# Adding silk at .11 per cent of the weight of the batch of soap

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#### Orla

##### Well-Known Member
Hi all,
I am actually hoping to add silk to my masterbatch lye. Most people seem to eyeball the amount of silk they add. From what I can work out, the standard amount in weight is .11 per cent of the weight of the total batch of soap.
If that is accurate, I can calculate in reverse what weight of silk I should put in my masterbatch.
I am hoping that maybe one person at least might be able to confirm my calculation that the weight of the amount of silk they add is essentially .11 per cent of the weight of their total batch of soap. In my dreams, someone would give me an estimate of how much silk per weight of masterbatch I should add but failing that (and from the threads here I can't see anyone doing this), I'd love it if someone could confirm my .11 per cent theory. Thank you in advance for any help, best wishes, Orla

ps ANOTHER CALCULATION I CAME UP WITH WAS .31 PER CENT OF THE OILS WHICH OBVIOUSLY IS A MUCH GREATER AMOUNT.

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#### shunt2011

##### Moderator Emeritus
Supporting Member
Why do you need to weigh or have a percentage. I don’t understand that. Just curious. I add about the size of a small cotton ball per batch that I’m master batching. I don’t think I could get it to weigh out unless I use my small scale.

#### Orla

##### Well-Known Member
Thanks shunt. I've come to the conclusion that I need to add 1gm of silk per 250g of lye solution. This is working back from advice I was given to add 1gm of lye for a 2-pound batch of SOAP. I haven't seen a cotton ball in a long time and I don't know if that's scrunched up and compact or whatever. So from what I can work out I should add .4% (point 4 per cent) of the masterbatch lye weight. I suppose I just prefer to have figures!!

#### TheGecko

##### Well-Known Member
This is working back from advice I was given to add 1gm of lye for a 2-pound batch of SOAP.

The amount of Sodium Hydroxide you use is not based on the weight of your oils but on the amount of Sodium Hydroxide a gram of oil or butter needs to turn it into soap and that amount can vary from oil to oil, from butter to butter. As an example, it takes 0.184 mg of Sodium Hydroxide to turn 1 gram of coconut oil into soap, but it only takes 0.135 mg of Sodium Hydroxide to turn a gram of Olive Oil into soap.

This is why we use "Lye Calculators", to make sure we are using the proper amount of lye for the oils/butters in our recipe.

According to SoapCalc...32 oz of my recipe requires 4.42 oz (125.36 g) at 33% Concentration, 5% Super Fat of Sodium Hydroxide. My recipe contains Olive, Palm, Coconut and Castor Oils, and Cocoa and Shea Butters in various amounts. If I go with just Coconut Oil, I would need 5.57 oz (or 157.02 g) of Sodium Hydroxide.

As for the Tussah Silk...like so many things it's a matter of personal preference rather than a 'rule of thumb'. My recommendation is test. Make up several test batches with 8 oz of oils (enough for two bars of soap) and then with a precision scale that can weigh milligrams...try various amount of the silk to see which gives you the results that you like.

#### Orla

##### Well-Known Member
Sorry, the Gecko and thank you - that was a typo - I meant 1gm of silk for a 2-pound batch of soap. I'm going with .4 % of the masterbatch lye weigh - the .4% weight is silk. I'll see.

#### earlene

##### Grandmother & Soaper
Supporting Member
How did it turn out for you, Orla?

I found that too much silk in lye solution is really hard to dissolve and makes a big stringy mess with the stirring utensil. So I don't use so much based on that experience. But that may not have been your experience, so that's why I am asking.

#### lsg

Staff member
Moderator
Supporting Member
I just pinch off a small bit of raw silk and add it to the lye water, then stir until dissolved.

#### Orla

##### Well-Known Member
How did it turn out for you, Orla?

I found that too much silk in lye solution is really hard to dissolve and makes a big stringy mess with the stirring utensil. So I don't use so much based on that experience. But that may not have been your experience, so that's why I am asking.
Hi Earlene, and sorry for late response. Yes, I did it in the ratio above. Funny thing, I also use aloe juice as my water for my lye solution, so now my lye solution is aloe juice/tussah silk/NaOH. And it isn't even gel-like. I mean it's definitely not a water consistency, but it pours smoothly as opposed to lumping itself out... I'm also pleasantly surprised that one of my darn experiments worked out at first try!!! and a happy happy new year to you Americans!

#### Babyshoes

##### Well-Known Member
Hope you don't mind a total newbie butting in, but I've never heard of using silk in soap. Can I ask what it adds to the finished product?

A

#### amd

label appeal. Some recipes it does have a noticeable affect, but for the most part isn't needed. I used to use it until I tweaked my formula, now I can't tell the difference. When I did notice a difference the lather had a softer feel to it and spread easier over the skin. You can do the same with formulating the oils used in the soap.

