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How To Felt Soap!

Since Isabelle and I began collaborating one of our most popular products has been the felted soap we make. (I make the goat’s milk soap, she uses her gorgeous mohair and/or alpaca rovings to turn the plain bar into a fabulous exfoliating felted bar that people Love!) The process that transforms a regular bar of soap into a long lasting fragrant sudsy fibre experience is very simple. If you do it yourself it can be a lovely way to personalize a gift, … you choose the soap fragrance, and the colour of the rovings and make a one of a kind felted soap. It is also a fun project to do with children, all you need are soap, rovings, water and patience. Felting soap is an excellent summer time (or any holiday) project, a great way to spend time together and make something fun!

(Feel free to browse through Les Belles Bouclettes to choose your supplies, or go straight to this page where you’ll find a selection of ready to go kits we’ve put together for you.)

So checkout the steps below, please ask any questions you may have in the comments section, and feel free to share your creations with us, we can’t wait to admire your felted soap!

Happy Felting!

Soap Felting Tutorial:

List of Supplies Needed:

Bar of soap,
Rovings (Mohair, Alpaca, Llama, Wool),
Knife or cheese slicer,
Optional: Nylon Knee-High stocking (they are available in inexpensive packs of two or more pairs at many stores),
Large Bowl (You will need to put your soap wrapped in rovings and both hands in the bowl when it is full of hot water so make sure it is the right size before you get started),
Hot water.

(Note, The kits provided at Les Belles Bouclettes only include the soap and rovings, you will need to provide all other items.)

  •  Step 1 :Rounding The Corners:
    If your bar of soap has any sharp corners, you may want to smooth them out since pointy corners will be harder to cover with felt. You can trim them with a knife (the way Isabelle does) or use a cheese slicer (if you are working with children, or simply dislike knives as much as I do).

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  • Step 2 : Preparation: Wrapping The Soap:
    Take a small amount of your rovings. Begin wrapping the rovings around the bar of soap.

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  • Step 3: Covering The Bar:
    Continue to wrap your rovings around your soap. You want to cover the soap completely so it is important to wrap it both lengthwise and width-wise so that the bar is completely covered with rovings.
    You can do this in one colour, blend two or more, layer or stripe them, whatever takes your fancy. But remember that the felting process will blend the rovings (and therefore their colours). This can be an attractive design element if it is the effect you wish to create. If it isn’t then make sure to keep your colours touching each other (because it is important not to have any gaps in the rovings) but keep each colour of roving bunched together.

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  • Step 4: Slip It Into The Knee High:
    To help keep the rovings in place during the felting process you can insert your wrapped bar into a nylon knee high stocking.

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  • Step 5: Submerge Your Prepared Soap In Hot Water:
    Take your wrapped bar of soap in both hands, and submerge it in your bowl of hot water. (Not too hot, this shouldn’t hurt!)
  •  tut_feltsoap_5_zoomStep 6: Begin Felting:
    Gently begin to rub the rovings and soap. (At this point you want to be gentle, think of it as giving your soap a massage.) Once it begins to hold together, you can (and should) rub more vigorously.
    Don’t worry if nubs form, you can trim them off later.

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Now keep rubbing.

And keep rubbing.

Keep rubbing.

And rub some more.

you will need to rub until the rovings shrink tightly around the bar. Your rovings are actually becoming part (imbedded into the top layer) of the soap. so when you have rubbed enough you should not be able to feel the soap wiggle inside the rovings when you rub it.

  • Step 7: Take Your Felted Soap Out Of The Knee-High:

When the roving is well felted,lift the soap and stocking out of the bowl and remove the bar from the knee-high.

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  • Step 8: Ta-Dah!:

Your Felted Soap!!!
Here it is! The result of all that rubbing and lathering, your very own felted soap!

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Examples Of Felted Soap:
These are pictures of soaps Isabelle has felted. You can see some of the different effects she has achieved. She particularly likes to add small designs and/or patterns to the finished soap using a felting needle. These needles are exceedingly sharp and we would advise extreme caution if you want to try this added step with or around children. However, as you can see the results can be very pretty, and worth the additional effort!

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