Thursday, August 9, 2012

Voyageur's Secret Swirl Technique

Our signature item here at Voyageur would have to be our cold process bars of soap.  Our beautiful, hand-crafted bars are made with premium soap oils and all natural ingredients.  We get at least a couple customers a day in our storefront asking how we do our feathery swirl, so we decided to share our technique with the world!  We do our swirl by the in-the-pot method, this creates a light swirl that is subtle and delicate.

First is to always have your station ready before you start.  Here we have our stainless steel mixing pot, our whisk and spatula, our stick blender, our colourants pre-measured in a bit of water, our fragrance, and our lye solutions.  We measure our lye into 3 containers when doing a batch of 40 bars to make it easier to incorporate.  

We then add our lye into the oil mixture and blend, alternating between hand whisking and stick blending. 

We do this repeatedly for about 5-10 cycles until the soap comes to a light trace.  

The next step is to add the fragrance.  We are making our Lavender Bergamot soap so we used a blend of Lavender and Bergamot essential oils.  

We will now grab the measuring cup with the titanium dioxide (water or oil soluble, you can use either) and we add some of our soap mixture to it until we have a full measuring cup.  You can set this aside for later. 

The next step is to blend our ultramarine pink/water mixture into the rest of our soap mixture using a whisk.    Continue to blend until an even colour is achieved.

Handy Tip!  Keep a small vessel of water on hand so you can rinse out your stick blender in between uses.  We will zap the water for a few seconds to ensure it gets properly cleaned off.  Use your stick blender to mix the titanium dioxide/soap mixture and thicken it.  Our soap maker, Jack, likes to have the white soap at quite a heavy trace.  

We will then pour the white soap mixture into the pot of purple soap in the following design:

Starting with a small circle in the middle of the pot very close to the soap then widening the circles until your're quite high above the soap pouring circles around the edges.  

And that is it!  No further mixing required.

We will then pour the soap mixture into our pre-lined mold.  

Jack alternates pouring the soap in a horizontal, then vertical fashion until the soap is almost all poured, then he pours around the border to ensure the mold gets completely filled. 

Look at that swirl already visible in the mold!  What a great pour.  Once the mold is full, insulate it well and wait 24 hours to un-mold.  

And there you have it!  A stunning swirl done by the in-the-pot method.  Try it on the next batch of soap you make!


The Voyageur Team

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