Why put wool fiber on bars of soap, you ask? Great question! Because it makes a wonderful scrubby. You can exfoliate and wash your skin at the same time.
Not only is this a fun activity for you but it’s a great craft for kids, too. So, let me show you how to make felted soap. This big kit includes enough wool to make 12-15 bars. Just add your favorite soap!
In This Tutorial:
- What is Felted Soap?
- Soap Felting Supplies
- How Do You Make Felted Soap?
- Prepare the Wool Roving
- Soap with Needle Felted Designs
- How Do You Use Felted Wool Soap?
What is Hand Felted Soap?
Felt Soap is literally soap that is enclosed in felted wool. Basically, the wool is placed on a bar of soap and as you work it with water, the fibers felt together.
As you use the soap, the bar shrinks and the felt shrinks with it.
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Soap Felting Supplies:
- Wool Roving (s.a. Sheep or Alpaca)
- Bar Soap or Olive Oil Soap (for Gifts!)
- Nylon Hose (Knee Highs work well)
How Do You Make Felted Soap?
Soap felting can get a little messy since you will be using water. So, before you begin, think about where you will be doing this. You can work the soap over a sink or a large bowl or cover your table with a plastic tablecloth.
Prepare The Wool Roving
The first thing we have to do is prepare the wool roving. All this means is that we will thin it out.
Simply, take your roving and with your hands, spread it out just enough so you start to see through it. Not too thin, you don’t want gaps in your fiber or the soap will show.
Take a length of wool and wrap the it around the soap, tucking in the ends. Check for any holes in the fiber and add more as needed.
You can use one color of wool or many. You can make stripes or solids … whatever you like.
Felting The Soap
Now, carefully place your soap inside one of the nylon knee highs. Do this by holding the covered soap in one hand and stretching the nylon over it. You need to be careful not to pull the wool off the soap. Secure it with a loose knot.
Then, either over your sink or bowl, add some water and using your hands, gently begin working the water in. Do this all over the soap until the entire surface is thoroughly wet.
Work the wool for several minutes and then carefully pull back the nylon and check for spots where the soap is showing and add more fiber, if needed.
Place the soap back in the nylon and keep working the fiber. Make sure to work all surfaces and the corners.
Remove the soap from the nylon every couple of minutes to check the felting process and to make sure the nylon does not get felted into the wool.
When you can no longer pull apart the individual wool fibers, you can continue working the wool without the nylon.
Keep working the wool until it has shrunk and tightened around the soap. If it seems that your wool doesn’t want to felt, try ‘shocking’ it by alternating hot and cold water while you are working it.
Finally, just rinse off the suds and set your soap out to dry. This may take a day or two. Rotate your soap so the felt can dry on all sides.
Soap with Needle Felt Design
With this soap, I first needle felted a star shape (see how in this tutorial), then I lightly felted the white wool onto the soap. Finally, I added the star on top of the white and finished felting it.
How Do You Use Felted Wool Soap?
As I said before, these soaps are great scrubbies. They are wonderful for anybody who gets their hands dirty such as gardeners.
Also, felted soap works great for exfoliating your skin. In that case, you will want to use a higher quality soap such as scented lavender or olive oil soap.
And don’t forget … these felted soaps are a great DIY Gift idea!!
Related Wool Felting Articles
What is Felting? A Complete Beginner’s Guide
How to Needle Felt (for Beginners)
Part 1 – Basic Felting
Part 2 – How to Felt Wool – Cobweb Felting
Part 3 – Nuno Felting
Part 5 – Resist Felting
Wet Felt: Adding Color & Texture the Easy Way
How to: Lattice Felting
Wet Felted Easter Eggs
How to Make Felted Dryer Balls
DIY Wool Dryer Balls with Needle Felt Designs