The application of braiding soap helps to make a tight whip, chinstrap or lanyard. Meagan, our resident whipmaker, has a few suggestions:
Coat the entire length of all the strands with braiding soap prior to braiding. Saturate the strands, particularly near the top, on heavy work. You do not need to wait any time at all to begin braiding, though if you do it won’t hurt. Occasionally if a skin is on the dry side it will seem to drink up the soap and may benefit from a resoaping. This would especially be true if you leave it for a long time between braiding. Usually this is not necessary. It also is not necessary to resoap before rolling. The braiding soap just allows the strands to pull in more tightly when braided, which in turn makes for a smoother, rounder surface after rolling. It does not help in the rolling.
Meagan also recommends that when applying soap to each strand, it is more effective to pull the strand through the soap-filled hand rather than sliding your hand along the strand. This also allows you to hold your thumb on the top part of the strand to control the amount of soap that is applied.
And remember to lay the strands in order before soaping. You don’t want your soapy hands to have to untangle anything!
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