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

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Location: Invercargill
Member Since: 25th Mar 2001
Total posts: 5
Posted:I have made wicks from kevlar and towels. I was wondering if anybody uses denim? or any other cheap materials?


Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 27th Jun 2001
Total posts: 3989
Posted: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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Location: Bergen , Norway
Member Since: 16th Dec 2002
Total posts: 167
Posted: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.. :)

Location: Aotearoa
Member Since: 8th Apr 2003
Total posts: 138
Posted: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

Location: Nacogdoches, TX
Member Since: 18th Jun 2003
Total posts: 82
Posted: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 Colin
Location: NJ
Member Since: 19th Jun 2003
Total posts: 3
Posted: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.

Location: Tucson
Member Since: 30th Oct 2002
Total posts: 69
Posted: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.


Quantum Theorist
Location: Vansterdam
Member Since: 12th Dec 2002
Total posts: 564
Posted: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.


Location: Cochrane
Member Since: 21st Aug 2003
Total posts: 277
Posted: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."

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:quote: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!

Magical Sock Dancer
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Member Since: 1st Jul 2003
Total posts: 255
Posted:Anyone try making a monkey fist out of towels?


Location: Aotearoa (NZ)
Member Since: 17th Oct 2003
Total posts: 625


Member Since: 2nd Apr 2004
Total posts: 190
Posted:has anyone ever tried nomex? The stuff is bloody expensive, but im wondering if it has more absorbancy and or durability then kevlar.

Location: Tucson
Member Since: 30th Oct 2002
Total posts: 69
Posted: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.


Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Hastings
Member Since: 2nd Jan 2004
Total posts: 4172
Posted: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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