Fire Poi Wicks Resources & Price Comparison
For the fire dancing to be possible, we, the goodhearted pyromaniacs of the world, need something to set on fire. And we found it!
None of the parts that go into your poi is more important than the rest, but if you want your fire poi to really be FIRE poi, you’re going to need some wicks. Therefore spending some time (and probably, later on, some money) in learning about wicks can only do you good.
What They’re Made Of
One word for you here: Kevlar. Though certainly not the only material out of which wicks are made, it’s the one most suitable to, courtesy of its high flame resistance, sustain very high temperatures unchanged. Extremely precious manmade fiber, Kevlar replaced not-so-safe asbestos (the 80’s) as the primary wicking material for fire dancing. This fiber has a very good fuel soakage, and it will burn consistently for a very, very long time.
Other fiber that gets along with fire just fine is cotton, so full cotton towel is a good replacement for Kevlar. In fact, very rarely do you get 100% Kevlar wick if you don’t make it by yourself; it is usually mixed with cotton. It’s got the best fuel soaking feature in the business, but will last significantly less than Kevlar.
Denim is another fiber good for fixing wicks. It takes a long time to burn up (though still less than the first option) and is super-cheap to get hold of. A pair of old jeans will do the trick.
Types of Folds
Deciding about which fiber to use is just the beginning; we still have some folding left to do. Probably the easiest fold to make, if you’re going to make it, is the so-called Accordian fold. On the other end of the difficulty scale is probably the monkey fist. Cathedral, with both one and two pieces of cut, is a very popular fold as well.
Fire Wick Maintenance
Once you’ve bought/made them, you’ll want to keep your wicks alive for as long as the weave would allow. There are a few basic tricks to increase the durability of wicks, with none more important than to put the fire out when you’re done spinning it! Seriously, put it out. The fire is never satisfied; once it uses up all the soaked fuel, it’ll go and at least try to swallow your wick. So use that damp towel of yours and put it out before it burns out.
Another basic trick for prolonging the life of the wicks consists of fastening them to your poi tight. You don’t want your fuel soaked Kevlar to go flapping around and, besides possibly sprinkling drops of fuel in the process, weaken the fibers significantly.
So treat your wicks with respect, and they’ll return it with flames.