Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Soap Factory Over Seas

My friend Paula is visiting Syria right now and she is chronicling her vacation on her blog with post and pictures. To my surprise just the other day she posted that she stopped by and visited a soap factory! How neat! I included 2 of her pictures here and a little bit of her post.

The soap cave! Look at all the curing bars of soap!

So, I'm thinking that these barrels maybe hold the oils for the soaps?
This is what she said:

"Handmade olive oil soap is one of the locally made products that Syria is famous for. Actually, you might not realize but outside the cities there are many Olive orchards…. It was interesting to see this “factory” as by no means is it what you would think when you say factory back home. The soap making is done in the winter, cured during the spring/summer and sold in market during the fall. When we were there, the factory was in the curing phase, so I didn’t get to see it fully operational. What I found intriguing was that they lay paper on the floor that has been divided by metal railings/guides. They pump the liquid soap up to the second floor and spread the liquid into the divided sections. Once hard enough they cut the soap BY HAND and stack BY HAND. Now I think you can get an idea from my pictures how much soap is there. That is a lot of manual labor to do that. The soap is cured to different levels".

Wow! How cool that she saw such a massive production of soap. I make only 8 pounds at a time, each batch yielding 28 bars of soap. My technique is similar to theirs, as I pour the liquid soap into molds, once "hard" I cut the soap by hand and stack it by hand to cure. I will have to ask her how much a bar of soap cost, if they have different fragrances and is it a locally embraced product (do they use it) or is it all for export.

Thanks Paula! Cool stuff!


T.A. Helton said...

That is awesome! Thanks for posting both those pics and what they do. I would love to tour that place. And get my hands on a bar of that soap.

sproutsandsweetpeas said...

Wow, that's a lot of soap! It would be interesting to know the scents. If there are cultural and regional differences, as with food.
All I want to know is when are you gonna build your own soap cave?

Casco Bay Soap Co. said...

Yes, very cool to see such a large soap production and in another country.

A soap cave! Maybe someday soon! LOL!

Thanks for commenting.


PBog said...

Hi Shannon!!!! They add laurel oil to the soap at well as fragrances. Musk and such. The smells were a little strong for me as I am sensitive to perfumes due to my sinuses and and asthma. I was going to pick up a few bars, but after I smelled the soap the scents were just too strong. A "gift pack" on average ran about 500SYP which is about $10. There were many vendors in the souq and they do barter the prices. They also put their factory stamp on each piece of soap (by hand) while in the curing process.

I am happy you found my visit so interesting!!!