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Vulpeste

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Hi everyone!

My name is Caroline, I am a French expat living in New Zealand :) I’m 30 years old and own a sole trading business where I hand dye wool and sell it in my online shop.
I’ve been doing this initially as a hobby, then part time, and I’m now going full time with it for a few months until my work contract renews, or if I’m lucky and all goes well, permanently!

I want to start creating a line or wool soap and conditioners to add to my shop and sell on markets and I found myself here :)
I’m totally new to soap making and the amount of informations is definitely overwhelming!

I’m going to create another post with my questions so hopefully I find some guidance in my endeavour ♥️
 

Zany_in_CO

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I’m 30 years old and own a sole trading business where I hand dye wool and sell it in my online shop. ... I want to start creating a line or wool soap and conditioners to add to my shop and sell on markets and I found myself here :) I’m totally new to soap making and the amount of informations is definitely overwhelming!
Hi Caroline and Welcome!
That's a very interesting business you have there. If you want to create a wool wash and conditioner that works well with your Hand-dyed Wool, I would start with interviewing knitters and spinners and people in that business to see what they like. In other words, find a soap and conditioner that potential customers prefer. Then test it on your wool. Once you know the ingredients, we can help you duplicate the soap and conditioner.

BTW (By The Way) I had a wholesale customer in New York who traveled to all the knitter's markets, conventions and events in her area to sell her products, as well as keeping an online presence.

ETA: I found this Wool Wash soap bar with 25% lanolin after a brief Google search:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/705372553/preorder-wool-wash-concentrated-lanolin?ref=internal_similar_listing_bot-1&frs=1

Ingredients: Olive oil*, coconut oil*, sunflower oil*, lanolin, distilled water, sodium hydroxide.
The asterisk indicates "orgranic". "Water and sodium hydroxide (NaOH)" is used to make the lye solution to add to the oils (Olive, Coconut, Sunflower) plus lanolin to make the soap. This is a very basic formula that's fairly easy to make, except for the lanolin, which can be tricky.

NOTE: About lanolin. It is very sticky. TIP: I use 2 wood popsicle sticks. One to dig the stuff out of the jar and the other to scrape it off into the bowl set on a scale to weigh it. It also is a heater, meaning it heats up the batch which means it will take a little time, trial and error to find the right temperature to combine the oils with the lye solution. You also want to use top grade lanolin similar to this sold by Jedwards:
LANOLIN - USP (United States Pharmacopeia, i.e., high standard of quality)
https://bulknaturaloils.com/lanolin-usp.html#reviews

I hope this helps. HAPPY SOAPING!
 
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earlene

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Welcome, I love your hand-dyed wool. My SIL weaves and she has been learning to dye as well. She does it for fun as a hobby and doubt she will ever sell. But now she is retired from Nursing she may well choose to sell some of her craft, but she has never been interested in selling in the past.

Personally I really am fond of lanolin for the skin; not really related to your plan, but just thought I'd mention it.

One of my most memorable patients family members when I was a hospital nurse was the husband of an elderly woman, who would rub lanolin into her skin on a daily basis to help her to maintain her beauty routine while in hospital. I was so impressed with his dedication to his wife, as well as being impressed with her beautiful skin. Ever since that patient, I have always kept a jar of lanolin around to rub into my skin when it starts to feel too dry. I don't do it everyday like she did, but I do it when I think of it. I am certainly glad I am not allergic to wool!
 

Vulpeste

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Hi Caroline and Welcome!
That's a very interesting business you have there. If you want to create a wool wash and conditioner that works well with your Hand-dyed Wool, I would start with interviewing knitters and spinners and people in that business to see what they like. In other words, find a soap and conditioner that potential customers prefer. Then test it on your wool. Once you know the ingredients, we can help you duplicate the soap and conditioner.

BTW (By The Way) I had a wholesale customer in New York who traveled to all the knitter's markets, conventions and events in her area to sell her products, as well as keeping an online presence.

ETA: I found this Wool Wash soap bar with 25% lanolin after a brief Google search:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/705372553/preorder-wool-wash-concentrated-lanolin?ref=internal_similar_listing_bot-1&frs=1

Ingredients: Olive oil*, coconut oil*, sunflower oil*, lanolin, distilled water, sodium hydroxide.
The asterisk indicates "orgranic". "Water and sodium hydroxide (NaOH)" is used to make the lye solution to add to the oils (Olive, Coconut, Sunflower) plus lanolin to make the soap. This is a very basic formula that's fairly easy to make, except for the lanolin, which can be tricky.

