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Alpaca Fibre in Soap?

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Heather Piercy

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Hi! I love making cp soap (for personal use and gifting only, no sales). I also have alpacas, so I have easy access to alpaca fibre. I'm planning on felting some soap this year, but I'm also curious as to whether I could use the fibre inside the soap, similar to how people use silk fibre. From what I can see, the fibre would dissolve in the lye water (I haven't tried it yet to confirm). Has anyone ever tried dissolving alpaca fibre or anything other than silk in their lye water? I'm curious what the results could be :)
 

earlene

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No, I have not tried dissolving any kind of wool in lye, but I suspect it would. It is an interesting idea. I'd love to hear how it turns out if you try it.
 

amd

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Try it! I did snake shed last year - just make sure you strain your alpaca infused lye water as you pour it into your oils. No one wants undissolved clumps of hair in their soap ;)
 

SideDoorSoaps

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I’ve never thought of dissolving any of my roving for soapmaking! Quite possibly because I like to knit more than make soap lol
 

redhead1226

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Hi! I love making cp soap (for personal use and gifting only, no sales). I also have alpacas, so I have easy access to alpaca fibre. I'm planning on felting some soap this year, but I'm also curious as to whether I could use the fibre inside the soap, similar to how people use silk fibre. From what I can see, the fibre would dissolve in the lye water (I haven't tried it yet to confirm). Has anyone ever tried dissolving alpaca fibre or anything other than silk in their lye water? I'm curious what the results could be :)
I have done it but it doesn't dissolve well. Certainly not like silk does. I felt soap so of course I tried it with the Alpaca I have and I never did it again. Im not sure of the benefit but I wasn't happy with it not dissolving well.
 

Heather Piercy

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Thanks for your replies! So I took the plunge yesterday with a one pound batch. I used a small clump of the finest alpaca fibre out of my bag and it dissolved easily. I did strain as I added the lye water but there were no undissolved bits. The fibre was dark brown and the lye water was also brown but it didn't seem to affect the color of the soap. The soap itself seemed unaffected by the addition, no acceleration or separation etc. I can't wait to see if there is any noticeable effect on the soap after curing :)
 

Karyn

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That's really interesting! What would it do for your soap as it's used? Would the user notice a difference/benefit? Good luck with it!
 

redhead1226

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Thanks for your replies! So I took the plunge yesterday with a one pound batch. I used a small clump of the finest alpaca fibre out of my bag and it dissolved easily. I did strain as I added the lye water but there were no undissolved bits. The fibre was dark brown and the lye water was also brown but it didn't seem to affect the color of the soap. The soap itself seemed unaffected by the addition, no acceleration or separation etc. I can't wait to see if there is any noticeable effect on the soap after curing :)
Hmmmm I wonder why mine didn't dissolve well.
 

soaring1

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I have used Alpaca roving and tussah silk 50/50. Everything dissolved for me. Have to pick it apart to put in the water. So can't say it was all Alpaca
 

SideDoorSoaps

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SideDoorSoaps, have you made felted soap yet? Felted Soap is this month's SMF Challenge project, and I'd love to have you join in.
@earlene - I have attempted to felt soap before with some alpaca roving my friends have to me. I have quite a bit left and did think about joining the challenge. :) thanks for asking.
 

amd

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@amd do you mean snake skin? what was that like?
Yes, it's called "shed" after it's come off the snake. I'm not skinning snakes! LOL. It has about the same affect in soap as silk. I make it for a friend who raises / sells snakes. She uses it as door prizes for herpetological club meetings as well as herself.

ETA: it stinks to high heaven when added to lye water. If you think coffee or beer stinks, that doesn't have anything on snake shed in lye. It's gaggy.
 

reeeen4

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Yes, it's called "shed" after it's come off the snake. I'm not skinning snakes! LOL. It has about the same affect in soap as silk. I make it for a friend who raises / sells snakes. She uses it as door prizes for herpetological club meetings as well as herself.

ETA: it stinks to high heaven when added to lye water. If you think coffee or beer stinks, that doesn't have anything on snake shed in lye. It's gaggy.
Wow that is so cool!! would never have thought of using snake skin! (in australia we just call it a snake skin) We see Red Belly Black Snakes all the time at our farm in Summer, I'll have to keep my eyes out for their skins so I can use one!

I'll make sure to wear a mask :eek:
 
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