Tussah silk + master/batched lye

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AliOop

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Hi everyone,

I’ve searched the threads on tussah silk but not seeing the answer to my question.

I have master-batched quite a bit of lye (probably a year’s worth). I didn’t think to add the tussah silk at that time, but have read that at least some of you do include that in your MB.

Is there any other way to add it now? In other words, is there some way to dissolve it so I can add it either to my existing MB, or to each soap batch as I go?

I did think of making another large MB with the silk included, and mixing my two MBs so there is silk throughout. But that seems risky with potential spills and splashes, plus I’d end up with TWO years’ worth of MB, lol.

All ideas and suggestions welcome, as I’m missing the silk in my latest bars made with the MB lye. I really do feel the difference!
 

jcandleattic

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you could try adding some to the already cooled MB and let it sit for a few days and see if it will dissolve. I'm just not sure of any other way, or if that would even work.

I add my silk to my water to let it soak for a little while before adding my lye to my water for my MB's.

I do have 2 sets of MB though, 1 with silk, and 1 without so I can make a vegan soap when/if necessary...
 

AliOop

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@jcandleattic thank you! You were the one who posted about adding the silk to your MB, which was a light bulb for me!

I just wasn’t sure if it was the combo of heat and lye that dissolves it, or if just lye will do it. But your idea sounds good to me. I’ll drop some in, let it sit, and will be sure to pour thru a strainer.

As for vegan soaps, fortunately I don’t sell, bc almost all my soaps contain lard, tallow, GM, and tussah silk. All I need is a bacon FO and I could name it “Vegan’s Nightmare,” lol. (no offense intended to vegans, who are welcome to tease me back regarding my fatty milk soaps).
 

Megan

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As far as in the short term, I have not had luck dissolving silk in cooled lye solution. Over a couple of days it might work though. Good news is, if it doesn't dissolve, it's fairly easy to fish out/strain out the blob of silk.
 

AliOop

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Thanks, @Megan! I will give it a try with letting it just sit in there. Will try to remember to report back as to what happened.
 

jcandleattic

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I just wasn’t sure if it was the combo of heat and lye that dissolves it, or if just lye will do it. But your idea sounds good to me. I’ll drop some in, let it sit, and will be sure to pour thru a strainer.
Yeah, I'm not sure either, and if it seriously doesn't do anything then you can always scoop it out too, but yeah, mine always seems to get some settled sediment on the bottom so I stir real well before adding my cooled lye to my detergent bottle, then I give it a good shake before each use.
 

AliOop

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I did find this article but am not sure exactly what solution they used, or if I could put it into soap. @DeeAnna do you have wisdom to share about this? Thank you!


Abstract
Regenerated Silk biomaterials are usually pre-formed from silk fibroin solutions. However, the dissolution of silk fibroin in proper solvents by a simple and low cost way is still a challenge. Here, we employed a CaCl2-methanol solvent system with a very low CaCl2 concentration of 6 wt% to dissolve silk fibroin. During the dissolution process, the evaporation of methanol cause the changing of solvation sheath of ions in the solvent. The remaining solvent with the incomplete solvation sheath is absorbed by the silk fiber and interacts with fibroin chains to complete the solvation sheath, which accounts for the dissolution of silk fibroin. Silk fibroin dissolution stops as all the solvation sheaths are complete. The final CaCl2 concentration is ca. 26% and silk fibroin is completely dissolved with a yield of about 90%. Silk fibroin is dissolved into multi-scale nanofibrils solution which is potential for producing regenerated silk fibroin materials for functional applications.
 

DeeAnna

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No wisdom to share, I'm afraid. This idea of dissolving silk is not a topic I've spent any time researching.

Only tidbit I can offer in passing is the CaCl2 would make soap scum (aka calcium soaps) if used as an additive in lye-based soap.
 

