The Trend Continues!
The long awaited "busy season" is finally hitting the candle making industry and one wax that continues to gain in popularity is the palm wax. More and more candle makers are adding natural waxes to compliment their existing line of paraffin candles. The aesthetic beauty of this amazing wax offers an exciting twist to the pastel colors achieved from many natural waxes. A fine crystalline structure adorns the finished palm candle and continues to prove itself to both the professional candle maker and the hobbyist. Over the last few decades we have introduced many developments to the candle world, but none have impacted the industry as the explosion of natural waxes within the last 5 years. We have been receiving phone calls and emails requesting information about our palm wax, so we figured it is time to reach into our knowledge base and share some more information on the mystifying palm waxes.

Palm wax is an all-natural, renewable resource that is obtained from the oil palm in Southeast Asia. Due to its environmentally friendly attributes, palm wax offers a whole new choice for candle makers who market sustainable or renewable resource based extensions to their candle lines. It has been grown as a commercial crop in well managed and regulated estates since the early 1900's. The oil palm produces fruit in bunches which are harvested, and sent to palm oil mills where the oils are extracted, sterilized, clarified and purified into crude palm oil. The crude oil is then sent to palm oil refineries where it is processed further into products such as cooking oil, shortening, cocoa butter substitutes, non-dairy creamers, soaps, and of course everybody's favorite - Palm Wax.

Palm wax is a superb material for making excellent burning candles. It resists melting in hot summer months, has high contraction (making de-molding easier), takes colors easily, holds fragrance well, and best of all, can be easily manipulated to produce an infinite array of surface patterns ranging from complex crystalline designs to smooth solid colors. Palm waxes blend well with other waxes to further expand your possibilities.

Using palm wax is very similar to traditional candle making techniques except there are no additives required other than fragrance and coloring. We offer palm waxes for making container candles or freestanding pillars. The crystal formations can be achieved for either style of candle and are greatly influenced by the pouring temperature and rate of cooling. By adjusting these variables slightly, candle makers can create a wonderful array of crystal formations. The ideal pouring temperature is between 199 and 203 F but it really depends on the ambient temperature of your pouring operation. Going above the temperature can actually decrease the crystal formations to achieve a smooth solid color. Pouring below these temperatures may make it harder to de-mold or cause deformations. Aluminum molds work best for producing crystals as well as slowing the rate of cooling.

Palm candles emit fragrance quite nicely. Usually candle makers will use 5-6% fragrance loads to start for a nicely scented candle that does not "sweat." Some scents may be used at higher levels, but it is up to the candle maker to push the levels on a case-by-case basis. Essential oils also work well, but they must be tested on an individual basis depending on strength and type of oil.

Coloring your palm candles is achieved with most oil soluble dyes. We suggest trying our EVO series of liquid dyes. As with all new waxes, always start light and gradually go deeper with each color to experience all the ranges of your wax/color ratio. You do this by adding a little color to the wax and then putting a few drops of melted wax on a piece of white cardboard. Repeat this process over and over so you can compare the various shades of color from each of the drops. By doing this you will master all the shades of your dye. The Palm 3 feathering wax will actually appear to change shades as you rotate it in the light - truly amazing.

Wick selection is similar to other natural wax candles. Be sure to get wicks that are specifically treated to work with natural wax and are designed to resist breakdown in natural candles. The CD, HTP, Eco Series, and RRD series of wicks all do very well depending on fragrance loads and diameter of the candle.

CHANDLERS CORNER

Hi! I'm Chandler!
I can help you
learn how to make candles.

Freight, Weight, and Rate.

Hi, folks! You have been asking a lot about shipping charges, so I figured I would answer a few of the more common questions.

First and foremost, we will ship items the cheapest way we can unless you specify otherwise. This means that most small packages under the weight of 200 lbs will go UPS. If the packages are over 200 lbs, we will ship them using the special “hundred weight” savings plan offered by UPS. Most often, if you are at 100 or 150 pounds, you may want to consider adding another case or 2 of waxes in order to reach 200 lbs in order to take advantage of the savings.

We ship large orders by using a common carrier (trucking company) but you must have a commercially zoned property to use this method. It is by far the cheapest way to go. If you are not zoned commercial, you can ask a local business to accept freight for you in exchange for candles or money, but keep in mind it does require a loading dock to unload the freight. We can use any method or shipping company you want, so give us a call and let us help you find the best way to ship your products.

 


October 2004

PROJECT:
Making Palm
Wax Candles

Ingredients

Wick
Any Aluminum Mold
Palm Wax
Color Blocks
Fragrance
Wick Bar
Rubber Plugs

Instructions

STEP 1
Melt Palm Wax in pot. Note that the hotter you make the wax, the more the wax will create a snowflake look on the candle. Do not exceed 300°F (150°C).

STEP 2
Add some shavings of color blocks and 4% to 5% of fragrance.

STEP 3
Using the rubber plug and wick bar, prepare your aluminum mold for pouring.

STEP 4
Before pouring wax, it is suggested to heat the mold with a heat gun or a heat lamp to maximize the crystalizing effect of the Palm Wax.

STEP 5
Pour liquid Palm Wax into the mold and let cool. By slowing the cooling rate of your poured candles, you can create fantastic crystal effects in your Palm Wax candles.

STEP 6
Sometimes Palm Wax requires a second pour. You will know it is necessary if a thin layer of wax forms over your candle when cooled. Simply poke a hole in this layer and perform your second pour.


For more great projects like this one, please check out our Candle Basics Book (item BK-8) with over 50 great projects. You'll find it in the books section of Candlewic.com

 
Quick Facts:
Speeding Production

It is halfway through October already, but it is not too late to think about ways to increase production. We offer many products that help speed up candle production. Ask our customer service representatives for more information on using pillar pins for making larger batches of pillars with perfectly centered wicks, votive pins for quick and easy votives, pre-made wick assemblies for pillars or containers, blended waxes for single pour or consistent batches, and as always try a larger melter to increase batch sizes.

 
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