Sunday, 5 March 2017

Making Soap.

1760-70 Nicolo Cavalli (Italian artist, 1730-1832) La Lavandaja.

Receipt for Soapmaking.
“SOAP is distinguished into such as are hard, which those of India Venice Marseilles Costile Naples and London are, and soft soap such as are thecommon soap so called and black soap. Now the Indian sort is made of a Lixivium or Lye of Pot ashes so strong an Egg may swim thereon of the Soapboilers take 20 pounds and 2 of Goat or Sheep's Fat or Tallow all together for an hour or so long it come to a due Consistency then the strain it whilehot thro a Linen Clot into a broad earthen or pewter Vessel and being cold cut it out in form Bricks &c. For the white hard soap Naples they boil to aConsistency pounds of the same Lixivium and of Deer's Suet then form it into Bricks and dry them the other hard soap made in the same manneronly differ in the proportion of the and time of boiling As for the common soap aforesaid tis made thus take Oak or Beech ashes or rather Pot ashes 3parts Quick one moisten the Pot ashes a little mix the Quick lime with them upon Layer or rather cover the over with them which leave long in alarge vat till the Lime falls and they mix together to make a noise Afterwards put more Water that the Mass may become moister, then with aquantity of boiling Water more the fiery Lixivious Lye commonly by the Workmen the Magistral of Capital so which is so strong that an Egg wils swimtherein This is to be drawn off and of the same Mixture make another Lye not quite so strong with boiling Water with that mix our Oil Lard Fat or Tallow which j over a soft Fire till they grow white that done add of the Capital Lye in triple proportion to the Oil Lard Fat or Tallow and continueboiling till they are coagulated and all compacted into one Body Then make trial of it by the Tongue if the Taste be sweet you must add more of theCapital Lye if biting it is to be boiled till it has swallowed up the Oil but if more than ordinary unpent more Oil should be put in leisurely and withdiscretion lastly boil it till it to roap and run clear or transparent from the Ladle and continue the boiling for the space of 3 hours As for that knownby the name perfumed Soap take white Venetian Soap 1 pound impalpable Powder Orrice root 4 ounces 3 ounces of white Starch in powder Magisteryor the Marchasite and Spermaceti of each I ounce Salt of Tartar an ounce and an half let these be all mixed together by beating them well in a StoneMortar with a wooden Pestle adding Rose water impregnated with Musk a sufficient quantity and at the end Oil of Rhodium Oil of sweet Marjorameach an ounce and an half Musk and Civet of each 2 scruples mingle and make up the whole into Balls Lastly for black Soap tis made with strong Lyeas aforesaid and Whale Fish Oil commonly called Train Oil and tis brought to a due consistency by convenient boiling.”

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