A Candle Factory: How To Make Candles

Go behind the scenes at The Candle Factory and find out how candles are made. See an in store demonstration and learn the secrets of this ancient art. Choose from a wide range of classic and quirky candles, perfect for gifts and home decoration.

The earliest surviving candles originated in China around 200 BC, and were made from whale fat. European candles of antiquity were made from various forms of natural fat, tallow, and wax. In Ancient Rome, candles were made of tallow due to the prohibitive cost of beeswax. It is possible that they also existed in Ancient Greece, but imprecise terminology makes it difficult to determine.

In the 18th century, spermaceti, oil produced by the sperm whale, was used to produce a superior candle. Late in the 18th century, colza oil and rapeseed oil came into use as much cheaper substitutes. Beeswax, compared to animal-based tallow, burned cleanly, without smoky flame. Rather than the foul and terrible odor of tallow, it emit a fresh smell. Beeswax candles were expensive, but widely used for church ceremonies. Relatively few people could afford to burn them in their homes.