AliOop

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@DeeAnna well if you wouldn't try it, I sure won't. :D Thanks for the head's up!
 

cmzaha

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I find it will only dissolve in hot lye solution. When I masterbatch I would make up a gallon of silk masterbatch and one without.
Edta: I only use silk cocoons
 

AliOop

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Thank you, @cmzaha. I really miss the silk, and I already added some to my cold MB per jcandleattic's recommendation to give it a try. If it doesn't dissolve in the cold MB within a day or two, I'll just have to bite the bullet and make another MB with double the silk in it, and then mix that MB with the non-silk MB. You can be sure I'll be suited up, head to toe, with googles and a face shield, because I can just picture the solution splashing at some point when I pour the two batches into one bucket, mix them, and then transfer them back. Ugh.
 

dibbles

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@AliOop maybe you should make a smaller amount of the MB with silk, mix that with an equal amount of what you have already made and then make more when you run out of the mix. At least you would be working with smaller amounts each time.
 

penelopejane

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For each recipe you make if you add your remaining water for the recipe to the MB lye solution it heats up again. If you soak your silk in the water then add the MB lye to it the silk should dissolve in that warmed solution (doesn't quite reach as hot as it originally was. if all else fails you could heat it up a little). When I use silk (I don't often because I can't tell the difference and it's not vegan or vegetarian) I cut it up finely with scissors first then soak in water then add the lye.
 

AliOop

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Thanks, @penelopejane. I actual made the batch using the water percentage I prefer for most of my recipes - so I don't need to add extra water. But since that is a 40% lye concentration, I could add a bit more. I may try that - thanks!
 

linne1gi

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Thank you, @cmzaha. I really miss the silk, and I already added some to my cold MB per jcandleattic's recommendation to give it a try. If it doesn't dissolve in the cold MB within a day or two, I'll just have to bite the bullet and make another MB with double the silk in it, and then mix that MB with the non-silk MB. You can be sure I'll be suited up, head to toe, with googles and a face shield, because I can just picture the solution splashing at some point when I pour the two batches into one bucket, mix them, and then transfer them back. Ugh.
I add silk to every soap I make. Nowadays I use Mulberry Silk, but in the past I used Tussah Silk. I have been master batching for about a year now. I use a 2:1 water to lye ratio in my soaps. So my master batched lye is 1:1. I measure out 2 parts of the MB lye. I add my Silk to that (snipped very finely), then I measure out my additional liquid. I have been using Aloe Juice lately because I have it. I add powdered sugar and salt to my aloe juice - make sure it has dissolved, then add that to my MB lye with the silk in it. It heats up a little and I let it sit (maybe 1/2 hour) and it mostly will dissolve. Not completely though - so I was worried - but I have done it this way for a long time now and I can almost see the silk dissolving in the soap batter. I have never seen any strands of silk floating around, so I think it is dissolving. Hope this helps.
 

Kiti Williams

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I have been considering adding silk to my soaps. I spin so it would be the parts of the cocoon that are next to the insect. All my silk is clean of nasty stuff, so I am not worried there. How many/much silk is a normal amount to add?
 

AliOop

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I add silk to every soap I make. Nowadays I use Mulberry Silk, but in the past I used Tussah Silk. I have been master batching for about a year now. I use a 2:1 water to lye ratio in my soaps. So my master batched lye is 1:1. I measure out 2 parts of the MB lye. I add my Silk to that (snipped very finely), then I measure out my additional liquid. I have been using Aloe Juice lately because I have it. I add powdered sugar and salt to my aloe juice - make sure it has dissolved, then add that to my MB lye with the silk in it. It heats up a little and I let it sit (maybe 1/2 hour) and it mostly will dissolve. Not completely though - so I was worried - but I have done it this way for a long time now and I can almost see the silk dissolving in the soap batter. I have never seen any strands of silk floating around, so I think it is dissolving. Hope this helps.
That is so helpful, @linne1gi - thank you! It's encouraging to know that the heat from adding the sugar solution to the MB is enough to melt the silk. With both you and @penelopejane recommending that, I am going to give it a try. I'd like to do one more shot at this month's challenge anyway, so this will be a good opportunity to see how it goes. Stay tuned!
 

linne1gi

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That is so helpful, @linne1gi - thank you! It's encouraging to know that the heat from adding the sugar solution to the MB is enough to melt the silk. With both you and @penelopejane recommending that, I am going to give it a try. I'd like to do one more shot at this month's challenge anyway, so this will be a good opportunity to see how it goes. Stay tuned!
Good luck.
 

linne1gi

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I have been considering adding silk to my soaps. I spin so it would be the parts of the cocoon that are next to the insect. All my silk is clean of nasty stuff, so I am not worried there. How many/much silk is a normal amount to add?
I use about 1 inch per pound of oils. But I just eyeball it - I certainly don't measure.
 

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