Need a gift idea for that friend or relative that has everything? How about a soft and woolly felted soap? Felted soaps take less than 30 minutes from start to finish and can be made to look any way you’d like. The finished product can even be further embellished with some fancy needle-felting which I will cover in another post.
Why felted soap?
*A felted soap is a soap and washcloth all in one.
*Felted soaps are much less likely to slide out of your hand in the shower, so are great for older people or children who have a hard time gripping a slippery soap.
*Wool is naturally antimicrobial
.*Felted soaps will last MUCH longer than non-felted soaps.
*After the soap is all used up, you’ll be left with a little wool pouch that can be refilled with soap scraps, or used as a scubby for your bathroom.
Any soap can be felted. I use my own handmade soap, but any soap will work. For the wool, I use roving, but bats can also be used. I have never been able to find any kind of roving or wool bats locally, but it’s easy to order online from supply houses such as The Woolery.
The first thing you do is break off a length of roving. I usually use about 18 inches, or 4 to 5 soap-lengths worth, depending on the thickness of the roving.
You’ll then pull that piece of roving in half, and take one piece, and spread it out to width of your soap, like this.
You will slide your bar to the end of the roving closest to you, and roll the soap up into the roving tightly.
After you’ve got the roving rolled over your soap the long-way, you’ll turn your soap and wrap it the other way.
You can add in different colors if you’d like. Here you can see I added some white for my final layer.
Once you’ve got it wrapped all over, insert the soap carefully into a piece of panty hose. I usually cut a knee-high in half and tie a knot in the open end, making two pieces to wrap soaps in and that seems to be just the right size.
Once you’ve got your soap wrapped up like this, you will put on a pair of plastic gloves to protect your hands from hot water, and then carefully dip the soap in the water. I use a kettle with the heat set on low-med.
Once the soap is dipped and thoroughly wet, take it to the sink (or you can do it over the kettle if you’d like to) and carefully squeeze the water out of it. You’ll feel the wool starting to shrink around the soap when you do this. Once you’ve gotten most of the water out, then use your hands to rub the soap. The friction of the rubbing, along with the soap, will cause the barbs on the wool to begin to mat together, creating the felting. This is what is known as wet-felting and can be used to make many different and beautiful items.
Once the wool feels fairly tight around the soap, roll the soap up in towels and squeeze until you get all of the water out that you can, then carefully peel off the panty hose from around it. Some of the wool fibers will stick to the hose, but as long as you are careful, it won’t matter.
Here are some of the soaps I did today. I make these to order and each one of these is different, so I pin a little tag to it until it’s dry and I can get a label on it.
Felting soaps is easy, but if you are pressed for time, or would prefer to order them already felted, you can purchase a custom batch just for you from our Etsy shop.
Have found an easier way to felt soaps? (LOL, I am ALWAYS looking for ways to make it easier, and most of all, FASTER! If so, please comment below, and happy felting!