Secret Feather Swirl using Dividers

032017_20946wpI finally finished the video for my other secret feather swirl soap. I made this soap for the Great Cakes Soap Challenge a couple of months ago. Unlike the feather swirl soaps I’ve made in the past with a more diagonal, wispy look, this time I used dividers. If you’d like to see more details and watch my video, just keep reading.  :) 

When making secret feather swirl soaps in the past, I always attempted diagonal and more wispy looking swirls. That method can be extremely disappointing when failing to drag the swirl tool (aka gear tie) through the colored soap. I’ve made some batches where I missed the colored soap entirely and ended up with nothing even close to a feather. Just some sad little wavy lines. Using the divider method and going straight down through the soap was nice for a change. And mostly anxiety free. LOL :)

This is the same recipe I used for my other feather swirl soap.

Olive Oil – 40%
Coconut Oil – 25%
Organic Sustainable Palm Oil – 20%
Avocado Oil – 6%
Sunflower Oil – High Oleic – 5%
Castor Oil – 4%

For a palm free version of this soap, I replace the palm oil with 15% shea butter and 5% cocoa butter. I’ve used both, and the palm free version works really well.

Superfat – 6%

Lye solution – 33% (water = 2 x lye)

Activated Charcoal – 1 teaspoon dispersed in 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil.  I then used about 1 teaspoon of this mixture per cup of soap (just enough until the soap turned the dark color I wanted).

Essential Oil Blend – I keep using this blend. I am obsessed with how it smells after the soap cures. It just gets better with age.

Lavender – 2 parts
Bergamot – 1 part (New Directions Aromatics BP Free is my favorite for this blend)
Patchouli – 0.5 parts

Kaolin Clay – 2 teaspoons per 500g oils


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6 thoughts on “Secret Feather Swirl using Dividers

  1. I am a cold process, all natural soapmaker, by that I mean, no clays, no micas, no fragrances. Only color with plants and essential oils only. Nothing synthetic for me! So when I found you I was excited. I have tried your techniques with some success and look forward to doing this feather swirl with the two dividers. I truly enjoy your “youtube” videos and have watched them over and over again. Thank you. Irene in California


  2. Hi, loved your video. I wondered though how you break down your Essential Oils (2 parts, 1 part, and 0.5) Sorry to have to ask, I’m sure it’s a really dumb question. Never been good at numbers.


    • Not a dumb question at all, Kathy! I’m terrible at explaining things, but I’ll try. After I calculate how much total essential oil I want to add to a recipe (depending on the usage rates, etc), I use the parts (or percentages) to figure out how much of each. So say I have a soap recipe that calls for 1000 grams of total oils, and that I want to add 3% fragrance (essential oil) to the soap. That means I need 30 grams essential oil total. In this particular blend above, I have a total of 3.5 parts (2 + 1 + 0.5). You convert each EO part to a percentage first (part divided by total parts), then multiply that percentage by the total EO needed. Lavender = 2 divided by 3.5 * 30 grams = 17 grams. Bergamot = 1 divided by 3.5 * 30 grams = 9 grams. Patchouli = 0.5 divided by 3.5 * 30 grams = 4 grams. Hope this helps. :)


  3. Hi Holly,

    You are so wonderful to share as much as you do. I tried your above recipe both ways; with and without palm oil. I am trying not to use palm oil, however, the recipe without palm just accelerated like mad. All else was the same. . .colorants, fragrance (it was a fragrance known to behave), same soaping temps, water discount. The only thing different is I added a bit of coconut milk to the recipe without palm. Do you have any thoughts?


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