While fragrance is undoubtedly the star of the show, it's the humble wick that is the MVP of any candle. Any good candle maker knows that simply adding more fragrance to a candle doesn't necessarily make a great smelling candle - the secret lies in finding that perfect wick for the job!
A needle in a haystack
The purpose of a candle wick is to deliver to fuel (wax and fragrance oil) to the flame.
Wicks come in all sizes and materials; there are literally 100's upon 100's of wicks to choose from when making a candle.
The most commonly found wick is cotton, while wood wicks are surging in popularity in recent years (and are our particular favourite).
Cotton wicks are available as coreless or with cotton, paper & zinc at their core to help them stay upright, zinc is the most rigid followed by paper and cotton. They are also available in various braiding styles for different burning effects, and can be coated in different waxes, or uncoated.
Wooden wicks are almost always uncoated. They can come in various crackling sounds from whisper to noisy, they can be flat, or boosted, they can be x-shaped, spiral shaped or round, they can be dyed or undyed.
As a maker looking for the perfect wick can feel a little like looking for a needle in a haystack. To add complexity, a wick that might work in one fragrance, is probably not going to to work in another fragrance.
Most makers chosen wick, will actually more than likely be 4 or 5 different wicks.
The perfect wick
Our 'perfect wick' is actually 5 different X-wicks. If you look closely there are very slight variations such as different widths, or literal millimeters of thickness.
Our wicks are made from FSC Certified Wood here in the US, they are untreated and all natural and when lit they form a playful pyramid shaped flame.
What does FSC Certified mean? FSC stands for the Forest Stewardship Council. The FSC is an independent, non-profit organization that protects forests for future generations. An FSC certification ensures that our wicks come from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits.
The perfect wick should:
- be strong enough to melt the top layer of wax, but not so strong that it melts too much at once and uses up your candle too quickly.
- should absorb some of that melted wax to constantly fuel the flame & hold it steady, but not so much that it becomes sooty, or that the flame becomes scary and tall and dancing around.
- should warm and keep the wax at perfect temperature to release the fragrance, but not get too hot that creates a fuel smell.
- should extinguish with a single gentle blow, and not smoulder or smoke for more than a few seconds.
The perfect wick should above all else be safe, these are tiny indoor bonfires after all.
Talking of safety, did you know that candle industry is largely unregulated? There are no permits or mandatory testing required to make candles. On one hand this is great because it allows all people from all backgrounds a chance at starting their own business, on the other hand it means there are a lot of poorly made candles out here. The NCA (The National Candle Association) have a voluntary set of standards to follow relating to how the wick works and we test and measure of all our candle against these standards.
It took us close to two years of testing like mad-scientists to narrow our wick selection down to our chosen five wicks and each time we launch a new fragrance it takes us a solid four months from concept to production to test those wicks for safety and functionality.
Now go read our blog on why it's important to trim your wick!