NOTE: About lanolin. It is very sticky. TIP: I use 2 wood popsicle sticks. One to dig the stuff out of the jar and the other to scrape it off into the bowl set on a scale to weigh it. It also is a heater, meaning it heats up the batch which means it will take a little time, trial and error to find the right temperature to combine the oils with the lye solution. You also want to use top grade lanolin similar to this sold by Jedwards:
LANOLIN - USP (United States Pharmacopeia, i.e., high standard of quality)
https://bulknaturaloils.com/lanolin-usp.html#reviews

I hope this helps. HAPPY SOAPING!

Thank you! I had found the same recipe but as you mentioned, due to the stickiness of the lanolin I wanted to create one that would contain less of it, I’m thinking between 15% to 20%

after doing more reading however and watching videos about different wool wash and what people prefer, I’m now focusing on a formulated detergent instead, as I think the alkaline soap won’t be ideal for the wool. I will still create a soap bar with lanolin later on, for more hardy cleanse, but will focus on a detergent first as it will be more commonly used, can clean without arming the fiber and will condition it nicely. So learning about surfactants now!
 

Vulpeste

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Welcome, I love your hand-dyed wool. My SIL weaves and she has been learning to dye as well. She does it for fun as a hobby and doubt she will ever sell. But now she is retired from Nursing she may well choose to sell some of her craft, but she has never been interested in selling in the past.

Personally I really am fond of lanolin for the skin; not really related to your plan, but just thought I'd mention it.

One of my most memorable patients family members when I was a hospital nurse was the husband of an elderly woman, who would rub lanolin into her skin on a daily basis to help her to maintain her beauty routine while in hospital. I was so impressed with his dedication to his wife, as well as being impressed with her beautiful skin. Ever since that patient, I have always kept a jar of lanolin around to rub into my skin when it starts to feel too dry. I don't do it everyday like she did, but I do it when I think of it. I am certainly glad I am not allergic to wool!

Amazing story and thank you!
I wanted to start by knitting baby clothes initially and quickly realised that it would be a difficult business due to how long making each garment would take and then I’d have to price them quite high, but fell in love with dyeing!
And now so obsessed with learning to make soaps and detergent haha, always on a new craft venture
 

Zany_in_CO

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due to the stickiness of the lanolin I wanted to create one that would contain less of it, I’m thinking between 15% to 20%
Just to be clear, the lanolin is only sticky while adding to the batch. Once saponified (becomes soap) it's not sticky at all. It has a very nice feel actually. :thumbs:
 

Vulpeste

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Just to be clear, the lanolin is only sticky while adding to the batch. Once saponified (becomes soap) it's not sticky at all. It has a very nice feel actually. :thumbs:

i have read on another recipe (I think from the Sage) that she experimented with making a soap bar with 25% and that it left a sticky feeling to her hands, kind of a film, and that it didn’t really feel clean. Could be perfect for wool soap though, but maybe if I put a little less lanolin and another oil like jojoba or avocado instead I could have the best of both world!
 

earlene

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I want to support what Zany said about lanolin in soap. I have used in soap as well and liked it. Although I preferred it at less than 20%. There is one soap I made with a higher proportion and it felt rather waxy to me. I'll look for my notes late today (it's still dark here at this hour & I haven't had my tea yet.) That was for body soap, of course; it may not apply to your goal.
 

Vulpeste

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Yes that’s what I mentioned above and read as well, most likely less than 20% would keep it as nice for your hands while washing the wool and still add enough lanolin for the wool, especially if using a conditioner leave in afterwards
 

Zany_in_CO

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i have read on another recipe (I think from the Sage) that she experimented with making a soap bar with 25% and that it left a sticky feeling to her hands, kind of a film, and that it didn’t really feel clean.
I remember that "Wool Wash" from MMS. From my files... it doesn't contain lanolin, she used polysorbate 80 -- amazing stuff -- great for getting rid of grease stains.

WOOL WASH WITH POLYSORBATE
 
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Vulpeste

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I remember that "Wool Wash" from MMS. From my files... it doesn't contain lanolin, she used polysorbate 80 -- amazing stuff -- great for getting rid of grease stains.

WOOL WASH WITH POLYSORBATE

I have seen the polysorbate one, but was referencing another one from thesage: High Lanolin Content Soap — Adventures With The Sage

There she explained that afterwards her hands felt slightly waxy and sticky hence wanting to reduce the lanolin content.

I like the polysorbate one but I'm confused about it, as I don't understand how to have polysorbate as a component but still have more ingredient in the detergent like added lanolin and other oils. Her recipe is made with only polysorbate, water and essential oils. I'm looking to produce a more developed product with more ingredients. Ideally something like Eucalan, I've studied the ingredient lists a lot, my issue is that I don't know where to go from there.
I have no idea how to formulate the recipe in terms of both the percentage of ingredients to use, and how to incorporate them all together and make the detergent. I tend to learn via youtube tutorials, and I found several on hard soap bars but can't find anything about creating a liquid detergent
 

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