Embeds. What are they and how are they used in soap?

If you start hanging around the soaping world long enough you’ll hear the word embed thrown around every so often.

An embed is basically a soap made from a certain mould, for use in another soap.

Soap embeds can come from melt and pour or cold process soap batters. Where you would use an embed in a soap is if you wanted to insert a shape, column, or special feature on or in your soap to achieve a certain effect.

And because the embed is made from soap, the entire bar is safe for use! Often you’ll see those 5 minute hack videos on Youtube making embed soaps using toy cars or rubber ducks, and as these item are actual plastic, it defeats the purpose of having an entirely usable soap (and is also not safe for kidlets due to the size of the pieces!)

Liz, from 8 Acres uses star shaped moulds when making her Black Magic soap. Because the soap batter is black from the activated charcoal, she creates a white and yellow soap base and lets it set in a star shaped mould. The end result is a cold process soap with a ‘night time’ theme that looks wonderful and creative.

And when it comes to moulding a soap for embed, you can do it in many ways. I believe there are some companies who offer bulk small embeds for sale, such as small stars, or flowers, and these would often be added to the tops of a soap as a decorative feature. But you can really make a mould out of anything. Longer column shaped moulds would be better used if you want to achieve a consistent pattern or shape throughout your loaf of soap, whereas individual mould shapes where you would have hearts or stars may be better suited for top decoration.

The fun part of using embeds comes from being able to use up excess batter, or to reuse ends from soap loaves that are odd sizes. I’ve also heard of some soap makers chopping up loaves they weren’t entirely pleased with and using them as embeds in other batters.

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