A candle is not complete without one. But, where do you begin? Testing is the only way to determine if you have the correct candle wicks size. But, this step-by-step guide will help you get started.
You may not need to follow the entire process if you make small votives or taper candles.
Most of this guide is focused on container and pillar candles. However, your acceptance criteria could vary depending upon your desired outcome.
Why Is Wick Type Important?
Not every wax and wick pair well together.
Some commercial wicks, which you can purchase from a seller, have certain characteristics that make them suitable for particular waxes.
Fibre Or Thread Make: Although a majority of wicks contain cotton, some wicks are made from fibre glass, wood or other natural fibres.
Braid Design: This determines the wick’s temperature and burns behaviour.
Wax Coating: Commercial candles have a coating made of high-melt point wax (often paraffin) to provide structure and allow them to stand straight in a melting pool. While some wicks are supplied without this coating, some candle makers intentionally “prime,” or dip, their wicks in melted wax. This is not a requirement.
These are critical factors because each wax is different. Each wax has a different density, melt point, and (whether the wax flows like water or as molasses).
They are joined when the wax melts. The wick must then travel up to them.
How The Wick Is Made Will Determine How The Melted Wax Moves Through It?
Wicks that cannot handle the wax won’t properly balance the burning candle. This can lead to excessive heat or smoking and possibly even self-extinguishing if not enough wax is available.
Step 1: Select A Wax Type
Many different waxes are available on the candle market. You can find everything from vegetable wax, such as palm or soy, to traditional waxes such as paraffin or honey wax.
There are pros and cons to each wax, so it is important to consider your specific application when choosing the right wax.
Most wax manufacturers design their wax for one specific application. So make sure that you select the right wax for your candle.
Step 2: Pick A Wicked Series Or Two
The general rule is that wicks work best in one set, but not in others.
While you will choose a series as your first choice, you may change your mind later.
Step 3: Measure The Diameter
You can use a mould or container. Find the diameter in inches.
Diameter is, for those of us who aren’t sure (don’t be embarrassed), the distance from one side of the circle to another, straight across.
This is where art and science meet in candle-making.
Step 4: Choose From Three-Wick Sizes
It’s important to remember that this involves lots of “trying things out” to find out if they work.
The majority of candle makers begin by making three candles at a time. Each candle has a different wick size to see how it turns out.
Although you don’t necessarily have three options for wick sizes, if you’re new to this or have never done it before, building three candles at a time can help narrow down your choices.
While it may seem daunting, building a safe and reliable candle takes a lot. Sometimes you can be lucky. However, don’t give up on your dreams just because you feel frustrated.
Step 5: Design Your Candle
This is the most simple step in the whole process. Once you choose your wick (or wicks), finish laying out your candle design on paper.
Let’s say you pour everything in one batch. The remaining factors are:
- Fragrance oil mixture
- Fragrance loads
- If possible, colour
- Containers and moulds should be identical
Next, make three candles. Let them dry. Then, continue the burn test.
Step 6: Conduct A Burning Test
You can only find out if your choice of wick worked by performing a thorough test.
The most important part about testing candles is thoroughness. They may burn it a few times and then decide it’s fine.
The best candle makers choose a suitable wick and burn it to test. They then react (described further down) to ensure that the wick works well in the candle.
This means you have to test the candle from start to finish – there will be no exceptions.