Saturday, February 22, 2014

Soaping with Madder


I know that any color added to soap can morph into a surprise, but there is an added element of unknown when using botanicals to color my soap.  Some people jump out of planes or ski off mountains, but this is how I live on the edge these days.  Hmm.  If I weren't having so much fun, I'd be embarrassed.

I recently had my first go with madder.  So....whatsa madder?  It's a root--the root of the madder. Ahem. (I love puns...)

I infused 8 oz. of olive oil with 2 t. madder root powder for almost a week.  This amount worked out to be 20% of the oils in my batch.


I wanted something in the way of embeds to add visual interest.   I dearly love my soap balls but I don't want to over do a good thing.  I've recently done square-shaped embeds, so this time I cut a bar of white soap into slices.

I panicked a little that it wouldn't get dark enough--it was kind of a dusty peach--so I added 1/4 t. dried powder right before pouring. Madder powder can get a little scratchy, I've read, so I reined myself in from adding more.
Adding the infused oil












Right after pouring



















I legitimately had to get up early the next morning, but yes, after grumbling my way out of the bedroom, I was slicing into this batch at 4:15 in the morning.  Gelling had a dramatic effect on the color.  The dark rose was just what I wanted and made the little slices of white really pop.  Besides the plus of being a successful natural color, it's a shade that I have never achieved with another colorant.

Speckles of madder
And the scent?  Bramble Berry's Crisp Apple Rose and in my mind, madder provided the color that is this fragrance visualized.  Perfect.

21 comments:

  1. I love using madder in my soap. I mostly use infused oil, but I have used the powder a few times. I love the colors that I get with natural colorants!!!! They are always impressive unless I don't add enough. Another fun one is alkanet, although you can also get impressive results from several spices also. Although I will admit I don't usually use such a high percentage of my oils.

    cabinofbows.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Lois! I really love experimenting with natural colorants but I, too, have gotten less than stellar results when I don't use enough. (I'm very familiar with the bland gray of too-little alkanet!) Turmeric is one of my favorites.

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  2. Congratulations! You really obtain such perfect color and the way you added embeds into soap is really special!

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    1. Thanks so much! I didn't expect such a perfect shade of rose on my first try with madder.

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  3. Wowzer! What a gorgeous colour, and the embeds are a perfect contrast. If I could make a soap like this, it would definitely be a 'keeper'. Brilliant....congratulations.
    Oh, and please keep the puns coming.....it's always good to laugh.

    (sorry about posting anonymously - I need one of the kids to show me how to attach my name!)

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    1. Glad the puns made you smile--they entertained me, too. And thanks for the compliment; it's definitely a keeper for me!

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  4. Wow,wow,wow, this is awesome! The best redish (that's how it looks on my screen) is the best natural colour I've ever seen!
    This is beyond words,it's really difficult to get this colour with anything! I've seen others using madder root, but neither of those soaps was that red.
    Good job,Amy!

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  5. Thanks Maja! After seeing that light peach color at pour, I thought the batch was doomed to be pretty lackluster. I was SO happily surprised the next morning.

    Of course it's inevitable that the colors will vary from "real life" to the digital pic, but I tried to get the truest color of the soap when I edited the picture. Madder is my new favorite color!

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  6. I never say wowzer but this time I will say WOWZER! The color is simply gorgeous, and the design and fragrance complete this perfect soap. :-)

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    1. Wowser on your kind words, Silvia! :D I peeked at the bars this morning and the color has changed a bit so that there is a more purple/mauve color to them now. While different from the initial pictures, it's still very, very lovely, in my little ol' opinion...

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  7. Wow! This is such a cool color! I love how it turned out and I'm inspired to head off to make a batch of soap with madder root powder. Thanks for sharing the lovely soap!

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    1. Thanks and you're welcome, Andee! You should give it a try!

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    2. I've made a few madder root soaps before and the color is always lovely. I've got another batch planned for this weekend with a madder and cocoa swirl. I'm excited for it!

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    3. Rose and brown would be gorgeous! Will you post a picture??

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    4. Absolutely! I'll put it up on our Facebook Page this weekend. https://www.facebook.com/thesage

      P.S. I can't spell!

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  8. The madder root ended up being a gorgeous color! I love those embeds and the beautifully swirly textured tops, too. The look of the soap goes perfectly with the scent.

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    1. Thank you, Jenny. It's exactly the color of apple/rose to me, too. I think I'll be stuck on this combo for a long time. :)

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  9. Pretty pretty pretty! Makes me want to give the, uh, root of the madder a try!

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    1. Hee hee! I do hope that you try it and blog about your results. I'd like to see all the variations.

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  10. Amazing how the colour changed to that gorgeous rose colour.It's so gorgeous in contrast to the white embeds, beautifully done Amy. I can almost smell it through the screen I think.

    You are hilarious, hope you keep the funnies coming. :)

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  11. I enjoy that colorant too and your soap turned out great =) The difference between the gelled and non-gelled soap is extraordinary! =)

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