Sunday, October 26, 2008
Ohh Alkanet root you are a wonderous natural soap colorant
So, you may or may not know that I don't use synthetic lab created colorants in my handmade soap. There are wonderful colors which run the full color spectrum to be had with synth colorants, oxides and ultramarines but I like to be difficult sometimes and so I don't use them. What I do use are natural sources colorants which can be obtained from various cosmetic clays, herbs, spices, infusions, teas and the like. Alkanet root is a putrid stinky herb which can give natural colors which range from black and grey to blues and purples. The trick is finding the amount that works for you and that my friends, is not as easy as you might think, because soap has a naturally high Ph level which alters your colorants. Alkanet is an oil soluble root which means it will release it's color in oils such as coconut, olive, jojoba and so on.
For the last 3 years or so I have been trying to achieve a lovely muted lavender. While I have gotten some nice rich color, I haven't gotten what I wanted, until yesterday.
Here is a pic of a soap I will have ready for the holiday season. It is a lively festivus blend of kadota fig, blood orange essential oil and tart cranberries. I have not named it yet. Right now my biggest hope is that the color will not "grey" too much.