The trick to great photography is diffused light. So shining the light through the nylon fabric will soften the direct and remove any glare.
I use it on my stove top for several reasons. One is that I can use the light from the range hood for sufficient top lighting. Another reason is that the stove has two plug ins nearby for the external lights and lastly it's at a decent height for me to work from.
Not to mention that it seems that I don't cook as often as I used to so the stove is generally clean. =o/
The white background is simply a piece of freezer paper, shiny side down. I could change it up with other papers if I wanted to. However, I think the white showcases the products much better. Afterall, I'm photographing the soap. Not the background.
Hopefully I'm SELLING the soap because of the photography.
But I don't only photograph the soaps, I use it for my glassy stuffs too. If you've ever tried photographing glass you'll know that the glare of the light will kill any chance of getting a decent shot. That diffused light will bring out the glorious colors and patterns.
So you don't have to wonder any more....Now you know how it's done.