Our industry, including ourselves, focuses a great deal on the importance of fragrance when making candles. But an important aspect of the candle is also the color. In addition to people enjoying the fragrance, for many they also need it to match the decor of the home as well. In many instances, the choice of the pillar is based solely on color and not fragrance.
Color grabs our eyes, alters our mood, beautifies our surroundings, and evokes feelings of days long past. A great deal of material has been written on the topic of color and, in fact, there is a great website completely devoted to the subject of color and how it truly influences the world.
Because the subject is so expansive, this article will only highlight a few key aspects that impact the candle maker directly. For our purposes in the candle making community, color may quite simply be boiled down to the sensation caused by light rays as they interact with the human eye, brain, and past experience. Here are a few tips that help candlemakers control color and use it as a tool to help create wonderful candles that tempt the eye and tease the senses.
The Basics of Choosing Candle Colors
The three primary colors are red, blue, and yellow. These 3 colors are mixed to create all the other colors in the rainbow. When you mix the 3 primary colors, you get the secondary colors, green, orange and purple. From there on out you can mix any color you need. This is how a color wheel was developed. When using multiple colors in a single candle, a good starting point is to use analogous or complementary colors. Analogous colors are those that are next to each other on the color wheel such as shades of yellow and green. Complementary colors are those that are opposite on the color wheel. These are just the basic starting point to a phenomenon that knows no boundaries. You can use colors that resemble groupings found in nature, school/team colors, the latest popular interior design colors, or anything else that touches you or your customers' inner feelings.
There are countless techniques available to candle makers to help solve color challenges. The first question a candle maker must ask themselves is how important is uniformity. Uniform color may be extremely important to larger manufacturers as well as any candle maker looking to sell their candles wholesale to stores that will be reselling the candles. The uniformity is important for aesthetics on the shelf in a retail environment.
Increasing batch sizes solves this challenge. The larger the batch, the easier it is to measure dye accurately. This is simply achieved by using a larger melt tank. The sound of a larger tank might sound painful on the budget, but sometimes it may be necessary for some investment in equipment if the candle maker is looking to produce candles that are "factory perfect".
If you are using color blocks, it never hurts to buy larger amounts of dye per order to insure colors from the same lots. Candlewic offers aggressive pricing on 144 piece lots. This saves money on shipping expenses, material cost, and helps to insure you have enough dye on hand to handle any order that comes through your door - especially during the busy season.
Quality measuring tools are very important when measuring color. Whether you are using a scale, a dropper, or a measuring cup, it is important that you use the precise amount each time. It helps to have a heat resistant white surface to put a few drops of color on to visually see if they match the last drops but remember the drops will not accurately represent the true color.
Believe it or not, there are times when color uniformity is not as important as it seems. Take for instance online purchases. All monitors and printers interpret color slightly differently, so the color of the finished candle will probably never match the screen of the purchaser. Slight variation may be OK. If you are marketing the fact your candles are hand poured, there are times when customers expect slight differences in color and actually appreciate the choice between shades. In the case of fundraisers or direct sales, the purchaser is usually helping to support the seller and has a bit of tolerance for slight variations in color. It is up to the candle maker to make the choice and tailor their operations to fir customer expectations