I admit the first time I saw felted soap I wasn't sure what to make of it. Is it really soap? It is just a pretty thing you put in your bathroom for guests, but nobody will really use it? As time has gone by I have warmed up to it's uses. It's like having a sudsy soap to wash with that gets nice and lathery without having to bring out the washcloths. Like most endeavors on this blog I thought it was time to try and make it. Plus I had some leftover roving staring at me just begging to be used.
For this you will need:
- soap. I used 2 bars.
- wool roving
- warm to hot water
- a bowl
- a knife and cutting board
* For a reminder on what roving is, visit this post on yarn making.
Once you have your chosen soap there are a few ways of going about what comes next. One is you can grate the soap into your desired shape and use the shavings to make soap. The other is to cut it, which is what I did. With 2 bars of soap I made 6 felted soaps.
I had some left over roving from some yarn spinning and some other projects, and this seemed like the perfect way to use it up. I recommend before the messy part comes to separate your roving into desired pieces to use.
Begin wrapping your soap with the roving. Try to wrap in even coats around the soap.
Then wrap again creating whatever design you want to, or just to cover open spots. While you are doing this, you can begin heating your water up for the next part.
Once your wrapped soap is ready for felting, you can place the soap in a larger bowl and drizzle a little hot water on it. Let sit for a moment, so you don't hurt your hands. This depends on how hot your water it. Then begin to squish it and lather it up. Essentially you are felting the soap in this process, and gently molding the shape you want out of your soap. I didn't mind of mine were a little blocky. If I wanted a more smooth, stone like shape I would have grated the soap.
At this point you may want to add a little more felt depending on the shape you want. I used this time to spread the roving thin, like a web to spread over the soap and do the hot water again.
At this point in the process your hands smell lovely, your soap looks good and it's time to let it sit and dry.
I have a feeling this will go into the homemade gift rotation, and will soon explore with more colors. It's a satisfying, tactile, sensorial thing to make! Plus the soap is a smaller size, which is perfect for small hands, or guest bathrooms! The bonus is that you can throw it into the compost when you are done. I admit that I have not used felted soap until the end of it's days. I am just assuming if there are any left over woolen chunks that is what I will be doing with it.