What Are Candle Wicks Made Of? & How Can You Make Candle Wicks?
You’ve probably never given much thought to the wick in the candle you’re using, whether it’s because of the warmth they provide after a long hard day’s work, you enjoy personalizing them for friends and family, or you want to add a nice smell to your home.
You probably think that the shape, size, and color of a candlestick are the most important factors when choosing a new candlestick, but the wick has a lot of other functions. It allows you to control how quickly or slowly candlestick burns and helps keep pillar candles clean after they’ve been used.
If you have never thought about these crucial components, the first thing that may come to mind is, “what are candle wicks composed of?” A few alternatives are available, but the wicks we use at Homesick are crafted from organic cotton grown without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.
This helps to maintain a consistent and pure scent throughout the experience. For our goods, we have chosen to utilize only the highest quality ingredients; nevertheless, competing manufacturers frequently employ wicks of lower quality to keep their prices low. Continue reading to learn more about the components that make candle wicks.
Types of candle wicks
Candles may be made from a wide range of different kinds of material and can come in many different shapes and sizes.
Follow the candle care instructions carefully, regardless of the type of wicks you choose. Some of the most common types include:
1. Flat wick
Flat wicks are one of the most popular lighters because it creates a self-trimming flame. A flat wick consists of three bundles of fibers braided together. The fibers burn off as you light the lighter, creating a tight bundle of smokeless fuel. When you extinguish the flame, the remaining wicks curl themselves to form a compact, self-contained package.
2. Square wick
The most typical variety is the flat one. In most cases, they are constructed up of three bundles of braided cotton or some other type of fiber. They are meant to coil up as used and have a form reminiscent of the straps found on purses and backpacks. This leads to a process known as self-trimming.
3. Cored wick
This kind of wick has a core, as one may infer from the name. A cotton or zinc core is wrapped in a layer of fibrous material before being sandwiched between two further layers of fibrous material. Because of the core, they can stand independently, making them an excellent option for container candles.
They’re prone to grow mushrooms, so you should be ready to trim them regularly. One of the most common and widely adopted options for candle containers is using a cored wick.
4. Wooden wick
Wooden wicks provide a slow and steady burn since they are made mostly of natural wood. Some are made with a single layer of wood, while others have numerous layers. There are also candles available with ornamental wooden wicks fashioned into various forms.
Wooden wick candles produce a distinctive cracking noise when lit because they contain a small piece of wood. They’re available in a variety of shapes and colors, and they often require trimming. They come in a wide range of shapes and sizes and frequently need to have their edges trimmed.
5. Speciality wick
This category is a kind of catch-all for anything else. Some brands make their wicks and keep them a trade secret. Candles designed to ward off insects are one example of items that need specialized wicks. In addition, oil lamps require a certain kind of wick. These wicks, as well as any others that aren’t covered by the other categories, fall under the umbrella of the specialized wicks category.
How do candle wicks work?
The wicks of candles do not just burn like wood does in a fireplace. Instead, they utilize a capillary attraction method, dependent upon a scientific principle, to pull the liquid towards them. Adhesive force, surface tension, and cohesive forces are all involved in capillary attraction. Larger candle gets their energy from the melted wax inside the candle.
The adhesiveness between the wick and its surroundings allows the wick to draw in the fluid, while the cohesive forces between the wax molecules and surface tensions of the wax allow the wax to rise. As plants use capillary actions to absorb moisture and minerals from their roots, so do animals; they don’t need to be connected to the ground.
Various wick kinds exist, each of which has a unique effect on capillarity. Some draw up waxier than others, and this difference can impact the size of the fire, its warmth, and the speed at which the candlestick consumes. Wickers that consume too fast may produce excessive soot, whereas those that consume too slowly could be hard to maintain lit. Regardless of their small size, wick plays a significant role in the overall performance of every type of wax.
Moreover, you should also read our article about wet spots on candles and how to fix them.
How to make your candles wick?
You have the option of producing your candle wick, which may be useful. Making your wick allows you the freedom to produce bespoke wicks tailored to match specialty candles that come in various sizes. Simply following these methods will let you produce your homemade wicks from scratch at home.
- Undyed cotton twine
- Candle wax
- Wick Sustainers (optional)
- A wax melter or a pan inside a pan
1. Prepare your wick
Cut the end of your wick about 1/4 inch above the base of the candle. You want it to be long enough to reach the bottom of the container without touching the sides. If you’re using a wick sustainer, cut the wick sustainer first. Then, take the wick sustainer and place it over the top of the wick. Cut the wick sustainer where it meets the wick. This will prevent the wick sustainer from pulling the wick out of the molten wax.
2. Melt the wax
Place the wax melter or pan into a pot with water. Heat the water until it’s hot but not boiling. Add the wax to the water. Stir the mixture until the wax melts completely. The wax should be clear and free of lumps. Remove the pot from heat and stir the wax until it cools down.
3. Dip the wick
Take your wick and dip it into the melted wax. Pull the wick out of wax and lay it onto a piece of paper towel. Let the excess wax drip off. Repeat this process until you’ve dipped the entire length of the wick.
4. Trim the wick
Once you’ve finished dipping the wick, trim the ends of the wick. Make sure that there is no wax left on the wick.
5. Insert the wick
Insert the trimmed wick into the center of the container. It should be inserted straight down into the middle of the container.
6. Light the candle
Light the candle by placing a flame underneath the wick. Once the candle is burning well, remove the flame.
7. Keep the candle lit
To keep the candle lit, add more wax as needed.
8. Clean the candle
When the candle burns all the way through, clean the outside of the candle with soap and water. Enjoy!
Moreover, if you are making a soy wax candle, you should read our article about it, where we discuss the best candle wicks for soy wax candles.
Smell is one of the human senses which can flow through the whole body. I am the Founder of NeoCandle.com where we talk all about scented candles. Known as Candace the Candle Girl, I know pretty much all there is to know about scented candles. I make and sell them on Etsy and Ebay – so be sure to ask if you have any burning questions 🙂 (pun intended 😉 )