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Felted soap is simply soap wrapped in wool that has been matted together. It’s a gentle exfoliator, yet as soft as a flannel. The wool has antimicrobial properties and every member of the family can keep to their own design, so it’s hygienic by encouraging individual only use. It’s a great project for children, too, with the added benefit of involving hot soapy water!
Updates and useful external links will be added. Send me pictures of your soaps, too.
How to make felted soaps at home
Felting soap is a simple project that uses up scraps of merino wool and soap. Cut the soap into shapes. Add essential oils for fragrance. Place the scented felt soaps in your wardrobes and clothes drawers. They make a great gift.
I’m going to show you a very basic wet method. Remember, not all bars will be perfect.
You will need:
Bar of hand soap (I prefer to slice up a big bar).
Wool roving (alpaca or merino work best, but any will do).
I can supply packs of wool. £10 for 10 colours (including postage) ample to felt and decorate 10 bars of soap. Choose your colours from pictures below.
Separate your roving wool into strips of your chosen colours.
Some netting (I use onion netting) or a pop sock or cut up tights.
Large bowl of hot water.
Drop of washing up liquid.
Essential oils like lavender, bergamot rose, geranium, mint to add to your wet felted soaps.
Towels to put under the bowl
What to do
- First, tightly wrap some wool around your bar of soap. Be careful to evenly cover all around the soap, and keep it tight as you wrap. The entire bar needs to be covered with at least 2-3 layers. Wrap it tightly. Wrap first in a horizontal direction and then in a vertical direction. Your third layer is where you can decorate and embellish by adding stripes and spots of coloured wool. Have fun and be creative! You can also needle felt some designs into the wool afterwards.
Snip off the foot end of the nylon and put the soap inside the nylon and tie the end you cut off.
Once your soap is covered in the wool and netting, gently place the bar of soap in the hot water so it’s thoroughly wetted.
Massage the nylon covered, felt covered soap with warm water for 10-15 minutes until the felt has shrunk around the soap. Basically, you are going to wash your hands with the nylon felt soap for probably 10 minutes.
Make sure you massage the corners and sides of the soap. The water should be as warm as you can take it without it being too hot to keep your hands under it. I like the felted soap, but it’s not worth scalded skin, so not too hot.
After about 10-15 minutes of rubbing and dipping you will notice that the wool is tight and able to stick to the soap on its own. At this point, take the soap to the sink, and run it under cold water.
Remove the soap from the netting and check to make sure the wool is sticking. You can do this by rubbing your finger across any extra pieces. If they are stuck together, forming one piece, you are finished. If you are able to tear any pieces off, you need to keep felting. Either way, dip your soap back into the hot water and rub for a few more minutes.
Squeeze the soap to make sure the wool is very tight around the soap. You can go back and forth from a cold water rinse to the hot water with agitation (keep the netting on unless you are checking to see if it’s finished).
Remove the felted soap from the nylon and blot off any excess suds.
Then, rinse the felted soap with cold water before placing on a towel to dry. It might take a few days to dry. Putting the soap in direct sunlight will speed up this process.
I left mine on an old towel over night to let it dry out completely.
Add decorations and designs
To use your felted soap:
Just use it as you would any soap-filled face cloth. Soak the felted soap with water and rub the wool directly on your skin. This is a great way for children to bathe themselves!
Place the soap in a soap saver dish to dry between uses.
Just like any other soap, you need to keep your felted soap as dry as possible between uses. This will make it last longer.
The felted wool will shrink as your bar shrinks.
When the soap is gone you can cut a slit in the wool and add a new bar of soap, or just use the felted wool as a washcloth.
Be very gentle with your bar at the beginning of the felting. You want it all to shrink at the same time so that you don’t get lumps
If you do get lumps, it’s ok. 🙂
The less wool you use on your bar of soap, the more it will lather in the bath or shower.
The more wool you use on your bar of soap, the longer your soap will last.
Choose your wools for £10
Select a bag of 10 different colours of merino rovings for £10, including postage.
Enough wool to felt about 10 soaps.
Blues, reds, pinks, greens, purples and yellow merino rovings.
Text: 07837 436395
Thanks for reading.
Check my blog for regular updates on how to do fun felting projects while you’re stuck at home.
I can post the resources to you.
This is a very simple and clear video made by two sisters. https://youtu.be/yiih_OK44zQ
Link to video on Adding Needle Felting Decoration to Your Soaps.