13 Oct Candle Science | All About The Wick
Today we are talking all things ‘wick’… that very special little thing that keeps your candles burning brightly.
Very simply, the role of the wick is to provide fuel (wax) to the flame. Once the wax has melted, the wick draws the wax up to meet the flame… et voila, we have light! Consider the wick a little like a mini fuel pump!
It sounds straightforward, but there is actually a lot of science and care that goes into getting the wick just right. If too much fuel is given to the flame, then the flame will flicker and give off a lot of soot, too little fuel and the flame will burn out.
There are many things that influence how the wick burns… wax type, size of the vessel, oil type and when it comes down to styles of wicks, there isn’t just one!
Our makers spend hours and hours testing different styles and sizes of wicks, to ensure that perfect burn for us all and we also spend a lot of time testing any potentially featured candle to ensure it meets our high standards…
Did you know that there are different types of wick?
Flat wicks are generally made from three bundles of fibre, into flat plaits or knitted wicks. They are VERY consistent when it comes to burning and super clever too! They curl in the flame which creates a self-trimming effect! They are the most commonly used wicks and often found in taper and pillar candles.
Square wicks are also braided and knitted which also curl in the flame, however, they are more rounded and a little bit stronger than flat wicks. This type of wick is more often used in beeswax candles, as it helps stop the clogging of the wick, something quite common with certain types of waxes and fragrances.
Cored wicks are also braided or knitted but they have a core material which helps to keep the wick straight and upright during the burning process. These wicks have a round cross-like section and the different use of materials in the core help to provide a range of stiffness effects. The most common substances that are used in the core are cotton, paper, zinc or tin which can restrict the sustainability of the whole candle. Cored wicks are commonly used and found in jar candles, pillars, votives and devotional lights.
These have increased in popularity over recent years, more and more people being seduced by that soft ‘crackle’ when being burnt, just like our July candle from Artisan Bloom! Wooden wicks are available as single-ply, multi-layered, curved and also decorative! These wicks can be made from 100% wood, semi-wood, fibrous material or a combination of cotton and wood!!
These types of wicks are specially designed to meet the burn characteristics of specific candles. If a candle is deemed to be complex, then a wick will be made to ensure that the burn is even, consistent etc. These types of wicks are most commonly found in oil lamps and insect-repelling candles.
The wick is so vital to the life of a candle and now, you can burn yours armed with the knowledge of why your wick looks and behaves like it does. We always feature wicks that are made with natural materials, so you can relax and enjoy your Iggy Box candle with peace of mind, as well as enjoying that cosy candlelit ambience.
Don’t forget to check out our recent blog on trimming your wick to help you make the most of your candle too!
Happy burning Iggy Boxers!