Best material for wicking water?

What's the best material to transport water by wicking? This is in the interest of automating the watering of plants.
I hung a cotton rope into a glass of water. The water only seems to get about 4" up the rope from the water line. I haven't tried paper towels yet (the quicker picker upper).
Is there a definitive winner in this category? What material has the strongest wicking ability?
Thanks for your help.
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Bruce W.1 wrote:

Your rope should work if you wet the whole thing before placing it. It works by acting as a syphon, so the water source has to be higher than the destination pot, i.e. the weight of the water on the down side has to be greater than that on the up side.
That's the good news. The bad news is that the clever arrangement will empty your whole source bucket fairly quickly! It can make a real mess.
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Stubby wrote:

My second experiment is being conducted right now. I have two glass (about one cup each) and sitting at the same level. One cup was full of water, the other empty. In the last 12 hours the 1/4" cotton rope has transported -- roughly -- 1/3 of the water.
Yes an aquarium tube would be very fast, but that's a siphon.
I suspect that a thicker cotton rope would work faster. But is there a material, other than cotton, that would increase the flow rate?
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Interesting experiment, but if this is exposed to the outside I wonder if the sun and dryness of the open air will affect the amount of water that makes it to the plant. On a hot day I could see the exposed wick drying out and cutting off the target DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, <1 mile off L.I.Sound 3rd year gardener http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/royalfrazier/album?.dir=/2055&.src=ph
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DigitalVinyl wrote:

Here's someone that waters plants with wicking: http://www.davs.org/dixienews.html
I've also found indications that synthetic fibers, like nylon and polypro, offer better wicking action than cotton.
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