Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The case against and for olive oil soap and Fairy washing up liquid.

I have been having a break for the last few days, I cycled in preparation for my visit to Clonakilty. I am going to be teaching but also exchanging some feltmaking tips there.

But throughout those days I have been thinking here and there about the uses of good old olive oil soap versus all available Fairy washing up liquid.


 First the price:
- Fairy costs 1.18 eu in local shop whilst a bar of Oliva is 1.50 (it is way smaller than the one pictured wchich is 600g).
- I need a one 125 g bar of soap for a day of intensive feltmaking. A Fairy bottle would last for over a month.

There is a general question of ecology when using lubricants in feltmaking, so probably the best idea is to use Ecover, the so callled ecological washing up liquid. However just like olive oil soap it washes out very quickly (What I mean is that it is soaked up by wool pretty quickly and needs frequent top ups of the solution).

So if anybody is practicing something more ecological i would welcome any suggestions!

The case of lathering:
- oliva is gentle for hands and lathers well but this is very quickly soaked up by the wool (loads of top ups)
- ecover lathers less well and requires frequent top ups (it is difficult to wash the residue from the product)
- fairy lathers too well but does not require too many top ups, hence it is easier to wash the residue from the final products.

The question of the amount of lather:
- if there is too much lather,
when felting with ecover it results in less felted spongy surface of felt
when felting with olive oil soap the product shrinks far less than it would normally, and felts a bit slowly
with fairy it is very difficult to felt with overdosed solution.

Summary,
although I would like to use more ecological solution, Fairy is the most cost effective liquid to be used in my opinion.

Any other suggestions welcome!

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