Plaiting Soap

Plaiting Soap

I’m running low on plaiting soap, so I picked up a few ingredients at the store today:

Plaiting soap

If you’ve never made plaiting soap to lubricate the strands of lace while making a whip it’s pretty easy.  I have a container that I fill with water and dump into a stock pot.  I have no idea how much water it holds, it’s pretty much the unit of measurement I’ve used ever since I started to customize David Morgan’s plaiting soap recipe for what I liked.  I start heating that up and then I cut up about half of the box of lard and toss it into the stock pot.  Then I take three bars of the Ivory soap and grate it in to the stock pot.  I let it boil until everything is melted occasionally hitting it with a hand mixer.

Finally I let it cool off, but every now and then I give it a quick stir with the hand mixer to keep it from separating. Once it’s a solid it’s good to go!

Choose Your Own Bullwhip Update

My Choose Your Own Bullwhip experiment on ebay is moving along.  I have the outer belly cut out and attached to the handle, you can see pics of this on the auction listing at http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220965764135.  Today I’ll plait the outer belly and probably some time tomorrow I’ll cut out and attach the outer bolster.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org 

Plaiting Soap

Plaiting Soap

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.  

 

Plaiting soap
Plaiting soap

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. 

Louie

http://bullwhips.org