The purpose of a wick is to deliver fuel (wax) to the flame. Acting like a fuel pump, the wick draws the liquefied wax up into the flame to burn. Different wick sizes allow for different amounts of fuel to be drawn into the flame. Too much fuel and the flame will flare and soot; too little fuel and the flame will sputter out.
There are literally hundreds of different styles and sizes of wicks. The type of wax used in a candle, as well as the candle’s size, shape, color and fragrance materials all impact wick choice. Selecting the correct wick is critical to making a candle that burns cleanly and properly. Reputable candle manufacturers take great care in selecting a wick of the proper size, shape and material to meet the burn requirements of a particular candle.
Types of Wicks
Most high-quality wicks are made from braided, plaited or knitted fibers to encourage a slow and consistent burn. In general, twisted wicks are of lower quality than braided or knitted wicks. They burn much faster because their loose construction allows more fuel to quickly reach the flame. However, twisted wicks are useful for certain applications, such as birthday candles.
Pure Cotton Wicks: Cotton wicks are braided cotton strands, dipped in wax and compressed to hold their shape. Cotton wicks often create lower cost and easier to maintain candles.
Cored Wicks: Cored wicks use a core material to keep the wick straight or upright while burning. The wicks have a round cross section, and the use of different core materials provides a range of stiffness effects. The most common core materials for wicks are cotton, paper, zinc or tin. Cored wicks can be found in jar candles, pillars, votives and devotional lights. A paper core wick has a cotton outer braid surround an inner core of cotton or paper. Commonly used in many types of candles. They are constructed with 100% natural fibers. The cotton core produces the hottest flame and the paper core produces a cooler flame than the cotton core but offers more rigidity.
HTP Coreless Wicks: The HTP wick is flat braided in design, but with thin paper fibers intertwined. The result is a cleaner burning, self-trimming wick with additional structural strength, controlled curling and a hotter, more efficient flame. HTP wick is an excellent alternative in hard to burn applications and is a good all around choice for paraffin, gel and vegetable candles that require hotter burn conditions.
RRD Cotton Cored Wicks: This is a round wick with a uniquely braided cotton core designed with tension threads that give the wick a slight, but effective, curl during combustion. The wick is directional in that capillary action flows more freely in one direction. Due to their intricate design, the RRD series provides a centered burn pool, self-trimming burn characteristics and a consistently high rate of fuel flow. These wicks work well with viscous fuels such as vegetable wax, gels and one pours. These wicks are very effective in making container candles.
ECO Coreless Wicks: The ECO wick is a flat, coreless, cotton wick with thin paper filaments interwoven for burn stability. The specially treated paper threads provide a controlled curling of the wick making the ECO series self-trimming, which results in minimized mushrooming, soot and smoke. ECO wick are particularly successful in lower melt-point vegetable and paraffin waxes.
LX Coreless Wicks: The LX wick is a uniquely braided, Coreless, flat wick manufactured with stabilizing threads that ensure an optimum burn profile. This allows for a very stable and consistent flame, which minimizes, or eliminates, mushrooming while reducing afterglow, smoke and soot. The LX series of wicks is designed to improve the burning of paraffin and vegetable waxes in containers.
CD Coreless Wicks: The CD wick is a Coreless, non-directional, flat braided wick with a special Paper filament woven around it. This configuration is engineered to promote maximum and consistent capillary action while insuring a wick trimming flame posture. The CD series is used in many different applications and is especially compatible with the harder to melt viscous waxes of both paraffin and vegetable base.
Burn Rate: Is the rate of wax consumption in grams/ounces in one hour by the wick. The higher the burn rates the more wax which is being consumed. Used to determine how well a wick and wax combination is performing.
Make sure when ordering wicks that the length of the wick is long enough for your application. The length should be about 1″ or longer than your container or mold. After your candle has completely hardened trim your wick to about 1/4″ above the candle surface.
If you have a long enough wick left over after removing the excess, then you can reuse the wick by putting your own wick tab on the end. Also don’t forget to order wick stickers to secure your wick to the bottom of the container, you can find our candle making supplies on our online store.