Monday, July 6, 2009

Selecting Dyes for Beautiful Candle Color

More often than not, candle makers choose to enhance their craftsmanship by adding dye to their candles. While some candle makers choose to leave their candles naturally colored, most crafters want to enhance the decorative aspect of their products by creating vibrant colors. In today's market there are a number of ways to achieve these results. Let's cover the basics of beautiful candle color.

The main thing to keep in mind when dying your candles is that one dye never looks the same in different waxes. Each wax binds with and reacts to dye differently, so experimentation is almost always necessary. If you have used additives to make your candles, this will also affect how the dye appears. As you begin to experiment with dye, keep in mind that it is always better to add too little than too much. You can always go back and add more if need be.

One technique you may find particularly helpful as you begin dying your candles is to keep detailed notes of the amounts of dye and color combinations as you try them. That way, if you achieve a result you are happy with, you know exactly how you achieved it. For example, if you use three drops of navy blue and one drop of purple liquid dye to make the perfect blueberry muffin colored candle, then when you go to replicate the exact same color later, you know exactly what dyes to add and in what proportion.

Visiting any of the candle making supply websites, you will quickly become aware of all of the different varieties of dye available. While you may be able to purchase dye elsewhere, these specialty candle supply sites are the best source for quality products designed specifically for candle making, dyes included.

Keep in mind that no matter what type of dye product you use, each product offers its own unique benefits and it's up to you to determine what type appeals most to your own preferences and needs. Remember that all dyes can be blended to create your own unique color combinations. If you are not familiar with how to blend colors to achieve color variations, you can purchase color charts that will help familiarize you with color blending.

Liquid candle dyes are the most common type of dye used. They are highly concentrated and offer the benefit of being able to adjust the tint one drop at a time. This makes for a controlled process that can be easily duplicated.

Dye flakes are another option. Also highly concentrated, it is best to use a digital gram scale for precise measuring, as the size of the flakes will vary. Dye flakes produce a rich color that is resistant to fading and bleeding.

Pigment chips are another option. Chips are also less prone to fading and bleeding. However, pigments do not actually dissolve in the wax and any color particles not suspended in the wax should not be poured. This can make them a bit tricky to work with for beginners.

Powdered candle dyes are yet another dye option. Powdered dye is the purest form of dye as this is what the other dyes are made from. If you choose to use a powdered dye, keep in mind that they are extremely concentrated, and a little bit goes a very long way.

Because of the highly concentrated nature of candle dyes, they will dye anything they come into contact with. It's a good idea to keep a liquid dye remover handy in case you have an accident.

There is no 'best' dye. Rather, it's a matter of personal preference. Get input from other candle makers to narrow down your options. Then just experiment to find the best option for you.

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