How to make a wick for an oil lamp?

Does anyone know how to make a wick for an oil lamp??
I don't really know how the wick works, so I don't have ANY clue on how one would make it.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!

sort by: active | newest | oldest
rickharris2 years ago
Essentially the wick doesn't burn - it acts as a pathway for the fuel which when it reaches the hot end of the wick vaporises. It is this vapour that burns.

in practice the wick will slowly char at the tip and get shorter requiring trimming to get a clean flame.

A thick cotton string is ideal. you can braid some thinner strings together if you can find anything thick enough.

Most good old hardware stores should be able to sell you one though. Or a garden centre where they are used in green house heaters.
How about a wax like wick from like a candle?
You need to use a natural fiber to make the wick braid. Cotton is the typical material used. The wick draws in the oil and feeds it to the flame. The idea is that the flame burns the oil not the wick but the wick does eventually burn a bit. The larger the wick the brighter the light and the faster you burn through the oil.

seawee65 (author)  mpilchfamily2 years ago
So... would a piece of cloth do?
Yes, but I would do something cotton fiber based.
yes cotton blue jeans work well

DIY93932 years ago
Anything that would do well under heat, but i would use a cotton based material. :)
DIY9393 DIY93932 years ago
I have many oil wick lamps and they look like cotton fiber braids...
Maybe, if you do not what to use cotton fiber, use wax wick, like for a candle? But not sure if it could work...

I hope this helps you.
Vyger2 years ago
A material you can't use is anything that melts under high heat. Polyester and nylon or blends with them would melt and would not work. That is why cotton is used most of the time. Silk is often used for gas light mantels, but that is actually the ash and not the silk itself. I believe at one time they used to use asbestos with cotton but now we know that is pretty bad. In medieval times they made table cloths out of asbestos and to clean them they just put them in the fire to burn anything off of them but they also had pretty short lifespans from other things like the plague.