Our 35th Year.
This past June 1st was a milestone in Candlewic’s company history as it represented our official 35th year in business. For those not familiar with our history, we are a family owned and operated company now in second-generation management. We are very proud of our history and encourage you to read our “About Us” section on the website.
We would like to thank all our customers that have made our business the success it has been for the past 35 years and look forward to working with you in the future.
June is also the time of year that schools let out and people enjoy reminiscing about the past. So we feel it may be appropriate that we follow that theme for this edition of the En-Light-ener.
You would think after the 35 years the industry would have changed dramatically and in some cases that is true but in many respects the art of making a good candle has not changed all that much. While the equipment for the larger candle companies has become much more automated, there are still many companies still pouring candles with the same techniques that existed 35 years ago. The basics of candle making today remain unchanged. You still need to melt wax, add color, add fragrance, select a wick and pour into a mold, container or other vessel.
One thing that has changed dramatically over the years is the ingredients that go into the candles. Back in 1971 most candle makers chose from 2-3 different types of waxes. They would generally go with a 131 F for votives and 141 for pillars and tapers and for specialty candles, they may have used beeswax. Candle makers would then formulate their own special recipe, which normally involved stearic acid, micro or other polyethylene.
In today’s candle making world you have to offer greater choices of waxes. We at Candlewic now offer over 20 different types of waxes to make candles. Each wax has a special property and is designed for a specific application. These waxes range from your basic paraffin, paraffin waxes with all of the necessary additives on into waxes that are blends of Soy and other components.
"Without a doubt the most dramatic change we have seen in the Candle Industry is the emergence of specialty fragrances."
Without a doubt the most dramatic change we have seen in the Candle Industry is the emergence of specialty fragrances. One of the first fragrance lists developed at Candlewic had about 35 different fragrances and customers would have a hard time selecting from those. In general it was a basic line of fragrances such as Vanilla, Cinnamon, Apple, Spice and Peach. Currently our fragrance line offers over 300 different types of scents and we continually look to add more.
The candle molds used to make pillars have changed slightly over the years but many of the materials used are still found today. Tin was very popular, plastic was great for unique shapes, aluminum was emerging and acrylic was used very frequently. In 1974 our founder William R. Binder, II received a patent for a two-piece mold using acrylic with a bottom piece that could slide off to help with the removal of the candle. Now new materials such as polycarbonate and other less expensive materials allow for greater choices.
We are extremely excited as we start our 36th year of business and look forward to the opportunity to serve you.
One question that I am always asked -- in different ways -- is how much fragrance should I add to my candle?
The answer you would think should be straightforward but unfortunately, that is not the case. The answer is totally dependent on many variable factors: the type of candle being made, the fragrance selection and the wax formulation. One of the most common recommendations is to use 1 ounce of fragrance for each pound of wax. In some instances if you're using our Ultimate Scents or our Cinnamon and Mulberry, you may be able to use less. scent that are floral or fruit based like lemon may require a little more. You should also test each of your fragrances with your wax formulation. One important note with fragrances is there is such a thing as diminishing returns. That means you may get the same scent throw with the fragrance if you add 7% as you do if you use 9%.
Aluminum molds for making freestanding candles are a great investment as an inexpensive way to extend your line of candles. Jars have become so popular in recent years, that many candle makers have forgot that pillar candles add a real touch of beauty to any home’s décor. Pillar candles offer extremely vibrant colors due to the fact there is no glass blocking the true color of the candle as seen with the naked eye. The profit margin on pillar candles may be higher as well because the price of the glass is removed from the cost of raw materials. Aluminum does not rust, so you can enjoy your molds for many years.
Selecting your mold can be fun. Candlewic offers many shapes and sizes depending on which pillar would best complement your existing line of candles. There are round molds, triangle molds, octagon molds, square molds, oval molds, plus many other unique shapes in our designer series of polycarbonate molds.
There are two wicking techniques that are most commonly employed when using aluminum molds. You can use the traditional method or the pillar pin method. Both techniques work well depending on the volume of candles produced or the amount of labor available.
The traditional method involves the mold, raw wicking on a spool, a wick bar, and a rubber plug. This method is best for lower volume production, or in the instance when you want to leave a little length of wick on the candle to attach a bead or a tag. You simply thread the wick through the mold and place a rubber plug into the small hole to hold the wick in place. Place a wick bar across the large opening of the mold and wrap the wick around the bar and pour the wax. After the wax has cooled, the finished product will have the wick nicely centered down the middle of the candle.
The pillar pin method involves a round mold, a pillar pin, and a pre-wick assembly. This method is better suited for the small to large production run. Basically, you are making a candle with no wick and inserting a wick after it cools. There are 2 ways to use the pin. You can either stick the disc part of the pin down into the mold or stick the pin up through the mold from the outside bottom. Pour the wax and let cool. When you are done, you will have a candle with a hole through the center core and no wick. Take a wick assembly and insert up through the hole and you are done. The wick will be perfectly centered.
When using aluminum molds, there are a few tips and techniques that will help you regardless of the method you use.
1. Take good care of your molds. Do not use them for any other use such as a penholder or thermometer holder because you may scratch the inside, which will be apparent on the finished candle.
2. By heating or cooling the mold, you can achieve different aesthetic qualities to the finished mold. Cold molds give a primitive appearance, while warm molds may give a good gloss.
3. Keep molds level unless a desired layered appearance is trying to be obtained. By resting the mold on various angles, some neat stripes can be achieved.
4. Take careful note on the pour temperatures. By adjusting the temperature, you can control the shrinkage. Pouring too hot produces more shrinkage and may involve more “topping off”, while pouring too cool may not give you enough shrinkage therefore making it difficult to de-mold.
5. For making perfect bottoms on your pillars, Candlewic highly recommends using a heated base leveler and angle plate for perfectly level pillars every time