The reason why people ask that question is the old traditional fat/oils used in soap making were lard and tallow. While those soaps produced lather, they were hard earned. You really have to work the soap pretty thoroughly to build up any sort of bubbles that could be considered lather.
However, today's soapmaker selects oils (and/or fats) to bring various benefits to the bar. Including oils that will increase lathering. For instance, Feeding the Habit soaps contains the following base oils: olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, shea butter and castor oil. And I do add a few other ingredients for extra added fabulous-ness! (The aforementioned fabulous-ness will be another post someday.)
Let's talk about each oil and why I decided to add it to my recipe.
Olive oil is a soaping staple. It makes an exceptionally mild bar with great cleansing properties But use too much and the bar might get slimy feeling. Ew.
Coconut oil brings big fluffy, super-cleansing bubbles to the party. Whoo-hoo!!!...The party gal at the soaping dance!
Palm oil is used to create a hard bar with rich lather. It also helps to stabilize the lather.
Shea butter is awesome for moisturizing properties and adding silkiness to bar. And let's not forget all the natural Vitamin E that it contains. Could that be luxury in bar form? Indeed, it is. Mmmmm...!
Castor oil. Yup...good old fashion castor oil. The same oil used to ...er....regulate...um....certain *ahem* digestive issues... ifyouknowwhatImean? But here's the thing: You don't have to drink it. You just have to wash with it. Castor oil suspends the rich lather and bring a little extra creaminess to it.
What you'll find with a hand crafted soap is a creamy and dense lather rather than big, loose fluffy bubbles. Nowadays we tend to think that copious amounts of bubbles equals clean. That's not really true. Bubbles don't equal clean.
What equals clean is soap, water and dirt getting along like one big happy family who's gonna go for a swim down the drain. The short and sweet way to look at it is like this: Imagine a length chain. At one of it is the part that attracts and binds dirt, oils and proteins...but that end of the chain HATES water. But the other end of that linked chain....LOVES water. And the soap is the middle holding hands with each side trying to get them to live in peace and harmony. Soap grabs onto dirt, oils and proteins and water and together that is what equals clean.
But here's the thing with soap....you gotta give it some time to get those two ends of the single molecule chain to get along. That's why you're told to sing Happy Birthday to yourself while you wash your hands. Gotta have enough time for the soap to negotiate peace with each end of the chain.
So to wrap it all up: Will homemade soap create lather? You bet your sweet bippy it will. And that lather will be more luxurious and lovely than you can imagine. Why? Because I choose to make it that way. For you.
Stay tuned to Feeding the Habit for some new soaps to be added to the website soon: Coming up is the much anticipated Happy Birthday soap and a few Limited Edition Christmas soaps. You'll see the return of well loved Hippie Christmas along with two new additions: Cranberry Fig and Christmas Coal!
In the meantime....
Stay sudsy my friends! .O.0*O00. (<---the best I can do to make bubbles out of text!)