This is one of those crafts I’ve been meaning to get around to for some time! Finally, on impulse, we allowed ourselves to be distracted from school briefly to get started!
My friend, Deb, and her sisters have been making natural soaps for quite a while, and on her last visit to the farm Deb brought me a bag of soap for felting. I’ve kept it on the kitchen counter since then so that I wouldn’t forget about it! Had I known how quick and easy this craft is, I think we would have done it a long time ago!
We’re not making the fancy felted soaps that I’ve seen “floating” around the internet. These are simple natural white ones. Now that we have it down, I think I might start trying to incorporate a stripe of colored wool here and there.
We start with our bag of second cut wool. I was worried the fibers might be too short, but that’s the beauty of felting. Everything mashes together, and short fibers actually work better than the very long fibers of Icelandic fleece.
We put the raw fleece onto the carding brush a little at a time. There are even some hay fibers still in it, which make for natural exfoliative properties. Initially there will also be lanolin in it, but much of that will wash out from the soap.
We kept brushing to fill the brush with unidirectional, blended wool.
Once the brush is really full, I used a thin metal rod to try to lift the batt of wool from the brush.
Here’s the batt all ready for the soap.
Then position the soap on the batt
and start to wrap it
Once it’s wrapped in one direction, I added a second layer of fibers going the opposite direction to give the best coverage.
Until you end up with a big fluff of wool around the soap, ready for wet felting.
Then we gradually wet the wool, compressing it around the soap and agitating it as it begins to matt down on the soap. The more matted it is, the more you can agitate and smack it down, trying to mold it and keep it to the shape of the soap.
Here it is in the early stages.
And here it is a bit more matted down, almost complete.
And the final project…just needs to dry! A nice natural soap bar wrapped in it’s own natural washcloth!