Idlib: Makers of Soap

Date: c. 1840

Sir John Bowring (d. 1872) notes that when the olive crop produced an abundance of oil, a large amount clear soap would be produced in Idlib. Most of the finished soaps were exported from Latakia or to Tarsus and Adana. Other materials needed in soap production include soda, or barilla. The master soap-boilers were the proprietors of the manufacturing of soap; they supplied the barilla or soda, workmen, wood, and labourers. See also: Soap-Boilers.

Citation: Bowring, John. Report on the Commercial Statistics of Syria (London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1840. Reprinted: New York: Arno Press, 1973), p. 19.