The Centered Wick
A very important characteristic of a correctly burning candle is that the wick is centered inside the candle from top to bottom.
An off-center wick can often make even the perfect wick choice look like a poor one by consuming a disproportionate amount of wax in one area of the candle, overheating the side closest to the flame and, in turn, exhibiting an overactive flame and sooting. As you might imagine, the side farthest from the flame normally remains unconsumed. This unattractive result normally leaves the customer feeling cheated.
For those candles which are not pre-glued, Wicks Unlimited has developed a line of self-centering wick-clips which are offered for votive to apothecary size candles. The aim is to allow our customers to simply drop the wick in, pour the wax and straighten the wick.
Adequate Crimp Pressure
Many of the wick tabbing machines on the market today produce a crimp strength which varies over the course of the production run. A weak crimp can cause the wick to be pulled from the tab during the straightening process on the production line. This unfortunate event renders the candle unburnable.
The minimum suggested crimp hold is 2 to 3 pounds of tensile strength. Wicks Unlimited insists upon 4.5 to 9.5 pounds, ensured by our computer-controlled crimpers and then tested by pull gauges at various points in the production run.
Uniform Wick Height
In candle manufacturing, the ideal wick will be exposed 1/4" above the top of the candle. Wicks exceeding that length, when lit, will have the tendency to produce too large a flame and to smoke excessively as the candle struggles to secure its initial fuel supply. Trimming the wicks while on the production line to compensate for this excess length adds an additional step to the manufacturing process.
Wicks Unlimited's wick-clip machines can cut to customer requirements at 1/64" increments, usually eliminating the need for any wick trimming.
Safety (Self-Extinguishing) Wick-Tabs
Wick-tabs with overall heights of 6 and 10 millimeters are now becoming commonplace in the candle industry, replacing the 3.8 millimeter tabs which were standard at one time.
As the flame cannot proceed lower than the top of the tab, the taller tabs naturally keep the flame higher off the floor of the candle than the 3.8 mm tabs. This inhibits the ignition of carbon deposits which may be lying on the floor of the candle hence increasing the overall safety of the candle.
The longer wick-tabs are more expensive due to a more involved manufacturing process required to produce them and some candle manufacturers may feel that their customers will perceive the additional wax left at the bottom of the candle at the end of its burn as waste, but the more safety-conscious candle manufacturers opt for the longer tabs citing safety as one of their biggest concerns.
For maximum safety, our optional non-puncturing crimp prevents the wick-tab from being pierced in the crimping process. The piercing of the wick-tab enables enhanced crimp pressure, but can also allow for the possibility for wax to be drawn through the tear in the wick-clip wall, possibly feeding the flame until the wax level of the candle reaches the crimp level. With the eyelet thoroughly glued in place shutting off wax to the bottom of the wick-tab, the non-puncturing crimp cuts off fuel to the flame when the wax level reaches the top of the wick-tab, adding an additional degree of safety to your candle. Although this leaves more wax on the bottom of the candle, in doing so, it provides for an increased measure of safety, as although the flame can never go lower than the height of the wick-tab, the level of wax in the candle possibly can.
Tails of Wick-Clip Assemblies
Many wick-clip assemblies in the industry have a small tail of wick extending from the base of the clip.
However, a good clean cut, flush with the bottom of the clip is preferable not only for appearance but to ensure that the wick-clip assembly extends straight up at a 90° angle from the base of the candle, providing the proper start to a perfectly centered wick.
Non-metal-cored wicks are prone to floating when certain candles are poured or during the burn when the burn pool is excessively hot and deep, at which point the wick-wax melts away leaving the wick to support itself without its wax sheathing.
These problems can be rectified by using our high melt wax which has a drop melt point of 210 degrees Fahrenheit.