The Circling Taiwan Swirl is a twist on the classic Taiwan Swirl. The design involves swirling soap down the length of the mold and then swirling around the edge of the mold. That pulls the soap in a circular motion and creates a beautiful and delicate look. See the technique in action in the How to Create a Circling Taiwan Swirl video.
The Circling Taiwan Swirl is an advanced technique because it requires a good understanding of trace. It’s best to use a slow-moving recipe with plenty of liquid oils and a fragrance that doesn’t accelerate. New Cucumber Garden Fragrance Oil behaves wonderfully, and it’s perfect for the green color palette.
This recipe uses aloe vera liquid in place of distilled water. When lye is added to room temperature aloe vera liquid, it turns a light amber color and has a slight smell. This is completely normal. The lye scorches components of the liquid, causing it to change color. We found that didn’t have a huge effect on the colors in the soap. Feel free to use distilled water for this recipe if you prefer.
The first time we made this batch, we made the classic mistake of over stick blending the soap. It got too thick and didn’t have a fluid texture. Below, you can see our first batch on the right and our second batch on the left.
Trace makes a huge difference when it comes to the Circling Taiwan Swirl. Medium trace soap was used on the right, while the soap on the left was made with thinner soap.
If the soap is too thick, the swirling tool won’t pull the soap in different directions and the swirl looks more bulky. It’s still a very pretty soap, but it looks completely different. If you’re debating whether to to stick blend more, walk away from the blender!
We bevelled these bars to give them a polished look.