Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About the Candle Wicks


Color, shape, fragrance, and overall appearance is what we look for when we buy a candle. But, these are not the only things that make the perfect candle. If you ask any candle maker, he would say that it’s the wick that makes a candle. After all, it’s these wicks which burn to light up the surroundings. Wicks are nothing but cords or strings that hold the flame of the candles by drawing or wicking the wax or fuel to the flame, based on the capillary action. The size, diameter, stiffness, fire-resistance, and tethering, etc. determines the amount of fuel that would be drawn to the flame. Wicks are generally made of fiber materials that are coated with wax to provide the initial wax source when the candle is lit. There are different types of candle wicks for sale that are bought for different purposes considering the size, shape, fragrance, and material of the candle.

Types and Varieties

Given below are some of the common and popular types of wicks that are used in different types of candles, each providing a different burning result.

Flat: These type of wicks are commonly used in pillar and taper candle making. Flat wicks are generally plaited or twisted and are known to burn consistently. While burning, they curl back into the flame and consume their own self.

Square: These type of wicks are more sturdy and are self-consuming as well. They are commonly used in beeswax candles as they also control blocking of the wick that is caused by certain pigments or fragrances.

Cored: Core wicks are essentially stiff and have a round cross section that holds the flame straight. The core material is generally made of zinc, tin, cotton, or paper. They too are braided or knitted and are usually found in jar candles or devotional lights.

Oil: Oil candles are made with a special purpose. They are made in a different fashion to meet the requirements. Generally they are used in oil lamps that may have different sizes and shapes.

Twisted Wicks: These are one of the lowest quality wicks. Due to their loose construction, they burn very fast as the wax reaches the flame faster. These type of wicks are widely used in birthday candles where burning for a longer duration is not essential.

Making at Home

To make them, you will need:

  • Table Salt
  • Borax
  • Scissors
  • Cotton kite strings or twine or yarn
  • Cloth pins and lines
  • Paper clips
  • Binder clips
  • Old newspaper

Once you get all the materials, you can start with the actual process:

  • Warm one and a half cup of water.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of table salt and 4 tablespoons of borax in it.
  • Take a long cotton string, twine, or yarn. Make sure to cut the string into a length that is four to six inches longer than the candle you wish to make.
  • Soak it in the above mixture for fifteen minutes.
  • Once the string is completely dry, prepare the solution of melted wax.
  • Dip the string in melted wax four times with the help of a paper clip until completely saturated with wax.
  • Remove it from the wax, pull it tight, and dip it into the water again.
  • Lay it on the wax paper and dab away the excess moisture with the help of a paper towel.
  • Let it dry thoroughly and store it in a rolled newspaper.

It is really easy to make candle wicks at home. You can experiment with different knitting and plaiting patterns and use more fiber bundles to make different types of wicks.

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