Welcome to the En-light-ener, Candlewic's
newsletter for the candle making community. And welcome to a whole new
look for the Candlewic web site!
To serve you better, we need
to know what you think about our new site. Please give
us feedback. We're so interested in what you have to
say that we're having a random drawing from all of the
comments submitted between now and September 15 to win
a $30 Candlewic gift certificate.
Palm Wax - Calm yet so exciting...
By now, just about every candle maker has seen or heard some sort of
buzz about the palm wax and its many benefits to both the professional
candle maker and the hobbyist. We get many calls each day requesting
information about our palm wax, so we figured it is time to trumpet our
knowledge to everybody. Over the last 30
years 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.
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
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. Going above the
temperature will 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 (see next article about using
aluminum molds) 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 liquid dyes. Always start light and gradually go deeper with
each color, so you can master how the contrast affects the color selection
between the darker colors and the lighter candles as compared to the
crystalline appearance. The Palm
3 feathering wax will actually appear to change shades as you rotate
it in the light – truly amazing.
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.
There are many techniques for increasing profit margin on
your candles, but none are as inexpensive as the three R’s – reduce,
recycle, and reuse. These simple actions cost the candle
maker nothing and actually help the environment at the same
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 try 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 ensure you
have raw materials on hand when it is needed.
Recycle – To protect your
supplies during shipping, we must use packing materials
to be sure your products arrive to you in perfect condition.
Candlewic’s “air pillows” used in packing
as well as the 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 lie on the floor
in order 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
Candlewic now offers 100% Beeswax Craft Sheets. They're
made of 100% pure beeswax in dimensions of 8" x 16".
They're available in in 6 different textures -- Honeycomb,
Corrugated, Smooth, Woven, Floral and Asian -- and in a myriad
Soap Making Supplies!
are excited to announce that Candlewic now is offering
Soap Making Supplies in addition to our Candle
Making Supplies. We know many of you produce both
candles and soap, so we hope this makes your shopping
and buying process more convenient. When you're
finished reading the newsletter, go
to our web site and take a look!
As an Introductory
Special, we are offering FREE
SHIPPING* on your soap products when you
order $50 or more of soap products. (Candle making
products are not included. Be sure to read the sale
charges will appear in your cart, but we will
refund the shipping on your soap making products
if you order $50 or more of soap making products.
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.
To Each Their Own
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, plus many other unique shapes in our designer series of polycarbonate
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
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
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.