Soy candles are made from soybean oil, making them more eco-friendly. Choosing wicks is dependent on the diameter of the candle, ranging from 2 to 4 inches. It also depends somewhat on the fragrance, oil density and personal preference. Wicks vary on burn rates. Small candles can have a burn rate of two hours and large candles can burn for 12 hours. Common wicks used in candle-making include Performa, HTP, square or flat braid, cotton core and tabbed wicks. The latter are the easiest to use because the metal disk is already crimped on the bottom of the wick. Many companies sell multi-packs of wicks so that you can try many until you find one you like.
These wicks are non-curling with a high stalk height. These wicks are flat-braided, making them more rigid. This wick is used most often with medium to large tapers and pillars. In addition to working well with soy candles, they also can be used with beeswax and viscous waxes.
HTP wicks are long and larger in diameter. These wicks are usually pre-waxed, tabbed, braided and have a wired core, making them ideal for hard-to-burn waxes such as soy, paraffin, vegetable and gel candles. HTP wicks burn hotter than other wicks. Pillars, tapers and large container candles are best suited for HTP wicks.
Square Braid and Flat Braid
Square-braid wicks are unprimed (raw) and untabbed. These are used with beeswax, soy, vegetable and citronella pillar candles. Flat-braid wicks are not waxed or tabbed. These wicks are more self-trimming than square, making them a better choice. Flat-braid wicks are used most often with pillar and taper candles.
These wicks have a rigid inner core, which makes them stand up straight. Cotton wicks produce less soot, called mushrooming. Cotton wicks are best used with soy and paraffin candles and are suited for all sizes.
Tabbed wicks make candle-making easier. These wicks have a metal disc crimped on the bottom of the wick. Performa, HTP and cotton wicks all have the option of being tabbed. Tabbed wicks can be used on a variety of candle sizes.