First, you can heat up a master batch gently if necessary. The best way to do that would be in a warm water bath. The whole idea of master batching is to make it ahead and use as necessary. You can store it and use at a later date. But it must be stored safely, in an appropriate container with a secure lid. The funny thing is, anything you add to master batched lye solution, causes it to heat up a little. Even adding my 2nd portion of liquid is enough to heat it up to about 120. I usually get my lye solution ready first and then start measuring my oils/butters, and colors, fragrance, by then the lye solution has cooled again & I can start soaping.Linne, another question while we are on it.
I was told that you can't ever heat up your lye solution to bring it back to mixing temperature with the oils.
I suppose that is the case of masterbatching: if I don't use up all the masterbatch in one go and my solution cools down, I cannot keep it or store it for a second soaping session later on, is that correct?
Or is there a wicka resuscitating treatment that would still make my cooled masterbatch available for soaping sessions later on?
Thank you linne1!!!!First, you can heat up a master batch gently if necessary. The best way to do that would be in a warm water bath. The whole idea of master batching is to make it ahead and use as necessary. You can store it and use at a later date. But it must be stored safely, in an appropriate container with a secure lid. The funny thing is, anything you add to master batched lye solution, causes it to heat up a little. Even adding my 2nd portion of liquid is enough to heat it up to about 120. I usually get my lye solution ready first and then start measuring my oils/butters, and colors, fragrance, by then the lye solution has cooled again & I can start soaping.
The whole point of master batching is to have the lye solution ready, so you don’t have to wait a long time for it to cool down.
I’ve been master batching with my Mulberry Silk for a long time, I just bought cocoons and can’t wait to try them. Do you cut them up, or throw them in whole?I have masterbatched for years and never try to heat my lye back up I just use it at room temp. I do suggest storing it where it will fall below 65º F. Here is a great article to read about masterbatching. There is a notation about storing below 65º F in the article. Also note you need to mix the masterbatch before using it each time.
Masterbatching | Soapy Stuff
When I masterbatched with silk I would add in 10-12 cocoons per gallon of hot masterbatch lye. I used these because they are nice and clean, sadly I see they have doubled in price since I used to buy them. Amazon.com: 100pcs Fresh Natural Silk Ball Cocoons Facial Cleanser Balls Healthy Skin Care Scrub Face Massage: Beauty
Not cmzaha, but I use the same ones since she recommended them to me some time ago. I cut them up into fine slivers. Then stir until they dissolve. I think Carolyn recommended cutting them, but either way, that's what works for me.I’ve been master batching with my Mulberry Silk for a long time, I just bought cocoons and can’t wait to try them. Do you cut them up, or throw them in whole?
There is a youtube soaper who cuts them up finely, but I was hoping for an easy way, lol.Not cmzaha, but I use the same ones since she recommended them to me some time ago. I cut them up into fine slivers. Then stir until they dissolve. I think Carolyn recommended cutting them, but either way, that's what works for me.
Oh yes, I've been using Mulberry Silk for years and before that I used Tussah Silk. It's only the cocoons that I have not used before.Wish I could give you s short cut. But I do give you a caution. Don't use a slotted spoon when you stir. I once bought a slotted stirrer thinking it would be useful for dissolving the silk in lye solution and it was a big mess of fibers getting tangled in the slots, which seemed to take even longer to dissolve.
Oh, and add the silk while the slution is still very hot. This facilitates faster breakdown of the fibers. I once tried to get it to dissolve in a cooled solution and that was useless.
Hope this helps!Hi Everyone-I am new to the group. I am so glad I found this forum. So much great information. I started using Tussah Silk a couple of months back. I absolutely love what it does to the finished soap. How long can you keep a master batch lye solution with Tussah Silk in it? I have always worried that it might get moldy or something. I stir when its hot and until it's fully dissolved. Also what are the differences between Tussah and Mulberry Silk?
What is Mulberry Silk?
Updated on April 23, 2017 By Silker Leave a comment
Hi Debb21. I have been using Mulberry Silk for about the past 3 years, before that I used Tussah Silk.
Mulberry silk is the highest quality silk you can purchase. It is made from silkworms that are raised in captivity under exacting conditions. It is also the most expensive type of silk.
What makes it so expensive and why is it superior to other types of silk? Let me start by telling how mulberry silk is made, a process the Chinese developed thousands of years ago and have perfected, making them the worlds experts in producing the finest silk.
Mulberry silk is made from the silkworms of the Bombyx mori moth. The moth has one job to do and that is to lay eggs. After it lays about 500 eggs, its job is finished and it dies. The tiny pinpoint size eggs are kept at 65 degrees Fahrenheit with the temperature slowly and carefully raised to 75 degrees Fahrenheit to hatch the eggs.
The tiny silkworms that are born are then fed an exclusive diet of mulberry leaves 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (mulberry leaves are the only food the Bombyx mori moth will eat). After about a month of the constant gorging on the mulberry leaves, the silkworms will have increased their weight about 10,000 times and will have built up enough energy to start spinning their cocoon. It takes anywhere from three to as long as eight days for the silkworm to weave the cocoon.
The cocoons are then kept in a warm place for several days. Great care is taken to ensure the silkworms do not hatch into moths because that would damage the cocoon and break the silk filament it has woven. To harvest the silk from the cocoons, they are placed in water to soften the filament. The softened filament is then unwound from the cocoon. One filament can be up to 1,600 yards long. It takes 4-8 of the silk filaments woven together to create one mulberry silk thread.
