making wicks for candles : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Does anybody know how to make wicks for homemade candles? DOes it take a spinning wheel or can it be done without one?

-- stan (, January 14, 2000


Stan, you can use a spinning wheel if you want, just spin up some cotton. Otherwise, braid up cotton thread/yarn or find a thick enough cotton thread/yarn. Size does matter, consult a candle making book or web site. Usually wicks are #1, #2, and #3. I don't really know how those translate into fractions of an inch. Might be worth buying some real wick to compare with (or compare to the wick in a purchased candle).

I've read that homemade wicks should be soaked in the following solution overnight. 1c water, 1 tablespoon salt, 2 tablespoons boric acid. Boric acid can be purchased at a drug store. It is not the same as borax for laundry. Gerbil

-- Gerbil (, January 14, 2000.

Hey Stan! Years ago [about 45] we made candles from beef tallow and grocery store string. This string was used to tie up wrapped meat at the store. I'm sure it would not be politically correct now a days but it worked and worked well back then. We weren't trying to impress anybody-we did it out of necessity. We also used fruit jars, with the bottoms removed, for lamp chimneys. Carefully heat the jar by hot water bath or filling about half full then gently immerse just the bottom in cold water. Makes a neat break quite nicely. Sand the sharp edges with sandpaper or a fine file. We made lye soap, butchered our own meat, cured and eat it without killing any of us. Seasoning cast iron cookware and loads of other things that we did because we had to.

-- hoot gibson (, January 17, 2000.

Hi Stan,

If you want to try your hand at spinning, all you need to do is unbend one end of a large paper clip, pull a small amount of cotton into a length and twist it by rubbing along your pant leg, double over this end and tie to the unbent end of your paper clip, leaving one end attatched to your supply of cotton. Continue by pulling out the cotton into a snakelike form (without breaking off from the supply of untwisted cotton) and twisting the paper clip as you go. It may take a bit of practice to get the thickness you desirte (remember it must be half the thickness of your finished product). When you've twisted about 24", let it twist back on itself, and you've made a 12" length to be prepared for wicking as those above have explained. You don't need fancy wheels or equipment to do small amounts of wicking. In some areas of the country folks are lucky enough to find cotton growing alongside the road, but if you're not one of them, and would like to try this, send me an e-mail with your address, and I'll send along some cotton and a started "paper clip spindle" with instructions. All I ask is, once you've got the hang of it, teach it to someone else. Have fun....

......Sandie in MA

-- sandie baker (, February 06, 2000.

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