Handmade Soap Shop

Saturday, March 5, 2011

By Request: Fickle Alkanet in Natural Soap

Well, as a follow-up to my last post, and at my friend Cocobong's request....

a photo of two very different results using Alkanet Root Powder in natural handmade soap:

[caption id="attachment_1348" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Lavender Natural Soaps with Alkanet Root "][/caption]

 

Now, before I get down on Alkant Root, I must remind myself that I wasn't quite satisfied with the lovely mauve color of the natural soap on the right.....it just wasn't lavender enough.  So I added maybe an extra half-teaspoon to the next batch (otherwise identical) and WHOA -"That ain't lavender, Sally!"   Of course the soap is perfectly fine & smells divine....but I think I liked the mauve color better!  (Perhaps I should sometimes leave well-enough alone???)

So -there you have it!  The Soap Sister has definitely not mastered Alkanet Root  (or much else, for that matter!)  Natural coloring in handmade soap is not, it would appear, an exact science....but it certainly isn't boring, either.  Plus it keeps me humble, and that is always a good thing!

Have a lovely day, soap fans!

8 comments:

cocobong said...

oh wow..lookit that! The darker one looks like liver paté by just one extra 1/2 tsp of the stuff? Amazing, scary even, moody. When I used my rumex oil I put together a recipe that would give me the whitest white soap without td added (coconut, palm kernel,canola,sweet almond, shea) and that really kept the color clean. So much depends on the oils you are using when coloring au natural. Still, I like the mauve lavender batch. And thanks for showing a slice of it!

thesoapsister said...

Liver pate', huh? You're too kind, C'bong -it resembles Alpo canned dog food to me....I'm just sayin'... LOL! It'll wash, though -and that's what matters, right? Function function function! :D

cocobong said...

oh, but i like liver paté look! i could also say leather and it may sound more appealing. somewhere..somewhere i've seen these leather looking soaps before and they were highly acclaimed for! Was it Villainess? The Morbid the Merrier, or even Body Product? Just to say, nothing to feel Alpo about. Of course, you know me..lover of the ol' cheese look when it comes to soaps. But I must disagree w/ you on one point, should you be serious about it (I doubt it..): Function Function Function. No. Conditioning, top of the list: Yes, but if it's only about conditioning (and that to me, plus cleansing ability, is Function in soap), Soaplife would be too boring. This is a long, private ramble...one more thing: I'm currently researching those rather rare specimens among the soaping community, guy soapers, who ..you would think (if we go by cliché) are heavy on the Function/performance side in their soapy creations. Not so. Yes, amazing, isn't it? I thought so. ok..i'm done

Jan said...

Ahh the fickle Alkanet Root Powder, if only there was a tried and true receipe that worked every single time, is that asking too much? this is when I'm envious of those who use artificial colours, they are so much more forgiving and so much easier to use and to keep going, they last so much longer, tell me again, why do I keep using natural colours?

thesoapsister said...

Well, I use em' because I love a healthy glow.....but not in the dark! LOL!

thesoapsister said...

C'Bong,
You are a hoot! Are you coaxing me into allowing my silly/sarcastic side to run amuck? O.K., I'll stick my toe in the water.....

My saying "function function function" -which would, BTW be boring -which is why I continually dink with alkanet...which is NEVER boring...but I digress..."function function function" to me, is like a real estate agent saying "location location location" -it makes you feel so much better about a ~ahem~ "less-than-lovely" (butt-ugly) piece of property.....that isn't REALLY all that matters, but it's all the agent HOPES will matter...to you .....so you'll buy it!

I was hoping this technique would fly with my Alpo batch.....but I think maybe you're right about going for a more positive spin with "leather",......hmmmm. "Lavender Leather"....hmmmmm....makes me think of Stevie Nicks for some reason.....boy I'm old.....(but she's older!) "even children get older, and I'm gettin' older, toooo.....yea-eah.....I'm gettin' older toooo." Maybe I'll call it "Lavender Landslide" -that would be brown, eh? :)

Sabine Haller said...

I use Alkanet all the time and I get a nice dark lilac? I use a lot more than you though. Make a concentrated solution of 2 parts oil to 1 part Alkanet which is put on a dark shelf and then left alone for a year. After that it gets used up in soap. For a 600g Oil weight I use 2 Tablespoons of the alkanet oil. It is pink first, then turns lovely and perfect for my Lavender soap.

thesoapsister said...

Thanks for the info Sabine....wow, are you patient! You let it sit for a YEAR?? Bless your heart you have patience that I don't possess. I did steep it in olive oil for 48 hours one time, and you're right, I got a deep deep color....mine was pretty much navy blue. I think obtained a better result today, with a tad less alkanet powder, but I can't photograph it 'til tomorrow. I'll try to remember to post. :)