The silkworms may have a short life with their only purpose to be providing silk, but those short lives are pampered ones. In addition to the constant fresh supply of mulberry leaves available to them, their environment is strictly controlled to prevent them from being subjected to loud noises and strong odors such as those from fish and the human odor of sweat.
The resulting mulberry silk thread is the strongest natural fiber in the world, making it incredibly durable. A silk fiber the same diameter as a fiber of steel is stronger than the steel.
The mulberry silk thread is also rounder, finer, smoother, and a lighter more uniform color than silk harvested from the wild where those silkworms have to eat whatever leaves and plants that are available to them.
Mulberry silk is also known as cultivated silk and bombyx silk but mulberry silk is the most commonly used term. It is also sometimes referred to it by its type which is thrown or reeled silk.
If you want the most luxurious, most durable, and finest silk bedding, look for silk sheets made with 100 percent mulberry silk and for silk comforters made with 100 percent mulberry silk floss.
A few other features of mulberry silk include it being 100 percent hypoallergenic and also being odorless and not needing any “airing out” before use like some of the lower quality wild silks.
And although the type and quality of the silk is a major consideration, do not overlook the weight of it. High quality silk bedding, should have a momme weight of at least 12, but more normally between 16 -19, and in the case of duvet covers as high as the low 20s. The momme weight is a standard unit of measurement for silk and is indicated by the symbol “mm.” The larger the momme number, the heavier the silk, and the more silk that was used in that fabrics construction. Any silk with a momme weight lower than 12 isnt suitable for bedding, although there is a lot of it out there that does have a momme weight under 12. The lighter weight bedding wont be as durable.
Dont overlook thread count although check the momme weight first. Thats the more important consideration, but do opt for silk bedding with a thread count of 400 or higher to ensure you are getting the finest quality mulberry silk that will last for many years.
1) What does tussah silk look like?
This luxury fibre has a beautiful natural shine and it is very durable. Tussah silk is produced by tussah silkworms and is usually a beautiful natural golden colour but can vary from pale cream to a dark rich brown. Tussah silkmoth caterpillars eat oak leaves or other leaves rich in tannin and it is the tannin that gives the colour to this silk.
Tussah silk is also spelled Tussar silk, Tushar silk, Tassar silk or Tusser silk. Tussah silk fabric is often textured and can be used to make clothes (jackets, waistcoats and skirts) and soft furnishings such as cushions.
2) Mulberry silk vs. tussah silk - what is the difference between mulberry silk & tussah silk?
Tussah silk is not as fine as mulberry silk (the fibres vary from 26 to 36 micron in diameter whilst mulberry silk is 10 to 14 microns), but it is stronger and more durable. Tussah silk is usually a honey colour, while mulberry silk is white. At a microscopic level the cross-section of the mulberry silk filaments are circular, while the cross-section of tussah is an elongated oval, which results in flatter silk fibres.
3) Where does tussah silk come from?
There are several species of tussah silk moths (family Saturniidae) in China, India, Japan, Africa and North America. The moths are large and have a prominent eye marking on their wings. The caterpillars are bright green, as wide as a man’s finger and they feed on a wide range of plants.
Despite claims that tussah silk is a wild silk, most tussah silk that is for sale comes from commercially bred caterpillars. They are not as domesticated as mulberry silkworms and can survive in the wild if they escape. Some cocoons are still collected from the wild, usually after the moths have hatched, but this is becoming rarer as it is not commercially viable. Read more about Tussah silkmoths here (opens new page).
I always wondered why when adding Tussah Silk to the lye solution it is a golden yellow. Thank you so much for the great info. It sure makes me appreciate silk a whole lot more. Where do you purchase your mulberry silk? It doesn't look like wholesale supply plus or Brambleberry carries it. I saw some on etsy but not sure if I could use it for soap. Looks like it's also used for yarn.Hope this helps!
It is used for spinning. I purchased the last time on Amazon and it was a pretty good deal. Here's a link (last time it was $12.99) it has gone up a lot in price. But it does last a very long time. https://www.amazon.com/Mulberry-Spi...rds=mulberry+silk+fiber&qid=1620763814&sr=8-7I always wondered why when adding Tussah Silk to the lye solution it is a golden yellow. Thank you so much for the great info. It sure makes me appreciate silk a whole lot more. Where do you purchase your mulberry silk? It doesn't look like wholesale supply plus or Brambleberry carries it. I saw some on etsy but not sure if I could use it for soap. Looks like it's also used for yarn.
I haven’t seen any impact from the Tussah silk - I used Tussah silk for several years before switching to Mulberry a Silk.As my friend, Maggie used to say, "Oh, Magoo, you've done it again!" Here I sit, with many other things to do, looking up silk to buy. LOL
1.) If the silk has been dyed, will that color impart to the soap (this isn't the Mulberry, but I'm intrigued)?
2.) Is there such a thing as silk fibers from the USA?
Thank you-As soon as my tussah silk runs out or I get tired of the yellow floating on top of the lye I will purchase mulberry silk. I have a feeling it will be the latter. lolIt is used for spinning. I purchased the last time on Amazon and it was a pretty good deal. Here's a link (last time it was $12.99) it has gone up a lot in price. But it does last a very long time. https://www.amazon.com/Mulberry-Spi...rds=mulberry+silk+fiber&qid=1620763814&sr=8-7