Forums > Technical Discussion > Wicks - materials to make them out of.

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5 posts
Location: Invercargill

I have made wicks from kevlar and towels. I was wondering if anybody uses denim? or any other cheap materials?

CharlesBRONZE Member
Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
3,989 posts
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Hey all, as this thread was originally started years ago, it might pay to note the cost of kevlar here in the shop.


Here in NZ you used to pay 12-14 dollars a foot in the juggling shops (for 1/16" thick wick, 5cm wide)

The shop now (date is 10th june 2003) sells wick twice as thick, (so you get twice as much wick)

for NZ $3.40!!! thats less 1/3 what I used to pay her ein Auckland.

in my honest opnion, there is nothing better than Kevlar wick at this sort of price. Especially as it should last you 6-months to a year with a minimum of care.

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167 posts
Location: Bergen , Norway

One thing is wicks for poi's....but how good is demin/jeans and towels for fire ropes?.....

And how to make them

I like Fire.. :)

138 posts
Location: Aotearoa

Common, seriously... how bad is fiberglass matting for your health!?! I have tons of the stuff but would never consider burning it. I dont know what u people r thinking, i could be wrong bout it, but is'nt it real bad 4 u? huh, any1 really know what the story is???

[ 16. June 2003, 22:54: Message edited by: Raging Dragon ]

Its all just smoke and mirrors

FireflyeBRONZE Member
82 posts
Location: Nacogdoches, TX, USA

I would have to say that the belt from the army/navy surplus store sounds like a good deal. I was wondering if that would be cheaper than simply buying kevlar from this site. Also, I wonder how many burns you get with the stuff and if it's more than what you would get with kevlar. I like the idea about the cotton wool, very interesting! Perhaps I could construct my own wicks out of the cotton wool with the belt from the army store wrapped around that.

I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in to stop my mind from wandering....

El Colinmember
3 posts
Location: NJ

Does anyone know if you can use Kevlar Tape for wicks? I've seen it when looking for Kevlar before and i was just wondering if anyone has tried to use it.

FireMeccaBRONZE Member
69 posts
Location: Tucson, USA

El Colin,

You can use Kevlar tape for wicks. In fact, that is actually what the industrial insulation industry refers to it as. 100% kevlar will cost you a lot. a kevlar/aramid/fiberglass blend is much cheaper and can be found all over the place online.

I'd also like to voice general agreement with a lot of Charly's points.

Flamma Aeterna

That which does not kill me, only makes me stranger.

KajiQuantum Theorist
564 posts
Location: Vansterdam

I can't see why burning fiberglas wick would be bad for you unless your staff is also a bong!?!
The only thing about it is that you'll have to use some coton under it to hold fuel as it won't. Thats why kevlar wick is a mix of kevlar and coton. I'll have to try Pele sujestion on the coton belts. Anyone now how many burns you'd get out of it?

In the 60's people took acid to make the world weird, now the world is weird and they take prozac to make it normal again.

NoveSILVER Member
277 posts
Location: Cochrane, Canada

Okay, some definite bumping going on here... But I have a question and figured I'd rather do a search and bump a thread than being told to do it..

Okay, so here goes-

I was thinking about making my own wicks, and have access to loads of cotton fire hose- basically 100%, tightly-woven heavy cotton hose. It's not lined with rubber or anything.

Anyone have any suggestions why this might/might not work? 'Cause it sounds similar to the army belts that were previously mentioned...

"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."

onewheeldaveGOLD Member
Carpal \'Tunnel
3,252 posts
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Originally posted by Nove:

I was thinking about making my own wicks, and have access to loads of cotton fire hose- basically 100%, tightly-woven heavy cotton hose. It's not lined with rubber or anything.

I've experimented a fair bit with cotton toweling and denim; in the end I came to the same conclusion as Charles- Kevlar is really cheap cos, if you look after it it lasts for ages and ages.

However, if you have access to other stuff you may as well try it out. As long as it's 100% cotton it should be ok.

One thing cotton is good for is making giant wicks that hold loads of fuel, I found that making them big means they last for more burns than normal size ones.

"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32

Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

AchluophobiaBRONZE Member
Magical Sock Dancer
255 posts
Location: Newfoundland, Canada

Anyone try making a monkey fist out of towels?

Dragon7GOLD Member
625 posts
Location: Aotearoa (NZ), New Zealand


190 posts

has anyone ever tried nomex? The stuff is bloody expensive, but im wondering if it has more absorbancy and or durability then kevlar.

FireMeccaBRONZE Member
69 posts
Location: Tucson, USA

In all of my experience, NOMEX(R) has been cheaper than KEVLAR(R), and fiberglass has been far cheaper than both, industrially thinking. I have used NOMEX(R), and it is ok, and has been very absorbent in the ways I used it, but it's "do not exceed" temperature is 50-150 degrees Fahrenheit lower than KELAR(R).

Flamma Aeterna

That which does not kill me, only makes me stranger.

_Aime_SILVER Member
Carpal \'Tunnel
4,172 posts
Location: Hastings, United Kingdom

ive got home made poi and i used denim. its ok for about 4 burns until it starts flaking off and looks a bit like burnt paper. looks cool though cos it all floats around like fire faries ubblove


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