Felted Soap




About: 20s and 30s programming for the Sacramento Public Library

Handier than soap on a rope--and prettier too!  Felted soap is soap covered in wool roving and then gently wet felted and made into a spa chic exfoliating soap.  Like soap and a washcloth all in one.

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Step 1: What You'll Need

Wool Roving--3 colors (you can use more but it can get a little tacky looking)
Soap--Find something you think smells pretty.  Rounded edges will be easier to felt.
Bubble wrap--a nice way to recycle.
Small spray bottle
Dish washing liquid (like Dawn, Palmolive)

Fill the spray bottle with warm water and add a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid.
Look for wool roving in bulk at your local yarn store--much cheaper than purchasing on line or at Jo-Ann's.

Step 2: Spread Out

Starting with your base color (I use the un-dyed roving for a base because it is cheaper) spread out your roving to a cobweb like consistency.  Alternate back and forth until the soap is totally covered.

Step 3: Wrap It Up

Wrap the cobwebs of roving around the soap, first in one direction, and then in the opposite.  Alternate back and forth until the soap is entirely covered.  Use most of your roving on this base layer--make sure the corners are covered up. 

Step 4: Yeah, It Looks Like a Tribble

Add your accent colors--I suggest spreading the colors thin on your first attempt (for a marbled effect)--it felts more easily.

Keep the faith, this will, indeed, all felt down into a nice compact soap like the photo. 

Step 5: Spritz Spritz

Place your Tribble soap on the bubble wrap and lightly spritz both sides with the water soap mixture.  Go easy on the water to start--too much water and you'll get a crazy, sudsy mess (although it will still work)--but very clean hands. 

Step 6: Get Felting!

Gently wrap the bubble wrap around the soap and roving.  Start by lightly squeezing the wrapped soap--applying pressure to all sides.  As you begin to apply pressure the roving will start to felt.  Once you've squeezed for a minute, unwrap and see if you need to spray a little more water (you should see a few suds, not too dry, not too wet).  The roving will look pretty shaggy and loose at this point--keep the faith!  It will come together.  Now re-wrap and begin to more vigorously agitate the roving/soap ball--don't pop the bubble wrap, but give it a good old scrub.

Keep at it.  Stop to peek every so often, add water as needed.  Work on any areas that don't seem to be shrinking. 

Go on, keep working on it.  Beauty takes time.

Once the now felted roving is tight to the soap you are finished.

Step 7: They Sell These Babies for $14 at Anthropologie

Magic.  A beautiful felt soap thing.  You can use this in the bath, it is not just for show.  Make sure you let it dry out between uses.  If you can't stand to use it--go ahead and put it in your sock drawer once it has dried completely--makes a nice sachet substitute, also.

Check out altlibrary.com for other fun projects you could make in a library or at home.



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    10 Discussions

    Slippery arm

    3 years ago

    I have had severe eczema my whole life and I love felted soap it does not irritate my skin at all

    Marilyn Ethel

    3 years ago

    I have wanted to make felted soaps for about six months and now I know where to find the instructions I definitely will - definitely beautiful and useful, thank you so much

    I Love Arts

    6 years ago

    You unwrap the soap right? And how big the soap, and how much wool?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Wish I'd seen this before I started felting soap. I use a dog brush and a bit of boiling water every so often to do the felting. Bubble wrap looks easier. Thanks!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I was wanting to make some for Christmas but have never felted before...how much wool do you need per soap approx? Thanks! :D


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Nice! I have some scrap roving wool, so I think I'll give this a try soon. Thanks!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Ooh, I like! Felting is one of my favorite things. (As shown by my avatar.) :-)