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Why does the alkanet not yield purple?

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gigisiguenza

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Made this soap yesterday, and while I love the scent (lavender and lemon blossom, with a touch of rose) and I think the colors are pretty (even though I did not achieve the butterfly swirl I was trying for) I'm frustrated by the lack of purple... I added the alkanet powder to the batchlet at trace ... but not even a hint of lavender or any purple hue to be seen... what am I doing wrong?

Any feedback is greatly appreciated :)

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Obsidian

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I've only gotten purple from alkanet by infusing it in oil for a couple weeks but I had to use a lot of the oil, it wouldn't work for just a portion of the soap. Alkanet and indigo can be really tricky to use. I've given up using either, even when I do get purples and blues, they aren't nice shades.
 

TheDragonGirl

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I use mine by infusing it in oil, and then I've learned the opposite of obsidian- that I have to use less to get the purple colour! it also changes as the ph changes, and its exposed to oxigen

This is madder alkanet and charcoal

eta: (and a failed batch, do not use clay to do pencil lines)

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gigisiguenza

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Obsidian - I'm definitely frustrated by these two persnickety colorants but I'm determined to discover the secret of their usage.

DG - I too wondered if I had used too much of the alkanet for the color to show. Some things really do require you use the barest minimum to tint or they become too muddy.
Oh and definitely noting the no clay for pencil lines advice... it was actually on my list of things to try LOL
 

vmakkers

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I tried using alkanet root to do a lavender soap and mine ended up turning green. Here's a link to the picture from the photo gallery:

http://cdn.soapmakingforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=15316&stc=1&d=1437669355

I used powdered alkanet and put a pretty good amount in my oils to infuse but I only let it sit over night. I read that sometimes alkanet can go green due to the PH and may slowly morph. The alkanet root infusion turned green the moment I added it to the batter. The bars still look exactly the same colors and I cut those on 7/23. I may give it another go with the alkanet root I infused a couple of months ago to see if time makes a difference but at this point, I think I might just use purple clay for my lavender soaps.

Question of my own now: have any of you guys experienced some scrubbyness in your soaps from infusing the oils with herbs? I had used lavender/calendula/alkanet root infused olive oil in my lavender batch and for some reason, there's like a slight grittyness to my soaps. The soaps feel smooth and fine, but you get the exfoliating grittyness when you start using the soap. It's def not undissolved lye because I always strain my lye and zap tested. I remembered seeing some gritty stuff on the bottom of the strained infused oil but didn't think much of it and now I wonder if it's little bits of plant matter or some micro bits of the alkanet root that made it through the strainer.
 

SplendorSoaps

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I really like using alkanet for purples, but a little bit really does go a long way. The last batch I made with alkanet used 1/2 - 3/4 tsp. for about 2 lbs. of soap batter (not ppo). It came out a nice, deep purple.

I'd also take a look at the recipe you're using. The recipes that work the best for me with the alkanet are ones that are more white than cream colored when no colorant is used. If all else fails, there's no shame in adding a bit of TD to lighten it up the alkanet.

ETA: I'm adding a pic of my most recent alkanet soap, Lavender Rosemary. This one is curing, should be ready to use in a week or so.

20150911_153247.jpg
 
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cmzaha

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I have never had any success with Alkanet for purple and gave up on it a long time ago. I can get a pretty purple with Blue Food Coloring easier than fooling around with alkanet. My most favorite for purple is Lavender Fields Ultramarine
 

Dahila

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I tried once infused oil and the color is ok but I find it a kind of cold color if it make sense. It is one color. I can not see using infused oil in swirls....
 

gigisiguenza

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I really like using alkanet for purples, but a little bit really does go a long way. The last batch I made with alkanet used 1/2 - 3/4 tsp. for about 2 lbs. of soap batter (not ppo). It came out a nice, deep purple.

I'd also take a look at the recipe you're using. The recipes that work the best for me with the alkanet are ones that are more white than cream colored when no colorant is used. If all else fails, there's no shame in adding a bit of TD to lighten it up the alkanet.

