Yesterday I cooked up a new batch of plaiting soap…well altered a batch that I had made a little while ago. I had heard that some people use plaiting soap that’s just a paste of soap and water (no fat or lard). I made a batch and tried it out, what I didn’t like about it was that it was slick right after you applied it, but then it quickly got very tacky feeling. However the soap paste didn’t discolor the whip at all when I got to the point of the bullwhip.
So yesterday I took the soap paste and added some water and lard and cooked it up.
One thing I’ve learned when mixing up plaiting soap is after it’s cooked together and it is cooling the water/soap/lard wants to seperate. So about halfway through the cooling process you need to mix it up, then mix it again when it’s almost solid.
With the batch of of soap paste I did a little experiment, I cut a fall and let it sit in the paste overnight. It softened up the fall and gave it a nice smooth texture. I might try soaking some falls in the plaiting soap with lard and see what that does.