Little did I know when I visited my daughter in Beirut that we'd have the chance to tour an ancient soap factory that has been restored into a wonderful museum. What a treat to be able to wander through a building that had been used for centuries to make bar after bar of SOAP!
At the soap museum in Saida (Sidon), Lebanon, we watched a video of the history of soap and how it came to be. There is no one definitive proof of who invented soap or how long humans have been using it. Archaeology and ancient texts have been written of various cultures making and using soap from as far back as 2200 BC...wow, that's a lot of bubbles! Soap was used for cleansing and also for medicinal reasons.
Even though the different cultures had their own recipes for soap, they all used either fat from animals or plants and some type of alkali obtained from ashes. Much like today, these recipes were passed on from one soap-maker to the next, perfected, and closely guarded. Even though everyone knows soap is a mixture of oils/fats and an alkali, it is the actual percentages and various additives - such as butters, fragrances, and natural colorants - that allow soap-makers to stand out from others.
If you ever get to Lebanon, make sure you take a day trip down to Saida. It has this wonderful museum, an incredible open souk (street market), delicious food, and an ancient castle right on the coast. We had a blast!
Welcome to Melissa's tailored tidbits!
If I'm not in the kitchen cooking up new items for my shop, I'm sewing fabric baskets or cozy rag quilts, taking care of our honeybees and Ms. Kitty, pitching in on the latest project at my son's, or planning a trip somewhere with my daughter. Here, I'll share some adventures from around the world, fun recipes, and just overall a "day in the life" at Tailored Touches... Life is good!
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