Many Churches use followers with beeswax candles because of drafts in the Church from open windows during service or the use of a heater or air-conditioner during service. If there are no drafts in the Church, followers are not needed. Please understand that nothing destroys a 100% beeswax candle faster than a draft. Protect your candles from drafts!
There are many followers out there that look impressive but are not built to work with 100% beeswax candles. As the quality of wax used in Churches deteriorated, the heft of the followers lightened. A light or hollow follower will absolutely not work with true, 100% beeswax candles. Followers need to be hefty; you should be able to really feel the weight in your hand. They are most often made of brass, but we’ve found that many glass ones—again, heavy glass—work just fine with beeswax.
Here some pictures of a lovely looking follower. Please note, however, the very thin edge of the metal at the top of the follower. This follower was made to work with, at the best, a 51% beeswax candle. The heat from such a candle does not get that high. Thus, the thin metal doesn’t get that hot, and works with a 51% beeswax candle.
A 100% beeswax candle, however, tends to burn hotter. Beeswax melts right around 145 °F. Now, imagine the follower pictured above around a flame hot enough to get the wax at the top of the follower to 145 °. That thin metal is going to heat right up and keep heating up. We’ve heard of some beeswax candles with followers like these losing the follower off the candle altogether. Essentially, the thin metal follower keeps heating up hotter and hotter until the follower is so hot, probably well above 145 °, that the whole top of the candle instantaneously melts and the follower is no longer sitting on anything solid, thus falling off the candle.
These thin followers used to be much less expensive, I’m sure, but they are not so now. In fact, the follower above was actually more expensive than most heavy brass followers that work perfectly with 100% beeswax. Please see the followers below that work wonderfully with St. Andrew’s candles.
Please note how thick these followers are, especially visible at the top of the followers. These thick walls absorb and distribute the heat, helping the candle to burn evenly and steadily.
Please do not use our candles with inappropriate followers. If you have any doubts, please call and talk with us. We can supply followers with your first order of candles, which will eliminate the risk of having faulty followers.
Another note about followers: Very often, customer followers are not exactly the “normal” ones used for a given sized candle. If the followers go more than 1/2 to 3/4 inch down the candle before lighting—in other words, if the tip of the candle is sticking that much through and above the follower, then we will have to build you thicker candles. An accurate measurement of your followers (diameter top and bottom) can eliminate this problem.