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szaza

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Hi everyone!

Since none of the libraries in my area carry soapmaking books I think at some point I'll have to invest in buying some books. But before I do I'd like to hear some opinions!
At the moment there are 3 books that I'm interested in:
1. Scientific soapmaking by Kevin Dunn
2. Natural Soap Color ebook by Jo Haslauer
3. Making Transparent Soap by Catherine Failor

Has anyone read these and do you recommend or not? And why?
Any other book suggestions are also welcome!
 

jcandleattic

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1. Scientific soapmaking by Kevin Dunn - a must for any soapmaker IMO. I love this book. It is a little technical in spots, but also explains in "layman's terms" as well.

2. Natural Soap Color by Jo Haslauer - I have not read this book, but Jo is very well versed and knows what she's talking about. I don't color using natural ingredients, so the book holds no interest to me.

3. Making Transparent Soap by Catherine Failor - not sure if this is like here liquid soapmaking book, (I have it, but have not read it) but if it is, I'd skip it. (I know, that does you no good, but speaking out of experience with her liquid soapmaking book, it's poorly laid out, skips steps until the very end of different chapters, very hard to understand what/when you are supposed to do what, if you know what I mean)

I have so many soapmaking books in my library and there are very few I read often. The first book mentioned here is one, and Liquid Soapmaking by Jackie Thompson is another one.

I also like the Everything Soapmaking book by Alicia Grosso is one I like, and a few others but I would have to be home to see them.
 

szaza

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Thank you! Apparently everything soapmaking is easily available in Europe and it's not even that expensive:) I'll definately keep it in mind! :thumbs:
 

jcandleattic

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Thank you! Apparently everything soapmaking is easily available in Europe and it's not even that expensive:) I'll definately keep it in mind! :thumbs:
I'm sorry, I didn't realize you were in Belgium until you pointed it out about Europe.
I'll try to keep that in mind when/if I recommend more. :)
 

szaza

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No problem! Luckily most books are available as ebooks and then it doesnt matter where you live. But I like a good old paper book;) that's why I'm happy everything soapmaking is easily available:D
 

jcandleattic

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Soapmaker's Companion by Susan Miller Cavitch - I actually like this one much better than the Everything soapmaking book.
 

szaza

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Perfect! I'll look into that one as well:) could you maybe specify what you like about it? Or why you like it better than everything soapmaking? Does it make sense to buy both or do they have similar content?
 

penelopejane

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Natural soap colour - you can find all the info on line or on this forum.

Jo H is good but all her photos show soap about a week old so the colours are vibrant. Most natural colours in soap fade to nothing after a few months. It’s very disappointing. Clays stick and turmeric and a very few others. Search the forum for further info.
 

jcandleattic

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Perfect! I'll look into that one as well:) could you maybe specify what you like about it? Or why you like it better than everything soapmaking? Does it make sense to buy both or do they have similar content?
I like that it's just a well rounded informational book.
I like and have both, but if I HAD to choose only 1, I would choose Soapmaker's Companion.

Yes, and no about the content. The content is similar, but presented differently, and there is also different content in each, not not a significant amount that would make you feel you are missing something if you only had 1.

Along with being a candle/soap maker, I am also a bibliofphile, so if it's a book even remotely connected to something I love, I probably have it and have read it at some point. :)
 

szaza

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Jo H is good but all her photos show soap about a week old so the colours are vibrant. Most natural colours in soap fade to nothing after a few months. It’s very disappointing. Clays stick and turmeric and a very few others. Search the forum for further info.
Oh really?!:eek: her soaps look absolutely stunning, but indeed most soap looks pretty vibrant at 1 weeko_O
I've had Orange Peel and Cinnamon stick for at least a year, so I don't want to give up on natural colorants just yet.. actually I think somebody asked Jo about fading of natural colorants in the comment section of an article she wrote and she said at least some of them stuck for about 3 years.. (or maybe it was even in the article itself.. I'm not sure anymore)

Thanks so much for the great info @jcandleattic ! I'll definately keep it in mind when I decide which books to order :thumbs: Just saw both are available where I live:)
 
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amd

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I would also recommend Soap and Cosmetic Labeling by Marie Gale. I thought it was a worthwhile read even before I considered selling. Helped me understand more what I was reading on other people's labels... and if they have correct labels they're more likely to get my business.
 

jcandleattic

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I would also recommend Soap and Cosmetic Labeling by Marie Gale. I thought it was a worthwhile read even before I considered selling. Helped me understand more what I was reading on other people's labels... and if they have correct labels they're more likely to get my business.
It's a great book for those of us here in the US but the OP is from Belgium, so not sure how much it would help her. I'm sure their guidelines and labelling laws are probably different.
 

amd

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Shoot, thanks for pointing that out. I forgot when I posted it, but I'm sure others looking for book suggestions in the future may find it useful.
 

