Societies have been making candles for an extremely long time and therefore you can be certain that there have been a great deal of changes in the candle making process.
The first candles were mainly used for lighting and for heat, but these days they are employed more for decoration purposes.
It is not entirely clear when the first candles were made, but fragments of clay candle-holders were discovered in Egypt which dates back to 4 BC. It is also fact that candles were in use in ancient Japan and China. The aforementioned candles were concocted from oil extracted from seeds and insects.
Candles were also used in the Americas during the early years of the first century AD. Before that Native Americans possibly used the bark of the Cerio tree and oily fish. In actual fact, when the first European colonisers arrived, they employed a similar method to produce candles from wax wrung from bay-berries. Nowadays – some manufacturers still use bayberry wax in candles, but they can be quite expensive.
Quite some time later, in the 17th and 18th centuries, tallow was utilised to make candles, but tallow is made from animal fat and it stunk pretty bad – particularly when the wax was burning. Paraffin-wax and Bees-wax were introduced as alternatives to tallow in the early 19th century and tallow candles went out of style – instantly.
Back in the day, candle merchants trekked from town-to-town and house-to-house making candles to order. In 19th century Paris, candle moulds were invented which greatly improved the candle making process. They were still having problems with the wick though â?? they didnâ??t burn consistently. A solution to this was found in 1825 when someone simply braided the wick.
The abovementioned process was perfected in 1830, when a braided wick was placed in a moulded candle made from paraffin wax. This method created brilliant candles that burned evenly. Little has changed in the cheap white candles we use today. The greatest change came with the proliferation of electricity and gas, since it made the melting of the paraffin wax much easier.
The development of candles basically came to a halt in the 20th century as candles went out of fashion in favour of electric and gas lighting. The use of candles got a new lease of life in the 1960â??s and 1970?s when the hippy culture started using them again. They are still popular with the sons and daughters of the 70?s hippies, although nowadays there is a ton more variety. One of the most popular types of candles today is perfumed/aromatic candles, some of which are employed in aromatherapy.
Candle making is once again a thriving business with loads of people manufacturing their own label of scented candles in their kitchen and selling them to friends or online.
Unquestionably, candles are now more of a luxury, stylish decoration than ever before. You can easily improve the ambiance and atmosphere of any room in your house by simply adding a few candles.
Image Provided by Walt Stoneburner
The Following article was provided for African Hand Painted Candles Manufacturers who produces Candles South Africa.