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March 03, 2014

Pick a Wick


Pick a Wick

Before writing each of the Newsletter's we go through several steps to determine what would be the best topic to cover. One of the first things we do is review previous issues of the Enlighter to see what topics where highlighted in the past several years. While doing so this time we started looking back at all of the issues and for some reason this time it jumped out that we have been doing this for a very long time. 154 Issues to be exact. Yes this will be our 155th issue of the Enlightner and we have to thank all our readers.

If we did not continually get such positive feedback and comments regarding this publication we may have ceased sending many years ago. We have several very important goals of the Enlightner:

  • Provide valuable content for the readers no matter what level of candle making they may be at.
  • Provide information that no matter where the supplies might be coming from that they can use the information provided in this newsletter as a resource.
  • Continually inform the industry of important new products, trends and news regarding the industry.
  • Provide Projects that can be attempted to a candle maker as an introduction into the process.
  • Best of all this has all been accomplished FREE of charge.

We truly thank all our readers and customers and hope that we have met your needs with this publication. Please encourage your fellow candle makers and friends to subscribe and we always look forward to comments and suggestions to improve our publication.

One of the topics we always try and dedicate 1 issue a year to is guiding how to pick the proper wick. Consumers purchase candles for many different reasons, they may like the particular fragrance, color, shape/design, but, I am not sure anyone has ever identified that they purchased a candle because of the wick. However, without the proper wick in the candle, the customer probably will not come back a second time.

Picking out a fragrance can be fun and exciting, the same can be true about color, but selecting the proper wick can be time consuming and tedious. There is not a perfect science to selecting the proper wick, and in fact, there is not a right or wrong wick if the end result is a safe burning candle that achieves the scent throw you desire. This article will introduce the various choices available for the different types of candles to be made.

It seems that all informative articles have to begin with some type of definition, so we figured we better follow that protocol. In that spirit, Webster's defines "wick" in the following manner:

"A bundle of fibers or a loosely twisted, braided, or woven cord, tape, or tube usually of soft spun cotton threads that by capillary attraction draws up to be burned a steady supply of the oil in lamps or the melted tallow or wax in candles."

When you apply this definition to the candle world, it actually becomes much more than that. There are many different types of wicks including braided (both square and flat), cored (paper, cotton , zinc), round and other specialty types. It is not surprising that selecting the proper wick for a beginner can be overwhelming.

Wicks for Containers
Many people like to make containers, so we will focus on common series of wicks that candle makers use in their containers.

Cored Wicks (Zinc, Cotton, Paper) - Cored wicks may be the most common wicks used in containers because the core offers rigidity to the wick during the manufacturing process and burning cycle. These wicks have an all-natural exterior with a core of either paper, cotton or zinc. This wick size is generally available for some of the smallest containers up to a larger diameter probably up to 4".

RRD Series - A round directional wick with a cotton core and tension threads. It has been designed to help improve the burn of scented candles. This series works very well in all paraffin waxes and natural waxes.

HTP Series - Designed to provide the benefits of a self-trimming posture with the rigidity found in cored wicks. These wicks have a specialty yarn fiber that is incorporated into the construction of the braid. The HTP series also work very well in all natural wax candles.

ECO Series - A specialty flat wick braided with interwoven paper threads. This braiding technique gives the wick an increased stability level. The ECO are good to use with paraffin wax and natural wax candles.

Wicks for Votives
In a votive, any of the above series will work well in addition to some of the additional wick series.

LX - A flat braided wick that also has stabilizing threads. This wick offers solid wick construction from pure ring-spun cotton yarn to advanced treatment that is designed to reduce afterglow.

Wicks for Pillars
The most common wicks used in pillars are the flat and square braided wicks. When sized properly, the flat and/or square braided wicks should be able to produce a flame that can consume the wax, without allowing it to drip.

Select the proper wick can be intimidating but by narrowing down the types of candles you are making and identify the specific wax the narrowing down process can be much easier and then from there you can start your testing.

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


When do I use Pre-Wick Assemblies?

Pre-Wick Assemblies are where the wick has been waxed, cut to a specific length and the metal base is adhered to the wick. The Pre-Wick Assembly will simplify your candle making process when doing containers, votives and pillars using the wick pin. The Pre-Wick assemblies really do not work when making tapers, pillars without the pin and novelty candles.The Pre-Wick assemblies can be purchased in standard sizes are as you needs become more specific you can get them cut to any desired length, select your own coating and metal base by using the Custom Wick Builder.

One of the questions I get on a regular basis is how is a Pre-Wick assembly made. Be sure to check out this video of the machine in operation.

With this we take the raw wick, wax it and then put it in the Wick Sustainer machine. This machine can cut the wick to any length from 1" up to a height of 9". The machines can run 15mm, 20 mm and even 33mm clips.

Be sure to check out this machine in operation.

Historical Perspective

The year we launched the Enlightner: Apple announced iTunes at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco, for organizing and playing digital music and videos. Price of gas was $1.52 and a Beautiful Mind won the academy award.

March 2014

Featured Project:
Rose Candle

With spring upon us, the flower candles and scents will soon be what every one is asking for. The Rose Floater is a nice addition to any outside party or inside party filling your bath tub.

This candle can be made very easily using the M-22 Rose Floater (this is a very popular mold right now so give yourself some extra time). Start by sliding unwaxed wick material through the bottom of the mold.

You will need a "long pointed" object to force the wick through the hole. Once the wick is passed through the bottom of the mold, secure it on top of the mold with a wick bar. If you don't have a wick bar, a popsicle stick will work.

Helpful Hint

Leave extra lengths of wick at the bottom of the mold so when you remove your candle from the mold, it will be automatically wicked for your next pour.

You then secure the mold together with rubber bands. Take your paraffin wax, CBL-141, which can be scented and/or colored and pour at around 180-185 degrees F. Top off the candle. When the candle has properly solidified, remove it from the mold. This floating candle will add a nice accent to any party.

Extra Touch

Pour a number of these roses in red. After about four or five pours, pour one in white. The dye, which can accumulate on the mold, will "bleed" into the white wax and create a lovely pink color.



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