Monday, February 23, 2015

Using Texture Mat for Soap Pattern

 Have I mentioned before that making cold process soap is very much like baking and decorating the bakery?  You will be shocked how many soap makers shop at baking goods for tools we can use!
This is about using fondant texture mat to make soap.  There are 2 kinds on the market, plastic sheets which are much cheaper, and the more durable silicone mats but cost far more.  Plastic sheets tend to have simpler patterns while silicone mats can be as intricate as you can ever imagine.  However, the common problem we run into is that it's hard to find fondant sheet big enough for our molds, they are not designed for soap makers for sure!
About 2 years ago I was lucky to saw this listing of a clear plastic texture sheet that has very nice wood grain pattern and the size is bigger than any I've seen out there.  I bought one to try, but that batch of soap failed.  I learned a lot from that experiment.  These grooves are shallow, only about 1/16" deep at most.  To cast a great impression the soap batter needs to be very fluid at pour but harden fast to get a perfect release.  I admit I didn't have the patience to think about all these little details 2 years ago so I simply gave up after one failed try.
Making texture mat soap is somewhat different.  It requires forehand preparation.  Measure twice (sometimes 3 times) and cut once to fit the interior of the mold.  In my case I used a silicone log (loaf) type mold and lined the mold with this plastic texture sheet on 3 sides to form an "U" shape.  Simple clear tape was used to secure the sheets temporary to the mold.  Then all I need is some simple 2 color ITP (in the pot) swirl and pour into the mold.




I really like these simply elegant looking soap bars!

31 comments:

  1. Love it! Simple and elegant. :)

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  2. I agree with SoapJam! Absolutely marvelous look! Want that kind of soap and texture mat too....;)

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  4. waoww! the brown one really looks like wood! what a funny idea!

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  5. Rustic and beautiful and so natural looking. I bet this wears well when used too the color combinations are so gorgeous.

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  6. These are so cool. What a unique pattern.

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  7. what kind of materials did you use for the matt if I may please ask. thank you

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    1. It's one of those clear plastic texture sheets people use to make fondant for cake decoration.

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  8. Love your cold process soap. This is such a beautiful design =)

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  9. I think this is really neat! It is strange how you got up in arms about the anonymous poster's comment...you will tend to get a lot of quick anonymous comments from pinterest and other social media sites. You are on the internet after all!

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    1. Just because we are on the internet doesn't mean we should not have basic manner. If that someone wants to "criticize" why I didn't do this and that I expect a name and a may I ask or please and thank you. That shouldn't be too hard right?

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  10. I do agree with you;-) Bloggers are content creators and I am thankful for all the bloggers who share their work and knowledge with the world!

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  11. For the life of me I cannot figure out how you got it all over the slices? :) I know you use an impression mat around the loaf mold, is it done while it's still soft after cutting? :) Sorry to ask a magicians secret <3 Wanted to see if I could buy an impression mat and imprint it just after cut, which is how I found this on your blog :)
    Thank you so very much it's a pleasure seeing all your lovely soaps, I have to say you are now amongst my favourets like Royalty soaps and Edens secret <3 :)

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    1. If you want an even distributed pattern you have to insert the mat (either silicone or plastic) inside the mold then pour your soap batter into the mold, not after cutting. It is not a magician's secrete, nothing wrong asking! :) You cannot imprint it after, you won't get perfect pattern. You can use a soap stamp after you take the sap out of the mold but that's not the same thing.

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    2. I forgot to say after you take the soap out of the mold you then peel off the mat from the soap then cut the soap into bars.

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  12. Hi
    Thanks for sharing! For the life of me I am not able to comprehend how you got the design on three sides of the soap from lining a loaf mold. I know I am having some spacial relation issue or something. If I am to line say a typical 3 lb loaf mold bottom and up the sides. Fill the loaf and slice....I would only have woodgrain on bottom and edge of slices. Did you do a low fill? And just slice up what was in the bottom of the mold? For some reason that is the only way I could think that you could get the wood grain on the large side of soap slice and include the two sides. Then the top and other two sides would not have imprint. But slicing a loaf like bread, there would be no pieces except ends with woodgrain. I am so curious because I have this exact mat and have not had a chance to play with it yet. I was going to do a rimmed soap in my PVC pipe with it, but I like yours so much :) Any cutting guidelines would be appreciated Thanks Deb

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    1. Yes, I did low fill. Imaging yourself treating the mold as a long piece of wood stud laying on table horizontally. I cut it like cutting a slab mold, not a loaf mold, cutting a wide slice. If you go back to the first photo of this blog post, that's pretty much how the soap log looked like taking out the mold flipped upside down and cut into pieces. I used a log mold that's 3.5" wide and poured about 1.5" in height so when I cut the soap it looked like the real 2x4 wood stud.

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  13. Your work is ever so beautiful. I made pine powder (pine sawdust ground and sifted) and want to use it as an ingredient in my wood grain soap. You blog post is truly a help. Thank you!

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  14. Very, very cool! Thanks for sharing ��

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  15. very, nice!!!What recipe would fit in your technique? thank you!

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    1. Any recipe that is slow to trace, that can stay fluid longer will do for this. I prefer not to use high water content as the finish soap would shrink too much and be deformed.

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  16. Lovely soap. I have a lovely rubber wood pattern mat that was used for clay that I have wanted to try but your idea of lining a loaf mold is so much better.

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  17. Lovely soap. I have a lovely rubber wood pattern mat that was used for clay that I have wanted to try but your idea of lining a loaf mold is so much better.

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