What are the different types of wicks you can use to make a candle?

What are candle wicks?

Wicks are the most central and important elements of a candle. Without them, the candle would be useless, the flame would never burn and the light would never warm up the atmosphere of your living room. A wick is basically the heart of a candle, it makes the candle!

What do candle wicks do?

Ok, but what does a wick do? A wick delivers fuel (which is the wax) to the flame of the candle. It acts like a fuel pump: the wick draws the liquefied wax up into the flame so that it keeps burning.

Candle wicks are a bundle of fibres that are twisted, braided or knitted altogether. The fibres are the absorbing element of the candle, they absorb the liquefied wax and carry it to the flame by capillary action.

How to choose the best wick for your candle?

There are thousands of different shape, colour, fragrance, material and sizes of wicks. It is important to pick the right one for your candle.

Different factors impact the choice of wick for your candle:

  • The type of wax (fuel)
  • The wax melting point
  • The candle’s size (diameter)
  • The shape of the candle
  • The colour and fragrance materials
  • The type of candle (pillar, container…)
  • The environmental design of the candle
  • The fragrance oil (type and percentage)
  • The colourant type (liquid, powder, dye chip, colour block…) and percentage

Size matters…Different wick sizes allow for different amounts of wax (remember, the fuel!) to be drawn into the flame. If there is too much wax the flame will flare and soot. However, if there is too little fuel then the flame will sputter out.

Selecting the right wick is critical to making the candle work properly. Without the proper wick, your candle will not burn cleanly.

By choosing the right candle wick, you will be able to have:

  • Consistent flame size
  • Moderate container temperature
  • Minimal or no blooming (carbon deposits)
  • Well-formed wax pool with no dripping
  • Minimal glow after the candle has been extinguished

The different types of wicks

Braided vs Twisted wicks

High-quality wicks are made from braided, plaited or knitted fibres as it encourages a slow and consistent burn.

Twisted wicks are of lower quality as they burn faster due to their loose construction which allows the fuel to quickly reach the flame. These are mainly used for birthday candles.

The different types of cotton wicks

Flat wicks

Flat-plaited or knitted wicks are usually made from three bundles of fibre.

These wicks are very consistent in burning and curl in the flame for a self-trimming effect.

They are commonly used in taper and pillar candles.

Square wicks

Braided or knitted wicks curl in the flame.

They are more rounded and more robust than flat wicks. Square wicks are designed to give a slight bend at their tip when burning.

It’s best to use them with beeswax.

Cored wicks

Braided or knitted wicks use a core material to keep the wick straight or upright while burning.

The most common core materials for wicks are:

  • Cotton
  • Paper
  • Zinc

ored wicks are used in container candles, pillars and votives.

Pre-waxing of these candle wicks in recommended for increased rigidity.

HTP wicks

HTP wicks are self-trimming and possess the same rigidity as core candle wicks.

They provide improved wax pool symmetry and less carbon heading than cored candle wicks.

HTP wicks perform well in paraffin wax, soy wax and palm wax.

Performa coreless wicks

Performa cordless wicks are made of cotton and are flatly braided.

They stand straight and do not bend while burning.

LX wicks

LX wicks have a unique braiding. They are coreless and flat wicks that are manufactured with stabilizing threads to ensure optimum burn.

LX wicks provide a very stable and consistent flame which minimizes carbon buildup (mushrooming) while reducing afterglow, smoke, and soot.

It is a good pick of wick for containers and pillars as it improves the burning of paraffin wax and soy wax.

RRD series wicks

RRD wicks are round braided cotton cored wicks. They provide increased flow of fuel (wax and fragrance) to the flame.

They are known for maintaining a stable flame.

CD series wicks

CD wicks are coreless and have a flat braid style with a special paper filament woven around it.

It is made to promote a maximum and consistent burn.

CD wicks work well with hard to melt waxes like paraffin waxes and soy waxes.

An exceptional type of wicks: wooden wicks!

Wooden wicks are awesome!!!

There are two types of wooden wicks: hardwood wicks and softwood wicks.

Softwood wicks offer the unique sounds of a wood burning fire as they crackle and pop while they burn.

When we developed our 100% soy wax Hygge candle at Frændi, we wanted to design a product with minimal impact on the environment.

We also wanted to invite Hygge in your homes with the crackling sound of a burning fire. When burning the wooden wicks of our Hygge Candles, you will hear a soothing crackling sound.

Tip: Unlike cotton wicks, wooden wicks usually do not require much trimming.  However, as they are a natural product, each wooden wick has its own individual characteristics. Occasionally you might notice traces of a knot which can slightly alter the performance of the wick. If you encounter this, simply break of the upper part of the burnt wooden wick.

Pay attention to the burning rate of your candle wick!

What is the burn rate of a candle wick? It is the amount of wax consumed in grams per hour by the candle wick.

The higher the burn rate, the more wax your candle will consume.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published