The Art of Candlemaking

Candlemaking

Candles have been around for centuries and a popular choice for people who love hygge and self-care. But the industry went into decline with the invention of incandescent bulbs and kerosene lamps, which made candles more of a luxury rather than a necessity.

Since then, the popularity of candle making has been resurging as a way to add a personal touch to your home. There are a range of materials and techniques to choose from, including beeswax and paraffin wax.

History

Originally, candles were made from natural sources like beeswax or tallow, fat from animals. These were a popular choice because they worked well and weren’t too expensive, but the odor of tallow was unpleasant.

But, in the 1800s, a new kind of candle was introduced that was more efficient, odourless and inexpensive to manufacture. In the 1850s, chemists discovered a waxy substance called paraffin.

When distilled from coal and oil shales, paraffin was a bluish-white wax that didn’t give off an unpleasant odor when burned. It also burned longer, brighter and more consistently than any other material used in candle making.

In the mid 19th century, a pewterer from Manchester patented a machine that allowed for continuous production of moulded candles. This revolutionized candle production on an industrial scale and produced about 1,500 candles per hour. This meant that candles could now be affordable for all classes of people. And, with the introduction of tightly braided wicks, candlemakers were able to produce better performing, self-trimming candles.

Materials

Candles are a great way to bring light and fragrance into any space. They are also a decorative form of art and can be made to any size, shape or color you desire!

Throughout history, candles have been made from various types of fats and oils. These include animal fats, plant waxes, tallow and beeswax.

These waxes are melted and then wrapped around a wick. As the wick burns, it vaporizes the fat and wax.

Paraffin wax is one of the most common and versatile of all candle waxes. It can be melted in different melt points and is available in several blends to provide longer burning time and special effects.

Other types of candle waxes include beeswax, soy wax, palm wax and gels. These waxes can be melted and combined with various additives to create unique and beautiful candles.

Techniques

There are a few different methods for making candles. The most simple are rolled beeswax candles, which are made by rolling sheets of wax tightly around a wick. These can be short or long and can be made in a variety of colors and scents.

Candles are also made by pouring melted wax into molds, such as milk cartons or boxes. They can be shaped into taper, pillar or novelty candles.

When making candles, it is important to pay close attention to the temperature of the wax mixture. This will help prevent cracking.

Once the mixture has cooled to 180°F (85°C), pour it into your container. It is important to use a heat-safe jug or pan to pour the wax in, as this will ensure you don’t spill any.

Fragrance

Candle makers use a variety of fragrances to give their candles their unique scent. They can be made with natural essential oils or fragrance oils.

Fragrance oils are expensive, so many makers prefer to use essential oils instead. This method also makes the process less complicated.

The downside to using essential oils is that they can cause breathing issues if used improperly. Despite this, many makers still choose to use them because they are natural and have health benefits.

It’s best to add your fragrance oils last, just before pouring. This will produce a larger melt pool so the fragrance can release properly when it’s time to burn.

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