Hanger Swirl Soap Projecthttps://www.brambleberry.com/in-the-studio/projects/cold-process/hanger-swirl-soap-project/PS000114.html
This project was featured in a video by Safiya Nygaard - watch it here!
The Hanger Swirl technique creates an interesting and unique design in each bar. The classic version involves layering various colors and moving the Hanger Swirl Tool in a down, over, up, over pattern, as shown in the video.
The tool can also create more precise designs, like the Butterfly Swirl made popular by Zahida of Handmade in Florida. If you prefer a less precise swirl, check out the Raspberry Truffle Soap Project.
We used the classic design for this project. Crisp Cotton Fragrance Oil gives the bars a clean scent, and because it doesn't accelerate you have plenty of time to work. That's also the reason we chose Swirl Recipe Quick Mix - it's made with slow-moving oils that work well for intricate designs.
This is an advanced tutorial because it requires a good understanding of trace. If you’re just starting out, we recommend using the Hanger Swirl Tool along with a spoon plop design, as shown in this video. It’s a little bit easier because it doesn't require precise layers, and it still makes gorgeous bars.
- Skill Level: Advanced
- Time to Complete: 1 hour
- Kit Yields: About 3 pounds of soap
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Hanger Swirl Soap Project
This cold process soap features a vibrant hanger swirl. It's scented with Crisp Cotton Fragrance Oil to complement the blue and yellow color palette.
10″ Silicone Loaf Mold
Hanger Swirl Tool
33 oz. Swirl Recipe Quick Mix
4.6 oz. Sodium Hydroxide Lye
10 oz. Distilled Water
2 oz. Crisp Cotton Fragrance Oil
1 tsp. Ultramarine Blue Pigment
1 tsp. Yellow Mica
1 tsp. Titanium Dioxide
1 tsp. Caribbean Blue Mica
2 tsp. Sodium Lactate
Note: This project was originally made with Zippy Blue Pigment, which was discontinued.
FRAGRANCE PREP: Measure 2 ounces of Crisp Cotton Fragrance Oil into a small glass container and set aside.
COLORANT PREP: Add 1 tablespoon of a lightweight oil, like sweet almond oil, to 4 separate containers. Then, add 1 teaspoon of Ultramarine Blue Pigment, Yellow Mica, titanium dioxide, and Caribbean Blue Mica into the separate containers. Use a Mini Mixer to fully incorporate the color into the oil. Optional: To ensure the titanium dioxide blends smoothly into the soap, we recommend micronizing it before dispersing it in oil. Use a coffee grinder to break up any clumps of color and prevent streaks of white from showing in the final soap. We like to use a coffee grinder that has a removable stainless steel mixing area for easy cleaning. Note: This project was originally made with Neon Blue Raspberry Colorant, which was discontinued. Zippy Blue Mica creates a similar shade but it will look different from the photos below.
TOOL PREP: Bend the hanger tool so it fits inside the mold by length.
SAFETY FIRST: Suit up for safe handling practices. That means goggles, gloves, and long sleeves. Make sure kids, pets, other distractions, and tripping hazards are out of the house or don’t have access to your soaping space. Always soap in a well-ventilated area.
Slowly and carefully add 4.6 ounces of lye to 10 ounces of water and gently stir until the lye has fully dissolved and the liquid is clear. Set aside and when it's cool, add 2 teaspoons of sodium lactate. That helps the soap harden and unmold more quickly.
Fully melt the entire bag of Swirl Quick Mix until it’s completely clear. Shake the bag to mix up all the oils. Measure 33 ounces into a large heat-safe container. Once the lye water and the oils have cooled to 130° F or below (and are ideally within 10 degrees of each other), add the lye water to the oils and stick blend the mixture to a thin trace.
Split the soap equally into 4 containers. Add all the Ultramarine Blue Pigment into the first container, all the Yellow Mica into the second, all the titanium dioxide to the third, and all the Caribbean Blue Mica to the fourth. Depending on your trace, whisk or stick blend the colors in from lighest to darkest.
Pour the fragrance oil evenly into the 4 containers and use a whisk to fully incorporate. Stick blend the dark blue soap until it's a medium trace. It's the bottom layer, so it needs to be thick enough to support the rest of the soap. Pour all the dark blue soap into the mold and tap it on the counter to disperse air bubbles.
Carefully pour or spoon half of the white soap on top of the dark blue.
Carefully pour or spoon half of the light blue soap on top of the white. Save a little bit of the light blue soap for the swirl on top.
Carefully pour or spoon the rest of the white soap on top of the light blue. Then, pour or spoon all of the yellow soap on top of the white and tap the mold on the counter to disperse air bubbles.
Insert the Hanger Swirl Tool in the mold on the side closest to you. Push it to the bottom, move it about 1/6th of the way through the mold, and pull it back toward the top. Be sure not to break through the soap on top. Move the tool away from you again and push it back toward the bottom. Repeat that motion until you reach the other side of the mold - move the hanger tool away from you, pull it toward the top, move it over, and push it back toward the bottom. When you reach the other side of the mold, pull the Hanger Swirl Tool out carefully.
Pour a thin line of the leftover light blue soap down the middle of the soap. Insert the tip of a chopstick in the top and make an S-curve design down the length of the mold.
Spritz with 99% isopropyl alcohol to prevent soda ash and cover the soap to insulate for 24 hours.
Leave the soap in the mold for 2-3 days. Remove, cut into bars, and let them cure for 4-6 weeks. Enjoy!
Photographer: Amanda Kerzman
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