Soaps with Swirls, Twirls and Whirls

Have you seen the beautiful cold processed soaps that soapers are creating?


In various places on the internet, you’ll see beautiful multi-color swirls, swirl designs with their own names, peaked tops, cupcake soaps, and soaps that look like cake–and that’s just the beginning, swirls, twirls and whirls abound.  I am impressed daily by what my fellow soapmakers are capable of, most of them better than what I am able to do.  I feel that I make a good quality soap, but not one as gorgeous and imaginative as what I see from some of my colleagues.  It’s truly enjoyable to gaze in wonder and delight at their creations.


It makes me wonder, however, is a plain jane bar of soap acceptable anymore?  Will a bar of one color, no swirls, no peaks and  no design be received with as much joy as the bar that bowls you over with its intricacy?  Might the soaper who makes that plain bar be seen as a lesser soapmaker than her fancier counterpart?  I wonder if the bar has been raised or is in the process thereof (yes, pun intended) to require a soap not only to be well made, but gorgeous, too.


So far, the soapmakers I’ve seen have been very supportive of each other’s work and it makes me pleased to be in the company of such individuals.  I have seen men and women who cheer each other on and who freely pass along hints and favorite suppliers.  I hope that continues and that it is widespread, not just where I hang out.  I do wonder, however, where soapmaking is taking us as an industry and whether this will separate the novice from the professional and whether the customer will eventually demand artistic soap.


What is your opinion on the matter?  What do you make?


Until next time, may your days be filled with bubbles and wax.


Beth Byrne



7 Responses to “Soaps with Swirls, Twirls and Whirls”
  1. Robbin says:

    I think, as in other arenas, there will be people who demand the fancy and people who prefer the simple. Just as different oils and processes yield soaps with different qualities and properties, colors and scents expand the offerings and may bring more people into the world of “handmade” soaps.

    Although I play with (mostly natural) colors and swirls in my soaps sometimes, my preference (for making and for use) is a hot processed, single color rectangular bar that fits well in my hand. I’ve given people pretty or fancy soaps that I’ve made. When I visit their homes, I’ll see the pretty bar placed as a decorative item, rather than being used for its intended purpose. (or maybe they’re just aging it ;-)

  2. Dawn Jones says:

    I always put color and fragrance in my soap. Even when I started in the 80’s I still put color and fragrance in my soap, but it was subtle. Now I prefer to swirl my soap color, add soap shreds or some kind of botanical, and put glitter on the top. I don’t think I could ever go back to plain. As far as the people who purchase my soap, I think they purchase it due to the extra designs and glitter. If I make more of a plain soap, I don’t think I would be able to sell any soap.

  3. I love to swirl, I have also added curls when it wasn’t fashionable, add scent to all of my soaps. I do not go overboard, since I want my customers to purchase to use, and not kept as decoration. I want them to love the scent, and eye candy, but mostly I want them to love how it feels in the shower. I think there is room for all soaps, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and many want plain and rustic, and many want fancy. I have made custom soaps for special occasions such as my tie soap, but they actually used them, it is all good.

  4. Marilyn says:

    I believe the consumer has been so brainwashed into all the commercial products out there, the people need to realize that a handcrafted bar of soap, whether it has swirls or not, is so much better for your skin, and we know you can feel the difference just buy using one.

    I will not mention any names here, I found a box of unopened soap (commercial) in my vanity, and when I opened it up I thought how did I use this detergent soap for as long as I have, not to mention the overpowering aroma it had,

    I have seen other advertisements on you tube making fun of the handcrafted soapers (same company that makes that detergent soap)

    Even just adding some herbs into your soap, gives it such a nice look

  5. Robyn says:

    I am inspired to soap by colour, more than by anything else. Planning the swirls, layers, etc inspires my passion for this craft. Plain, or naked soap bores me. It has nothing to do with what sells, for me, I soap what I want to soap. Interestingly enough, I have only gotten oo’s and aw’s as responses to my soap so I don’t feel like I’m missing anything.

  6. Sue D. says:

    I love making soap and all the creativity that goes into it, whether it is a fancy schmancy batch with lots of swirls or an old time favorite like oatmeal, milk and honey. To me it’s all about creating with your own two hands, watching the process of oils, butters and lye water coming together to make something as useful, blissful and more natural than store bought SOAP! It seems as if I get just as many rave reviews with the fancy soaps as I do the more earthly soaps…it’s all good!!

  7. Trish H says:

    I love handmade soaps. I agree with Sue, as long as its a great bar of soap people love it. I *think* that if a person is buying a bar for someone who has never used handmade soap, they go for the fancy ones, but once someone is hooked they are hooked :)

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