#### AliOop

Supporting Member
For my favorite recipe, dissolved tussah silk adds a “slip” to the lather that I really like. Kaolin clay can add a similar slip to one of my other recipes, but not this one.

For me, it is easier to add the silk than to mess with my favorite recipe in an attempt to create a similar feeling with different oils. Plus, I have enough silk to last me till I’m too decrepit to soap.

#### linne1gi

Supporting Member
Hi Earlene, and sorry for late response. Yes, I did it in the ratio above. Funny thing, I also use aloe juice as my water for my lye solution, so now my lye solution is aloe juice/tussah silk/NaOH. And it isn't even gel-like. I mean it's definitely not a water consistency, but it pours smoothly as opposed to lumping itself out... I'm also pleasantly surprised that one of my darn experiments worked out at first try!!! and a happy happy new year to you Americans!
I've been master batching my lye solution and silk together for years. My lye solution is 50% distilled water and 50% sodium hydroxide. I just toss in a couple of inches of mulberry silk. It always dissolves quickly. I love silk in my soap - I find it gives, well, a silky feel. I used Tussah silk for several years, but have switched over to Mulberry silk which I like better.

#### SPowers

##### Well-Known Member
I just started using tussah silk on Monday. I have a decent size wad of it and just use scissors to snip off about an inch worth. That whole thing can't weigh much so weighing doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I doubt I used to much - if anything not enought.

#### Sudds

Supporting Member
I've been master batching my lye solution and silk together for years. My lye solution is 50% distilled water and 50% sodium hydroxide. I just toss in a couple of inches of mulberry silk. It always dissolves quickly. I love silk in my soap - I find it gives, well, a silky feel. I used Tussah silk for several years, but have switched over to Mulberry silk which I like better.
Linne1gi, would you mind telling me where you purchase your mulberry silk from?

#### linne1gi

Supporting Member
Linne1gi, would you mind telling me where you purchase your mulberry silk from?
I have gotten it from Amazon. Look for silk “fibers” and the last time I needed it, I got it from The Muddy Soap Company.

#### Albertina

Supporting Member
I've been master batching my lye solution and silk together for years. My lye solution is 50% distilled water and 50% sodium hydroxide. I just toss in a couple of inches of mulberry silk. It always dissolves quickly. I love silk in my soap - I find it gives, well, a silky feel. I used Tussah silk for several years, but have switched over to Mulberry silk which I like better.
Hello Linne1gi,

I was reading about the properties that silk adds to the soap in this forum and stumbled upon yours. I am fairly new in this forum and always made soaps using a soap calc, deciding my lye concentration and followed the sap values of each oil included in my recipe accordingly. I have never, however, come across such a high lye concentration, so I am curious on why. Sorry to ask so many years after.

#### linne1gi

Supporting Member
Hello Linne1gi,

I was reading about the properties that silk adds to the soap in this forum and stumbled upon yours. I am fairly new in this forum and always made soaps using a soap calc, deciding my lye concentration and followed the sap values of each oil included in my recipe accordingly. I have never, however, come across such a high lye concentration, so I am curious on why. Sorry to ask so many years after.
Hi Albertina, I am talking about master batching. So I start out with 1000 grams of distilled water, and I add 1000 grams of sodium hydroxide. That is a 1:1 water to lye solution. Also this is the minimum amount of water you can have, because lye needs at least its own weight to fully dissolve. When I make soap, I use my master batched solution like this. Say I need 125 grams of lye for my recipe. I measure out 250 grams of my master batch solution (this is equal to 125 grams of distilled water and 125 grams of NaOH). I also add in an additional 125 grams of another liquid. (I like to use coconut milk or another milk for my 2nd liquid portion) - That gives me a 2:1 water to lye ratio or a 33% lye solution. Thanks for asking, I hope I answered your question.

#### Albertina

Supporting Member
Hi Albertina, I am talking about master batching. So I start out with 1000 grams of distilled water, and I add 1000 grams of sodium hydroxide. That is a 1:1 water to lye solution. Also this is the minimum amount of water you can have, because lye needs at least its own weight to fully dissolve. When I make soap, I use my master batched solution like this. Say I need 125 grams of lye for my recipe. I measure out 250 grams of my master batch solution (this is equal to 125 grams of distilled water and 125 grams of NaOH). I also add in an additional 125 grams of another liquid. (I like to use coconut milk or another milk for my 2nd liquid portion) - That gives me a 2:1 water to lye ratio or a 33% lye solution. Thanks for asking, I hope I answered your question.
Linne, Yes! I finally learned what masterbatch means, too" (I'm Italian). Makes perfect sense. Thank you so much,

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