• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Pearl Sutton
stewards:
  • Mike Haasl
  • paul wheaton
  • Devaka Cooray
master gardeners:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Carla Burke
  • jordan barton
  • Leigh Tate
gardeners:
  • Greg Martin
  • Jay Angler
  • thomas rubino

Homemade wicks for candles and lanterns

 
gardener
Posts: 3986
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
1459
duck books chicken cooking food preservation ungarbage
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
With all the power-outages due to big storms this month (2021 seems to want to out-compete 2020 for "being challenging"), it got me thinking about how dependent I am on light. In the Pacific North West, our heavily overcast days may require me to use lights even in the middle of the day.

There are lots of permies threads about different candle options, but I couldn't find one about wicks.

What are some home-made options for candle wicks and those flat wicks that can be used in lanterns? Has anyone made their own?

What are some sustainable options? For example, could those flat wicks be made on a small home-made loom?  Could one start with nettle fiber to make them?

Indoor air quality is an issue here, so if people have ideas of how to keep these clean burning, that would be good, also.  
 
pollinator
Posts: 459
Location: Boudamasa, Chad
113
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Jay, I use cotton for my tallow candle wicks. Either I twist the fibers from my own cotton plant or use cotton cloth. I was in a pinch once and needed an oil lamp immediately, so I punched a hole in the lid of a jar, filled it with old frying oil and ripped a strip off my turban for a wick. Months later I'm still using it. You just have to twist two strips together like a thin rope.
 
gardener
Posts: 1008
Location: Western Kentucky
397
dog gear foraging trees hunting food preservation cooking fiber arts woodworking wood heat rocket stoves
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I imagine most plant fibers have been used at one time or another. I know mordanting in borax and salt can help make them last longer. I just looked up rush lights to mention them as an alternative, and apparently the rushes can be used as wicks in conventional candles as well. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rushlight
gift
 
10 Podcast Review of the book Just Enough by Azby Brown
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic