Silk Soap – Cultivated Silk 22


I wanted to try my hand at a soap with silk. A soap with silk entails that you put some silk fiber into the lye solution prior to mixing your soap. The lye causes the silk to dissolve, allowing the silk protein to move throughout the entire soap. I am not sure if the silk adds anything to the soap besides great marketing. Come join me in the kitchen for some silk soap! 

For this recipe, I used our basic soap recipe for testing. We use Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Coconut Oil and Olive Oil. I find this results in a nice firm bar that has wonderful lather. After all, why fix something if it isn’t broken.

In this recipe, I tested using Cultivated Silk. My local yarn store help me choose some different fibers and also explained the difference. Cultivated silk is where the silk worms have been raised in a “farm”. Silk worms that are harvested from the wild produce what is called Tussah Silk. I think it might be interesting to compare the two, but for today we will stick with the Cultivated Silk.

Ingredients
Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated
Coconut Oil
Olive Oil
Water
Lye
Silk Fiber, Cultivated
Equipment
Scale
Microwave Safe Container
Spoons
Pipettes

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
170 grams Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated
170 grams Coconut Oil
113 grams Olive Oil
177 mL Water
65 grams Lye
0.4 grams Silk Fiber, Cultivated
Recipe in Ounces
6 oz Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated
6 oz Coconut Oil
4 oz Olive Oil
6 oz Water
2.31 oz Lye
0.015 oz Silk Fiber, Cultivated
Recipe in Percentages
37.5% Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated
37.5% Coconut Oil
25% Olive Oil
Q.S. Water
Q.S. Lye
Q.S. Silk Fiber, Cultivated

Weigh all of the oils into a microwave safe container. Heat gently until liquid. Add the Sodium Hydroxide to the water to form a lye solution. Add the silk to the lye solution. Allow the oils and the lye to cool to a lower temperature. We do not want to have the soap overheat and volcano. Mix the oils and lye solution and blend until trace is achieved. Pour into a mold and allow to sit for 24 hours. Cut the soap. Allow the soap to cure. Longer curing time will result in a harder bar. Enjoy!

Note: When I added the silk to my lye solution, I had to stir in order to get it to dissolve. I would recommend that you cut the fiber into smaller pieces prior to adding it to the lye solution. This will make it easier to dissolve, however, I expect it will still need to be stirred.

Taylor

Finished Soap

Weighing Oils

Collected Ingredients

Adding Silk to Lye Solution

Stirring In Silk

Silk Attaching to Spoon

Silk Lye Solution

Adding Lye Solution to Oils

Mixing Soap

Mixing Soap

Mixing Soap

Soap in Mold

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Rating: 4.5/5 (6 votes cast)
Silk Soap - Cultivated Silk, 4.5 out of 5 based on 6 ratings
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About Taylor

I'm a twenty something happy, animal loving, curious experimenter. I love reaching back into history and trying old recipes for cosmetics or foods. I'm constantly asking "Why?" My curiosity has me trying new things. I love taking walks with my dog as well as staying at home to cuddle with the dog and my cats. Some of my favorite scents include Hinoki Wood, Rose Garden, Jasmine and Gladiator.


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22 thoughts on “Silk Soap – Cultivated Silk

    • Andee

      Jennifer,
      There does not seem to be much of a difference in the final soaps. The addition of silk adds both label appeal and a “silky” feel to the soap. I hope this helps!

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  • Barb Murphy

    What an interesting post! I have not yet started making soap yet, still working on my bath and beauty supplies. I purchased some liquid silk for the purpose of adding to shampoo and body butter. Maybe I am not using correctly but I found it to be a bit sticky, at least in my body butter.
    Since I focus on natural products/ingredients, I love the fact that you used real silk. I will now be thinking of how I can use real silk fibers in my shampoo formulation.

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    • Andee

      Barb,
      How much liquid silk are you adding to your body butter? When are you adding it? We might be able to solve that little problem!

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  • Melinda Cusack

    How neat…curious if you’ll feel any kind of improvement to adding silk? as to not adding it???? guess we’ll have to wait and see???

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  • Christine

    Unless it’s just my imagination, but there seems to be a definite difference when using silk fibers in soap. The soap generally cuts easily when coming out of the mold and the bars are smooth and firm. Once you use the soap, the lather feels silky. I know that’s kinda “duh”, but it’s the best way to describe it.

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  • Leilani

    I’ve been wanting to try this. Does it change the texture of the soap? Thanks.

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  • Elizabeth

    I’ve used Tussah Slik in one batch of soap I’ve made, so far. It was a shampoo bar, and I used the recipe straight off the website I found it on (after running through a lye calc). I don’t usually do that, but I was curious to see how it worked. The recipe used Tussah Silk, which I had gotten in a free sample from somewhere, so it was perfect. It may have been the oil combination, but both my mom and I think the silk gave the bar a nice, smooth and, well, silky feeling. I haven’t used the silk in any other soaps (keep forgetting) yet, but I haven’t gotten that silky feeling from any other batch. So, while it does sound cool on the label, I think it adds a nice texture as well.

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  • Mesha

    I’d love to know if it does feel more silky since I don’t seem to notice it in mine. I noticed you used a lot more silk then the pea size I was told was the way to go- maybe that’s not enough. How did you come by that figure?

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    • Andee

      Mesha,
      Taylor just made a wild guess! She didn’t want to be stingy so she just pulled out a tuft. You can use as much or as little as you feel you should use.

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  • caren

    The first time I used silk, I thought I would use it just for kicks, wow, I was impressed and so was my friends. One of them commented on how much better it was than without, and I would have to agree. So since then, all my soaps have Tussah added.

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  • Valerie

    Thanks for the post. I have bee reading about silk in soaps, but never totally understood…..not sure I still do! Sounds great though.

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  • Wren

    Just saw this post. Does the addition of silk seem to cause any issues with trace (like acceleration)?

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  • Yael

    I use tussah silk in hot process soap. I also find that it doesn’t dissolve so easily in the lye solution and needs some mixing to break it down. Cutting it to tiny pieces sounds like a good idea. I’ve been trying to compare the feeling in soaps I made without silk, and I want to say the ones with silk are “silkier”. Is it really so? I don’t know.

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  • Wanda

    I realize I’m late in the posting here to ask a question but, you bought silk from a knitting store? Interesting I was under the impression it needed to be purchased from a soap making supplier such as yourself. Am I wrong or can I use some of the silk I have on hand for sewing?

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    • Andee

      We used silk fiber that was originally designated for spinning. I haven’t tried using fabric or thread but if it is 100% silk, you could easily cut it into small pieces and mix it into the lye solution. I hope this helps!

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  • Ruby

    Hello from hudson valley ny. I have used 10o percent no dye silk thread In my soap. I wrap it around my finger. 10 revolutions and cut it into tiny tiny pieces. Work like a charm. Same effect. My patrons love the silky feeling of there skin.

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