Many wicks come tabbed and primed. A primed wick will have a wax coating on it. It is debated if it is necessary to prime wicks. Some say "yes" others say "no" - try both and you decide. We will assume it is better to do so.
The advantages to priming wicks:
- they are stiffer / more rigid
- they light easier
- nearly impossible to thread an unprimed wick through a pillar's wick hole
How do you prime a wick?I toss them in my pot of melted wax leaving a bit to hang over the side of the pot so I can easily pull it out. (usually I use pillar wax since it is less sticky than container wax, but you *can* use either) Wait for the air bubbles to rise to the surface. Then, I remove the wick from then run the back of my wooden spoon over them while pressing them on the edge of my pot to press the wax into the wick. Some use paper towels to run the wick through, instead of a spoon. And some people double dip them, coating them twice.
You'll want to lay your wicks flat and straight on some paper towels or wax paper so they don't dry crooked. I usually hang mine. When they are cool and dry, voila - primed wicks.
"I read a couple candle books when I first started out making pillars namely The Candle Maker's Companion by Betty Oppenheimer and Candle Making for Fun and Profit by Michelle Espino and both recommended priming your wicks in order to release the air that the threads trap, otherwise you get sputtering wicks and I've seen that in candles I've purchased. I always prime my wicks and I usually do a whole batch at once so I have plenty of primed wicks to work with. I use tongs and get five or six pre-cut wicks in there and I dip them in my melted wax before I add any dye or FO. I hold them in the wax until I no longer see any air bubbles floating out of them, for about 15 seconds. Pull those out let them cool and do another 5 or 6. My pillars burn nicely and I have a nice stiff wick at the top of my pillars that are easy to trim and easy to light not to mention don't fray and fall apart." - JaquiO