unwrapping the mystery of candle wicks

hey there, candle enthusiasts! have you ever wondered what makes your favorite candle burn just right or what sets an en mer candle apart? well, it's not just the wax (that we reviewed in this blog) and the fragrance—it's all about that tiny, often overlooked detail: the wick! today, we're diving headfirst into the fascinating world of candle wicks. and to make things even more exciting, we’re going to go in depth on the types of wicks we use and why we use them. so, grab your cup of tea, light your favorite candle, and let's embark on this enlightening journey together!

the lowdown on candle wicks

first things first, what exactly does a wick do? it's not just a piece of string; it's the MVP of your candle, responsible for making sure that wax gets turned into a beautiful, dancing flame, and that the fragrance is dispersed into your home. the wick's main gig is to draw the liquid wax up from the candle's base and feed it to the flame, creating that mesmerizing glow we all love. wicks come in a variety of types, made from different materials, and a variety of sizes within each type. 

what types of candle wicks are there?

there are tons of different types of candle wicks! below are the major types:

  • flat wicks: made from 3 layers of fiber and created using a flat-braid/plait or knitted design that lays flat. known to self-trim well, these are generally the most popular wicks for candles.
  • cored wicks: these wicks are braided or knitted and feature some type of core material to keep themselves upright while burning. this core material can be cotton, paper, zinc, or tin.
  • square wicks: often utilized in beeswax, square wicks are either braided or knitted but have a more rounded shape than a flat wick.
  • wooden wicks: as the name suggests, wooden wicks are made from wood. they come in a variety of shapes – flat, x-shaped, circular, multi-ply, and more. people often love these wicks because they create a crackling sound that resembles a wood fire. often a multi-ply or wood booster will be used to increase the sound, while a single-ply flat wick may have a lighter sound.

what types of wicks do we use?

imagine your favorite pair of jeans. comfortable, reliable, and always in style, right? well, that's kind of like what cotton wicks are in the world of candles—timeless classics. made from good ol' natural cotton fibers, cotton wicks have been keeping the candle game strong for centuries. we use cotton wicks that are free from lead and zinc, which can be harmful when burning in your home. below are some advantages of cotton wicks:

  1. steady burn: one thing you can count on with cotton wicks is a steady and consistent flame. no flickering, no drama, just a smooth and even burn across the candle's surface.
  2. less soot: cotton wicks are the cleanliness champions of the wick world. they produce minimal soot and smoke, so you can enjoy your candle without worrying about blackening your ceiling.
  3. no harmful materials: cotton wicks are made from, well, cotton! you don’t have any fillers, cores, additional materials, or potentially harmful materials. just natural cotton!

now, let's flip the script and talk about wood wicks as the second type of candle wick we use. these wicks are a bit like the hipsters of the candle world—unconventional, visually appealing, and always striving for that "wow" factor. instead of cotton, wood wicks are made from thin strips of wood, often sourced from sustainable materials like cedar or cherrywood. below are some of the advantages of wooden wicks:

  1. aesthetic delight: wood wicks bring a touch of rustic charm to your candle. they add a dash of style to your décor, making them perfect for any Instagram-worthy moment.
  2. crackling sound: ever wanted your candle to sound like a cozy fireplace? wood wicks got you covered! they produce a gentle crackling sound, elevating your candle experience to a whole new level of cozy. we typically use an x-shaped, low crackling, wood wick. this provides for a very even burn (because sometimes wood wicks can have some trouble lighting!) and is esthetically pleasing.
  3. enhanced scent throw: wood wicks have broader flames, which means they can help your candle fragrance fill your room more effectively. you'll be basking in the delightful aroma of your en mer candle in no time!

now hold up a minute, because you might be thinking, that’s pretty simple, I bet I can make a candle myself! I often see videos on Instagram of people buying random vessels and melting candles to take the wicks and repurpose them into homemade candles. and while you certainly can make your own candle, it takes a lot of research and testing to find just the right wick. within each type of wick, comes a massive spread of sizes. sizes of wicks correspond to the size of your jar and the type of wax you’re using. too small of a wick- you’ll get a tunnel in the center of your candle. too large of a wick- you risk an oversized flame and potentially an overheated jar that may burst or crack in the worst case scenario. plus you'll have to know your jar, your wicks, and your wax enough to know if it's a single wick, double wick or even triple wick candle. it’s important to do plenty of research before making your own candles, or just leave it up to the professionals 😊 when testing out a new jar, we test multiple sizes of wicks in controlled environments that are watched closely to be sure there is no danger in testing.

candle wicks are the unsung heroes of the candle world. they might be small, but they play a massive role in delivering that perfect candle experience. from the classic and consistent cotton wicks to the visually stunning and atmospheric wood wicks, there's a wick for every candle mood. en mer, a brand that takes candle crafting to a whole new level, knows the importance of wicks like no other. by using both cotton and wood wicks in our candles, we’re making sure you get the best of both worlds. so, the next time you light up an en mer candle, take a moment to appreciate the craftsmanship behind the wick that turns your cozy night in or romantic dinner into an unforgettable experience. happy candle burning!

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