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February 25, 2015

Award-Winning Candles

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"The En-Light-ener"
Candle Making Newsletter

Award-Winning Candles

As our readers know, we like to have a great deal of fun with our Enlightener. Many times we will pick timely themes, subjects or issues to catch the fringe reader. This issue is no different, and our hope is that you have not experienced "Academy Award overload."

Candle making is a lot like making movies. In all my years in the candle industry I'm not sure I've found anyone who could find a way to make this statement, and we hope that by the time you are done reading this, you'll agree with what we're trying to say.

When making a good movie, the director often looks to cast the big name stars to ensure a portion of their audience is guaranteed when the movie is released. As candle makers, we do the same by selecting fragrances that are very popular, thus ensuring some level of interest in your candles. This is the first step in ensuring your candles sell. The key with fragrances is that you must always be able to adapt to the changes and continue to offer fragrances that are trendy. The best way stay up to date on the industry's best sellers and hottest trends is to check out our "Best Sellers" list.

But the good directors also know that the smaller details are what make or break a good movie. They hire a good special effects director, outstanding supporting cast, and other details that are not quite as glamorous. In candle making this is very true as well. The fragrance will surely capture the interest of the consumer, but it is all of the details that go into producing the candle that will ensure the consumer likes and, more importantly, purchases more of your candles.

In our unique analogy, we are going are going to use the wick and wick base as the "Supporting Cast." A good performing wick and the right wick base is not only important to the performance of the candle, but is critical to ensuring that the candle burns safely.

As candle makers it is extremely important that time is spent testing and choosing the right wick. Unfortunately, sizing your wick is not an exact science. Many variables go into choosing the right wick, including, but not limited to, the wax used, fragrance load, color, and diameter of the candle. We have included information on our website to help you identify which series of wicks to start testing. In many instances, the series of wicks used in a container might not be what you use in your votives or pillars.

When using pre-wick assemblies, there are two main features of the wick base that need to be reviewed. The first is the diameter, generally measured in millimeters. One of the most common bases used is the 20 mm (about the size of a nickel). The 20 mm clip works well in votives, containers and tins, and it is an all around good wick base. The next size is a 15 mm clip (about the size of a dime), which is most commonly used in tea lights.

The most important feature of the clip is the neck height. This is the measurement of the little neck that helps hold the wick in place. For years, the industry has used a neck height of 3 mm, and that is still commonly used today. With more candles on the market and the innovation of gel candles, many companies now use wick bases with longer necks. The longer neck is used to try and extinguish the flame before it gets to the bottom of the container. This is extremely important if the consumer lets matches fall to the bottom. Deposits from the wick will also fall into the bottom, which creates a problem when the wick comes in contact with these materials.

Another potential problem arises if the wick base is not secured to the bottom. This can allow the base to slide when the wax is totally liquid at the bottom of the candle and it comes in contact with the glass and/or other materials that have fallen to the bottom. Using glue dots is now essential so that the wick stays centered during the manufacturing process as well as the complete burn cycle of the candle.

While there are not awards handed out annually for the best candle, you can measure your candles' success by the sales.

FEATURED PRESENTATION: The Perfect Candle

Starring:

Pop U. LarFragrance
Paraffine Wax

Co-Starring:

Dye Block
Wick Assembly (a.k.a. Pre-Wick)
Glass Container

Supporting Roles:

Pouring Pot
Therm O. Meter

What's new

We have many new exciting things to highlight on our website. As we have continued to write about, fragrance is very important when it comes to selling candles.

We have made getting samples of our fragrances much easier. Any time you purchase a 1 pound bottle of any of our fragrances, you can choose another 1 ounce bottle for free (limit 10 per order).

View our full line of candle fragrance oils.

Customers have been asking, so we are now offering essential oils. Essential oils are great because they can be used in both soaps and candles. Be sure to check back as we continually add more to the line.

CHANDLER'S CORNER

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

With the current increase in the mainstream materials, it is imperative to look at everything you do. There are many techniques for increasing profit margin on your candles, but none are as inexpensive as the three Rs--reduce, recycle and reuse. These simple actions cost the candle maker nothing and actually help the environment at the same time.

Reduce - In order to save money on many different levels, reduce the amount of trash you accumulate by looking at your orders over the year and trying to buy larger sizes of commonly used items. For instance, why pay the higher price for a yearly usage of eight, 4oz bottles of scent/color when you could save money and produce less waste by purchasing two, 16oz bottles? The benefits also include less ordering cost, more efficient shipping charges, lower price per unit and the guarantee that you have the materials on hand when needed.

Recycle - To protect your supplies during shipping, we must use packing materials to ensure your products arrive in perfect condition. Candlewic’s air pillows for packing, as well as plastic scent bottles, are suitable for most recycle programs that accept plastic. Since reusing is also recycling, we highly encourage the candle maker to reuse the packing materials and boxes to reship finished goods, or even cut the cartons apart to use on the floor to absorb spilled wax.

Reuse - Once again, reusing an item is recycling, so please reuse any packing material you can. The boxes and packing materials are sturdy enough to get repeated uses, which reduce the cost of shipping your final product. Most candle makers will reship finished jar candles in the original cartons the jars were received in.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What does the scent load refer to?

A: This is the amount of fragrance that is placed into the candle maker's formulation in relation to the entire batch size. In most instances this will range from 3% up to 8%, with the average being about 5%. In measuring this, a 5% scent load equals about 1 ounce of fragrance for each 1 pound of wax used (additives and everything included).


February 2015


Featured Project:
Making a Chunk Candle

The chunk candle has been around for decades and still creates a unique candle each and every time. The chunk is popular because it can be used in almost any application, container or pillar, and if you want, you can even cut the chunks small enough to use in a votive; Tea lights are probably pushing the limits a bit too much.

Another reason the chunk candle proves to be popular is that it gives your excess wax a new life.

Steps

1. Take any extra wax you have in any of your projects and pour into a bakers tray, cookie sheet or cake pan. (Pretty much any melt point wax will work and using different melt points will create different results). Prior to letting the wax completely harden, take a knife and cut the sheet into squares or other unique shapes. These chunks can be scented or unscented. (For a uniquely scented candle, try using different types of scents in these candles and getting a "burst" of multiple scents in the same candle.)

2. When the chunks are completely hard remove them from the sheets and place in any type of pillar mold. Common mold sizes would include 3 x 6-1/2, 3 x 9-1/2 and 4 x 4-1/2.

3. Once the chunks have been placed in the mold, take a pillar wax (scented or unscented) and pour over the chunks. When the candle is completely set up, remove the pillar from the mold. One of the things you will notice when making these candles is they will set up fairly quickly because the vast majority of the wax in the mold is already solid.

4. Remove the candle from the mold and, if using the pillar pin, remove it and insert the wick. If wicking the mold, trim the wick to the appropriate height and your candle is ready to be lit.

For variations on the basic chunk candle, try the following: 1. Once the chunks are placed in the mold, pour your pillar wax at a higher temperature, which will cause the chunks to streak and create a unique look. 2. Try using different types of molds such as octagons, squares and other unusual shapes. 3. Try making chunk candles in a jar. For best results make the chunks out of wax with a lower melt point wax. What makes the chunk candle so unique is the endless possibilities that can be made with the same basic concept.

 

 

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We hope you enjoyed this issue of the En-Light-ener.
Thank you for your continued interest and support.
Our goal is to make this newsletter as entertaining and educational as possible.
Let us know if you have any ideas on how we can improve.

Candlewic Company
3765 Old Easton Road
Doylestown, Pennsylvania 18901
800-368-3352
    

 

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