Colour Techniques

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penelopejane

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Hi

Can you please tell me how you get a clearly delineated separation between the colours. I have examples to upload as soon as the internet it working properly but I think you know what I am talking about. Soap ! Clear lines or Soap B fuzzy.

I was thinking it might depend on emulsion?

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fuzz-juzz

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Emulsion, recipe (oils used), water %, I would say all of those would affect clear lines to some extent.

Also, some colours bleed, it's especially noticeable if lots is used to achieve full colour.
I had some blue, red, purple micas bleed a lot into white base when trying to do swirls.
 

lenarenee

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Hi

Can you please tell me how you get a clearly delineated separation between the colours. I have examples to upload as soon as the internet it working properly but I think you know what I am talking about. Clear lines or fuzzy.

I was thinking it might depend on emulsion?
Emulsion is part of it - especially depending on the pour type. The swirl type is also a factor due to the distance/force it's poured.

For instance, a batter at emulsion, separated into colors for drop swirl - will make very wispy swirls but you'll find the colors will mix together quite a bit - the higher the pour the more it will mix in.

Colored batter at barely medium trace ('m at a loss as to how to describe my idea of medium trace) is my favorite as the colors move enough to "drape", but not mix together.

I can tell what height to pour at after seeing how much the base moves or raises as I pour the color. Even at a bare medium trace, if I pour too high - the force of the pour causes mixing or loss of delineation. That probably doesn't help you too much - without a video. Off the top of my head - I think Vibrant Soap videos can demonstrate that the best.
 

Gerry

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After I successfully made my first few batches of soap I discovered so many YouTube videos that made all those fancy color effects look so easy. I prepared myself by watching at least 100 videos before I considered myself an "expert". Of course I hadn't tried it myself yet!

My first dozen attempts all produced some sort of effect, but nothing like what I hoped for. I found out that the most important skills like managing trace and judging soap batter consistency for the effect I needed couldn't be learned by just watching other people doing it. What complicates things is that this is a dynamic process too. You need to judge the consistency for a desired effect into the future - like how it will be a little later when you finally do that hanger swirl or run a chop stick through it all. And so many factors effect all this - soaping temperature, oils used, lye to water percentage, mixing extent, additives, colorants themselves, and on and on! Luckily it's not an exact science, but it really takes a lot of trial and error (I'm really good at the error part! Hahaha!) to gain the experience needed to predict what happens when you mix colors together using various techniques and make it repeatable and consistent. I found keeping detailed notes for each new "experimental" batch helps a lot in this regard.

To me, this learning and experimental part of soap crafting is what makes this all so fun! And the best part is that it never really stops if you don't want it to. No one is going to run out of new things to try.
 
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The Efficacious Gentleman

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As above - what one person thinks is "medium trace" might be lighter or heavier than the next. So while the guidelines from Lanarenee are superb, you also need to play like Gerry did to find where "high" and "low" are in pour heights for you and your soap.
 

IrishLass

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but it really takes a lot of trial and error (I'm really good at the error part! Hahaha!) to gain the experience needed to predict what happens when you mix colors together using various techniques and make it repeatable and consistent. I found keeping detailed notes for each new "experimental" batch helps a lot in this regard.
This^^^^ a thousand times over! Trial & error along with meticulous note-taking. That's how it always goes for me.

Having said that, my 'sweet spot' batter consistency for swirls (depending upon which swirling technique I'll be using) resides in the multi-level realm of medium trace, i.e., light-medium, medium, or medium-thick trace. Once it crosses over the line into what I consider to be thick trace, my swirls get rather ugly....the same goes for thin trace with me.

The Efficacious Gentleman said:
what one person thinks is "medium trace" might be lighter or heavier than the next. So while the guidelines from Lanarenee are superb, you also need to play like Gerry did to find where "high" and "low" are in pour heights for you and your soap.
Excellent points! All the more reason why there's no substitution for good old fashioned trial and error.


IrishLass :)
 

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