The first soap makers were Babylonians, Mesopotamians, Egyptians, as well as the ancient Greeks and Romans. All of them made soap by mixing fat, oils and salts. Soap wasn't made and used for bathing and personal hygiene but was rather produced for cleaning cooking utensils, or goods or was used for medicinal purposes.
With the hot process method, the soap ingredients are cooked through several stages by the application of external heat in a container, such as a stainless steel pot on the stove, or a slow cooker. The external heat forces the ingredients to undergo the chemical reaction called saponification rapidly and nearly completely during the “cook.” The recipe is formulated so that all the lye is used during the cook - after which more oils and other additives can be included. The skin-loving properties of these unsaponified oils are then available to condition the skin. Even though saponification occurs more quickly with this method, the soap still needs to cure over several weeks in order to become milder and to continue to lose water content, thus creating a harder bar. These soaps often have a rustic appearance.
Soap Making Process
Soap can be made by several processes. Two common “from scratch” methods use raw ingredients (rather than substances previously combined), which enables the soap maker to have complete control over the choice of additives. This allows for the selection of many natural ingredients as desired.
The cold process method enables the soap maker to control the fluidity and texture of the soap batter more completely, allowing for the creation of a smoother bar and also more flexibility in design. The disadvantage is that there’s no way to control for which oils are saponified. And because the temperature is much lower during the cold process, it takes 24 - 48 hours for full saponification to occur. After that a full four to six week period is required for the soap to fully cure.
Superfat refers to the additional oils or butters included in the soap recipe beyond what is required to interact chemically with the sodium hydroxide, or lye. Superfat provides extra conditioning and other properties to the soap, since the superfat oils or butters are not saponified. With hot process soap making the soap maker can control which oils or butters are not saponified; in cold process soap making it is not possible to control which oils or butters are saponified.
Due to the curing process, and the fact that each batch is unique, weights are approximate. However, upon purchase, each soap label will include the net weight of the bar before it’s wrapped.
All our soaps are hand made in small batches. Each batch is created with all
natural ingredients which are combined, hand stirred and mixed to produce a special soap - a soap recipe. Some date back to ancient times, like the Aleppo Bar recipe, which comes from ancient Syria. Other recipes, like our Brazilian Butter Bar, we have developed.
Each small batch of soap is then hand cut and, depending on the recipe, cured any where from 4 weeks to a year. Each bar is individually hand wrapped and labelled.
Hand crafting a perfect bar of artisan soap is a slow but very worthwhile process, much the same as it is with the aging of fine wines or cheeses.
Because our soaps are hand made, please know that even when the same recipes are used for different batches, there will be some variations in appearance, color and weight for each item.