Candle Wick Designations: What Do They Mean?

Even for the most experienced candle manufacturers, keeping up with the latest wick offerings and designations is a daunting task. Since each wick and candle has its own burn characteristics, the combustion experts at Wicks Unlimited compiled all of the wick designations inventoried to help manufacturers save time. Let’s explore the different candle wick designations available and their unique characteristics.

Cored Wicks

Paper Core Wick

Paper core wick remains one of the most popular wick options in the marketplace. Constructed of 100% natural fibers, the paper core wick features a cotton outer braid surrounding an inner paper filament. This wick type’s paper core enables the wick to remain rigid in the molten wax pool in various candle types, including in votives, pillars, and containers. Paper core wick’s burn characteristics make them ideal for slower-burning waxes, like soy that require additional heat for optimal combustion.


Zinc Core Wick

During pouring and burning, the Zinc core wick provides increased wick support since it is the most rigid of all cored wick. This wick type features a cotton outer braid of natural fibers surrounding a thin filament of zinc running up the wick’s center. Zinc core wick is known for its cool flame profile and its ability to remain upright in the molten wax pool. This wick is typically recommended for use in paraffin wax tealights, votive, pillar, and container candles.


Cotton Core Wick

Cotton core wick is made of braided cotton strands dipped in wax and then compressed to hold their shape. This wick type produces a reliable and robust flame with minimal carbon buildup. It is designed for use in votive, pillar, and container candle systems. Wicks Unlimited carries a variety of cotton core wick types.


HP-CNP is a cellulose-based wick with a rigid paper core for increased stability engineered to meet the demands of today’s complex wax formulations, especially those with high scent throws. This round-cored wick is known for its stable burn cycle characteristics and is designed explicitly for scented wax formulations.

Aroma-Lite™ Wick

Constructed of 100% natural fibers, the Aroma-Lite™ wick is designed explicitly for candles with high scent throws. By design, this cored wick is self-trimming and inhibits mushroom capping, often found in candles with high-levels of fragrance.

HP-N Wick

This self-trimming wick is often used in paraffin wax, palm, and soy candles. Since the HP-N is self-trimming this is an option for candles with heavily scented wax blends. Made of 100% cellulose fibers, the long strands of tightly braided cotton help reduce afterglow. 

RRD Wick

RRD wick is a directional round wick featuring a 100% braided cotton core enabling the wick to curl slightly during the burn cycle. This wick series performs well with viscous fuels such as vegetable wax without clogging or drowning during capillary action. They are known within the candle industry for their consistent burn pool and flame profile in pillar and container candle systems with high fragrance loads. 

Flat Braided Wicks

HTP Wick

HTP wick is a coreless, flat braided wick constructed from high-performance fibers and natural materials with a paper filament throughout. Engineered for those tough-to-burn applications, HTP wick features a paper filament throughout, providing a similar effect of paper core wick’s structural strength. This versatile wick offers a more predictable wick posture resulting in increased rigidity and the benefits of a self-trimming wick resulting in minimal mushrooming and soot. The burn characteristics of HTP wick make them appropriate for viscous wax types, including paraffin and vegetable formulations.

Ply Wick

Often referred to as flat, classic, or regular wick, Ply wick is a popular option for dipped, poured or extruded candles. This wick is constructed of 100% natural fibers and curls at the tip throughout the combustion cycle reducing carbon buildup during its lifespan for an even burn.

Stabillo/Stabillo KST Wick

Stabillo wick is a flat braided cotton wick series with paper filament thread woven into the braid for increased rigidity. The wick’s reinforced construction promotes a consistent capillary action in various waxes, including natural waxes and waxes with high scent throws. This wick series is ideal for candle systems such as tealight, votives, and pillars, where increased wick rigidity is essential.

ECO Wick

Made from ring-spun cotton interwoven with thin paper threads, the ECO wick series are known for their controlled curl during combustion and consistent burn profile. These self-trimming coreless wicks are appropriate for container candles and wax formulations with high scent throw. The design of this wick produces minimal afterglow and carbon deposit formation.

HP-NF Wick

HP-NF wick combines natural fiber’s burn characteristics and the hot throw characteristics of a cotton wick to create a high-performance flat wick. Constructed of tightly braided long strands of cotton and natural fibers, this versatile flat wick is used in paraffin, palm, soy, and heavily scented wax blends. Both HP-NF and HP-CNFW have their own rate charts but share burn characteristics. 


HP-CNFW wick is specifically geared towards citronella candle systems.This high–performance wick combines the natural fiber’s burn characteristics with the hot throw characteristics of a cotton wick to create a high-performance flat wick. Constructed of tightly braided long strands of cotton and natural fibers, this versatile flat wick is used in paraffin, palm, soy, and heavily scented wax blends including citronella.

HP-SP Wick

HP-SP wick is constructed from specially treated cotton and designed for pillar, taper, votive, and tealight candles. This wick is known for its superior scent throw and engineered to minimize soot and afterglow. Due to its slow-burning properties, it is excellent for a variety of waxes, including coconut wax. The all-natural cotton construction is lead and zinc-free.

LX Wick

LX wick features a specially flat braided coreless wick that curls throughout the burn cycle. This unique feature minimizes carbon buildup and reduces smoking since the curl moves to the flame’s highest heat concentration area. Added benefits of the curl are a tighter, more controlled flame profile and a self-trimming effect. Also, this wick series is lead and zinc-free.

TL Wick

Made from some of the thinnest high-grade ring-spun cotton threads available, TL wick is a specialty coreless flat wick. This wick series features stability threads braided throughout the wick for additional wick strength often required for in-line manufacturing. Due to the slow rate of wax consumption, along with a small flame profile, this wick is appropriate for tealights and votives.

FW “SU” Wick

The FW “SU” wick series is a flat braided coreless wick composed of natural fibers. This self-trimming wick is known for its consistent burn characteristics, minimal sooting, and low carbon buildup. Often found in taper and pillar candle systems, this wick works well in most paraffin wax formulations.

Square Braided Wick 

Square Braided™

Initially constructed for beeswax, Square Braided wick ™ is constructed with 100% natural fibers and finished with chemical treatments to improve the candle’s overall burn qualities. Constucted to curl while burning, Square Braided wick™ performs well in various candle applications, including tealights, votives, pillars, and containers.

During the candle formulation or troubleshooting process, having a working knowledge of the different wick designations will not only help you in selecting the appropriate wick for your candle type but also ensures the experienced candle combustion specialists at Wicks Unlimited are on the same page as you when communicating by Zoom, phone or email. With over 450 different wicks stocked on-site,  26 different candle sustainers,  and an assortment of wick clip assemblies,  Wicks Unlimited is the ultimate destination for all of your combustion needs. Use the form below to contact Wicks Unlimited to discuss the different wick designations available for each unique candle system since no two burn cycles are the same.

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