Felted soaps are pretty new on the scene in soap making. Soap makers search for new ways to deliver the humble bar of soap. We search out novel ways for the user to get clean. Felted soap is a novel way to serve soap. It is a spin off of a cross between a soap scrubbie and a soap bar. A soap scrubbie is any item dipped or immersed in soap and then left to set or get hard. Mostly scrubbies are made with melt and pour soap. So just about any item can be immersed in melted soap and then molded in some fashion and then packaged for use.
A felted soap is soap that is wrapped with wool roving or soap that set in felt. There are different ways to deliver this, but the one way we will explore, is to wrap a soft bar of soap in wool roving, wetting it to help it to shape to the soap bar and then drying it.
What are the components to a felted soap?
- Wool Roving - wool roving is readily available from yarn stores in many different colors. Wool roving is unwoven wool yarn. It looks like a a piece of wool fuzz. Once wet it is easy to mold this around the soap. Many cool things can be done with wool roving - it can be arranged in pretty patterns and given traditional wool decorative treatments as well as be embellished with beads and other decorations
- A bar of handmade soap - soap can be any shape. The important thing to keep in mind is that the soap will be totally covered but at the same time should be fairly easy to melt and should be scented such that the scent can be detected through the wool roving. So after creating test the bar yourself!!! Some novel shapes are heart shaped soaps as well as oval, petal and round soaps. It helps if the soap is not fully dried and so is more malleable. Cold or hot process soap may be used as well as melt and pour soap
- A bowl of water and a work area near to the sink
- Prepare an area to drain the soap and to dry it
- A wash board or wool wash board to squeeze the water out of the soap and flatten the felt
First have an idea about how you want to place the roving on the soap. Here are some pictures of really great felted soap. I love to buy as well as to make felted soap.
Ashley, owner of Finchberry soaps in Northern Virginia, makes soaps with delectable names and bright wool roving color combinations. See link at the end of article to get to Finchberry Soaps.
Essentially you have to wrap the soap in the wool roving, while wetting it.
1. The wool has to be worked around the soap until there is a snug layer of wool that completely encases the soap.
2. While working the wool around the soap, wet and lather the soap, this will help to shrink and smooth the wool around the soap. It is okay if this looks like a sudsy mess, as long as that wool is wrapped around the soap like a cocoon.
3. Once it is snug enough and there is enough wool around the soap so that it is a fairly thick layer rub the soap against the wash board to flatten the felt and smooth it out.
4. Make sure that no ends are hanging and give the bar a final rinse with cold water, squeeze dry and place on a towel or paper towels dry.
Felted Soaps - Finchberry soaps Beautiful handmade soaps. Located in Virginia
Wool Roving for Felting
* Knit Picks - Knit Picks - supplier of all things wool, including wool roving - located in Washington State and run by Kelley Petkun, an avid knitter.
* Mielke's Fiber Arts - in Wisconsin sells all manner of fiber arts supplies as well as wool roving