ETA: I'm adding a pic of my most recent alkanet soap, Lavender Rosemary. This one is curing, should be ready to use in a week or so.
Hmmmm. I'm sure I used more than that and your usage/results confirm what I was already thinking - that I was using too much and it's making it muddy. I will definitely try using less for the next experiment. TY :)
 

gigisiguenza

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I tried using alkanet root to do a lavender soap and mine ended up turning green. Here's a link to the picture from the photo gallery:

http://cdn.soapmakingforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=15316&stc=1&d=1437669355

I used powdered alkanet and put a pretty good amount in my oils to infuse but I only let it sit over night. I read that sometimes alkanet can go green due to the PH and may slowly morph. The alkanet root infusion turned green the moment I added it to the batter. The bars still look exactly the same colors and I cut those on 7/23. I may give it another go with the alkanet root I infused a couple of months ago to see if time makes a difference but at this point, I think I might just use purple clay for my lavender soaps.

Question of my own now: have any of you guys experienced some scrubbyness in your soaps from infusing the oils with herbs? I had used lavender/calendula/alkanet root infused olive oil in my lavender batch and for some reason, there's like a slight grittyness to my soaps. The soaps feel smooth and fine, but you get the exfoliating grittyness when you start using the soap. It's def not undissolved lye because I always strain my lye and zap tested. I remembered seeing some gritty stuff on the bottom of the strained infused oil but didn't think much of it and now I wonder if it's little bits of plant matter or some micro bits of the alkanet root that made it through the strainer.
I'm fascinated by the fact that it turned green. Wonder what the heck made it do that?
 

gigisiguenza

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I think I'm going to do a small batch of soap and split it out into several batchlets to try each incorporation method for the alkanet powder. Hmmmm. Planning .....
 

gigisiguenza

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Ooo do post pictures of the result
DG I will for sure. Once I started planning this, I realized I really want to do this for all the natural colorants I have on hand. I'm struggling with what to use for molds because I don't have a very big selection of options available to me at the moment.
 

TheDragonGirl

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DG I will for sure. Once I started planning this, I realized I really want to do this for all the natural colorants I have on hand. I'm struggling with what to use for molds because I don't have a very big selection of options available to me at the moment.
have you considered washed out yogurt cups and things?
 

gigisiguenza

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have you considered washed out yogurt cups and things?
DG - yes, and if I had been smart I woulda been saving them up all along for emergency soapy needs LOL. Instead I've been throwing them out like a dope. But I did find something interesting in the laundry closet.I bought these at the dollar store eons ago for hauling cupcakes to work for whatever. This is the bottom, that holds the cupcakes, and it has a domed lid. The little round hollows are 2.5 across and 1/4 in deep. Surprisingly they are pp #5 so should be safe to use. Now I've got to figure out how much total volume all nine have so I know what size mini batch to make.

The little soaps will be very shallow, but for doing testers, it should be fine, ya think?

ETA - ugh, the whole batch would be like 6 or 7 ounces total weight. That's a PITA to deal with, so this may not be the option I had hoped it would be. Still plotting ... hmmm....

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Obsidian

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Go to the store and buy some plastic 2 ounce cups. The shape will be odd and if you end not liking it, you can always make confetti out of them.
 

CaraBou

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I'm fascinated by the fact that it turned green. Wonder what the heck made it do that?
It is pH sensitive. The best purple I got from alkanet was in batch I botched that I ended up having to hot process. The batter was blah forest green until it was nearly done cooking; then it turned (and stayed) purple. I used about 1/4 tsp ppo, added to my fragrance. Here's the thread:

http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=40965
 

Consuela

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I have ZERO luck with Indigo Root Powder... so I stopped trying...

But Alkanet has always been good to me. I sometimes get a deep purple, or light blue look - which I really do like. It is a little speckly - even if I SB it into a small portion of the batter first...
 

HappyHomeSoapCo

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When i used alkanet c/s infused oil, my soap batter turned green too! But once cured it was a beautiful lavender! A very scary moment for me. I even posted here about it.
 

gigisiguenza

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Go to the store and buy some plastic 2 ounce cups. The shape will be odd and if you end not liking it, you can always make confetti out of them.
Obsidian - I actually have little 3oz plastic cups, as well as 12oz. It didn't occur to me to use them as I've been so careful to only use #5 or #2 plastic or silicone for any soap to date. I've been using them for mixing colors etc, but it never occurred to me to use them for this.

Major DUH moment LOL
 
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