Candles were first invented thousands of years ago through processes that can only be described as true ingenuity. The people of ancient times would collect fat or tallow from the carcass of cattle and other livestock and boil it down in order to form melted candle wax in molds. Then, while the wax was still in its melted liquid form, they would stick thin plant fibers into the mold in order to serve as wicks. The art of candle-making has served mankind for millennia, however today, many people still do not know what the bottom of a candle is called.
THE BOTTOM OF A CANDLE
There are many ambiguous phrases in life but as far as candles are concerned, “the bottom of the candle” can only mean one of two things; the candle wax or the candle wick. The candle wax is the primary source of fuel in a candle and no fire – not even the tiniest of flames – can burn without a constant supply of fuel. Quite simply put, fire – no matter its size – requires fuel in order to burn and sustain itself. Candle wax provides that fuel for a candle flame. This is why the materials used in making candle wax are the kinds of materials that can support burning (e.g. paraffin wax and tallow from cattle). When a candle is lit, the wax melts and this fuel now becomes available. It then becomes the job of the candle wick to soak up this fuel and supply it to the flame. This means that the type of materials used in making candle wicks must be able to soak up candle wax adequately and effectively supply it to the flame.
The candle wick is the second viable option that fits the bill if we’re looking to answer the question of what the bottom of the candle is called. The candle wick is an important part of the candle which performs the important role of providing fuel to the candle’s flame during candle-burning, and it is the most likely answer to our pressing question about what the bottom of a candle is called. This is because the wick of a candle can sometimes be seen to be sticking out at the bottom of the candle. Another famous nickname for the candle wick is “the black thing at the top of a candle”, even though the candle wick is not usually blackened upon purchase.
HISTORY OF CANDLES
Candles have been around for millennia. In prehistoric times, the earliest forms of candles were made from boiled down tallow or fat from animals and the wicks were made of heat-stable plant materials. This is because the mechanism of how candle work has always been the same, even though thousands of years have passed since they were first made. Candles have always needed wax materials of good melting properties and good fueling ability in order to form their structure and they have also always required wicks which have the ability to be lit, as well as to withstand and sustain the flame of the candle by soaking up fuel which is needed to keep the flame burning; as no fire can burn in the absence of fuel, no matter how small it is. Wicks manufactured in the present day perform this function through capillary action and this was the same mechanism used thousands of years ago, in the era of the earliest versions of candles.
Nevertheless, there are some differences between the types of wicks used now and those used thousands of years ago. The earliest versions of candle- wicks were made from plant materials and unprocessed fiber, but nowadays braided wicks are used. Braided wick are made with cotton; the same material from which some of the earlier versions of candle wicks were made. However, the process of braiding gives braided wicks durability and a kind of stiffness that were not present in the earlier versions of wicks (i.e. twisted cotton). In addition, braided wicks are curled to make sure that the wicks disintegrate as they burn. Braided wicks can also be designed to have cores of zinc and other materials so that the candle can burn well. Other materials used in making candle wicks are flax and other fibers.
HOW TO HANDLE THE BOTTOM OF A CANDLE
The bottom of a candle is a very crucial part of the candle. It is the part of the candle that usually goes into the candleholder and its proper support can influence not only the rate of burning of the candle but the ease with which the candle burns. The bottom of candles must be well positioned within a good candle holder at all times and it must not be bent at an awkward angle as this can cause harm to the candle; thus preventing it from burning effectively.
Wicks that stick out at the bottom of the candle should be trimmed as trimming is an important activity in candle burning. Normally, wicks that stick out at the top of the candle should be trimmed before during and after candle-burning in order to prevent the accumulation of soot, which can settle on surfaces and worsen respiratory illnesses among other disadvantages. In this case, the wick of the candle should be trimmed after the candle is bought to the length to a fraction of an inch. This will prevent the formation of a mushroom shaped structure on the wick during candle-burning, which will allow more soot to be released.
It is also important to take good care of the candle wax at the bottom of a candle. Care should be taken in order to prevent melting the candle from the bottom which is supposed to be flat ( i.e. in the case of cylindrically shaped candles). And the act of burning candles from both ends should not be practiced at all as this will affect the ability of the candle to balance well in a candle holder. Also, good candle holders of proper qualities should be used in order to take proper care of the bottom –and basically all parts – of a candle.