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Soapmaking The Natural Way by Rebecca Ittner is my favorite book with M&P recipes. The book features 45 recipes using M&P base, with pictures and detailed instructions.


Soap Crafting: Step-by-Step Techniques for Making 31 Unique Cold Process Soaps by
Anne-Marie Faiola is one of my favorite books on CP techniques. There is a chapter using colorants; recipes with additives, embeds, funnel pour and swirling. Colored pictures furnish a step-by-step guide.
 
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So many books, so little time. I like to read stuff online and even my novels I read on Kindle or the library format but for "learning books", I prefer to have the book in front of me. You wouldn't believe the quilting books and magazines I have . . . . .

Oh yeah, and gardening, . . and jewelry making . . . I now, here I am, attempting soap making . . .
 

jcandleattic

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So many books, so little time. I like to read stuff online and even my novels I read on Kindle or the library format but for "learning books", I prefer to have the book in front of me. You wouldn't believe the quilting books and magazines I have . . . . .

Oh yeah, and gardening, . . and jewelry making . . . I now, here I am, attempting soap making . . .
I would. LOL
I'm the same. I have 1 full bookshelf of quilting, sewing, crochet, knit and other fabric type of books/magazines.
 

szaza

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Oh man.. all those books sound so interesting and they are all available here.. that's a dangerous situation! ;)
Oh and @amd even if regulations are probably different here, it's still a good tip to read up on labelling:thumbs:
 

SoaperForLife

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I know what you mean about books... years ago I was into "homesteading" and all that that entails. I also was fortunate enough to live in an area with lots and lots of used book stores. I have 3 very tall shelving units stuffed full of gardening, animal husbandry, equine everything, herbs and soapmaking books plus about a 50' row of boxes full of books upstairs in our unfinished 2nd floor. From time to time I attempt to sell a few but I don't think books have the same value as they once did...
 

Zany_in_CO

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When I first started soaping I borrowed every book on the subject, including essential oils, from the library -- a couple of dozen books in all. Some I browsed; some I read cover to cover. I picked the best of the bunch to start my soaping library. I still refer to them today.

The Natural Soap Book and Soapmaker's Companion by Susan Miller Cavitch
Soap Naturally by Patricia Garzena and Marina Tadiello
Making Soap and Scents by Catherine Bardey (my first book; love it; Used her technique to make transparent soap)
Making Liquid Soaps by Catherine Failor (good info but technique is passé)
Soapmaking for Fun and Profit by Maria Given Nerius (a gift from my daughter)
Handcrafted Soap by Delores Boone (Beautiful Pictures! Excellent info in the Index)

I learned how to make lard & tallow soap from an online site called Walton Feed. They had a section about how they used to make soap with lots of old timey pics of people making soap outdoors in a kettle. Fun place to visit but long gone now.

Most of what I learned came from an on-line forum with a great group of mentors who graciously and patiently shared their experience, recipes and techniques and a few Mad Scientist types who entertained us with their latest experiments ... also long gone. We were "family" and I miss them a lot.

From there, I joined a few other groups and forums, the best one being Southern Soapers Yahoo Group. The owner, Kelly Bloom, was a great teacher! She not only knew everything there is to know about soap, but also lotions and potions and stuff. She was also very business savvy and many members owe the success of their start-up businesses to taking her advice and building from a solid foundation.

Sorry to ramble on... got caught up in a web of nostalgia... :rolleyes:/QUOTE]
 
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SoaperForLife

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My first soaping book was The Complete Soapmaker: Tips, Techniques & Recipes for Luxurious Handmade Soaps by Norma Coney. Rodale Press used to have a book club years ago and one month, that was the selection. Took years and our move to the farm before I actually attempted to make soap. My first soap was a blend of tallow and olive and I had to render the suet before I could make the soap. I think that I learned about Ms. Coney and her incorrect instructions on adding the water to the lye from one of those soap making groups on Yahoo that Zany talks about. Man, I sure learned a lot from those groups and I too miss them greatly. Only thing I don't miss about them is the "Soap Nazi" that would get really rude when a newbie would ask a question that she didn't approve of.....she eventually kicked me out <shrug>. My second book was the The Natural Soap Book: Making Herbal and Vegetable-Based Soaps by Sandy Maine. I used a variation of her recipe to make soaps for sale at the farmers' market and for many years after.
 

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