A family friend showed me how to make wool wrapped soap.
Lynn from Spinderellas has known my mother for several years as they are both spinners. Lynn has been caring for our fleeces by washing and carding them. She taught us how to make wool wrapped soap too, and I have to say I love them.
Wool wrapping is a fun way to present your soap, and a wrapped soap does not require the use of a washcloth to create a rich, thick lather. You do not need to worry about the wool becoming too large for your soap because it will continue to felt as you use it, shrinking with your soap.
Now before I get too far into how to make a wrapped soap, I will explain some of the terms. “Roving” is fiber that has been carded, and “top” is combed. The arrangement of the fibers make top and roving felt differently. “Sliver” is roving or top that is split length wise. In top, the fibers are parallel, making it harder for them to grip each other be felted. In roving, the fibers are every which way, allowing them to grip each other and felt more readily. When you are getting your wool, you will want to get roving, not top. You will also want to make sure you get plain wool roving and not a wool blend. This will ensure that as your bar shrinks, the wool shrinks with it.
If you don’t have wool around the house, but you want to try this project, you can purchase wool roving. See if you can find a local fiber guild; they can help you track down what you need.
Several bars of soap
Warm water bath
Take a piece of your roving, about 18 inches long. Split it lengthwise. Fan out the fibers to make a wide strip, about 1.5 inches wide. The wool should have a somewhat lacey appearance – it should not be thick and dense. It is better to have more layers of fanned wool than it is to have a big chunk of roving as the wrapping.
Holding your soap in one hand, wrap your bar of soap starting from one corner and continue to the other corner. Do not twist the wool when you wrap around the soap. Fold the fan at each 90 degree angle and continue. This action will be more rolling the soap around the wool than twisting the wool around the soap. It is very important that the wool strip lays flat against the soap rather than being twisted.
When you get to the opposite corner, turn your bar of soap a quarter turn counter-clockwise (clockwise if you are wrapping left handed), and wrap the soap again. Make sure that the corners are well covered.
Repeat until you have a thick layer of wool wrapped evenly around the bar. Wrap all of your soaps so you are ready to wash/felt them in a single session.
Now that all of your soaps are wrapped, it’s time to felt them.
Fill a large sink with hot water. Take a wrapped soap and submerge it. Bring it out of the water and gently squeeze the soap. Don’t rub! This would cause the roving to come off. Squeeze the soap repeatedly, turning and re-dunking the soap until the roving feels dense and no longer like a soft fuzzball.
The roving has now felted enough so it will not move freely. Now you can rub vigourously so the wool creates a firm blanket around your soap.
Once the wool is completely felted, place the felted soap on a cookie rack so it is able to dry completely. Repeat the washing sequence with the rest of your soaps.
I LOVE this idea! I don’t make soap, and I usually use liquid bath stuff, but this idea totally makes me want to make soap. I do make candles, so soap is going to be an eventuality that I’ll try sooner or later.
A couple other things. I didn’t want my comment to get lost in the older post. The star soaps and the embed soap that you asked if it was a mistake or not . . . I thought they were both beautiful. I’ve had issues like that with my candles too where I feel like it was messed up, but my hubby doesn’t think so. He’s so nice. But he’s a salesman and he always tells me that I already made it, so go ahead and put it out for sale and let the customer decide if it’s a mess up or art. I would just say don’t automatically call them mistakes and throw them in the discount bin. Instead fix up a shelf for one of a kind artistic soaps. But whatever happened to those star soaps, I think you should make them like that on purpose.
Also, I have a blog with info on saving money, and turning crafts and hobbies into a small business. Between my knowledge and experience, and the salesman info I get from my hubby, I try to put a lot into it to help out others trying to get started. Please check it out. http://www.businessmommy.blogspot.com
You need a contact button so I can email you without filling up your comment section. If you want to email me, I’m at email@example.com
like the idea of woolly wrapped soap. I must admit, I use the old plastic soap container for travel (the kind that just flip open and closed for soap). I am sure I used one of those when we used to camp a lot. I know it doesn’t allow the soap to breathe properly, but I am careful to open it when I get to my destination and leave it open throughout my trip so it doesn’t get slimy. I will try to get as much air on my soap after I use it by leaning it up on the side of the container and it seems to work (and draining off any extra water that gets in the container too). I am also careful to open the container when I get home so the soap dries out before I stash it away for the next trip. It might not be the best solution, but it seems to work for me. Also, a question on the side….I am still saving my botched batch of soap in a bag…Andee mentioned an upcoming post on how to “save” it. I am very excited to learn how to do that. Emily
Wow oh wee I’ve just found this and just in time. I have some “mistake” soaps that didn’t color the way I wanted so I decided I would learn to felt them and give them to the homeless shelters or battered women’s homes. That way no wash cloth would be needed in order to bath. This post was exactly the ticket it shows me step by step what to do unlike other felting tutorials. Thank you today is the 1st day of 2013 and I’m going to felt for gifts to those homes today.
THANK YOU I LOVE YOU ALL YOUR PURE GENIUS!
I’m glad to hear this! I hope these soaps are enjoyed!
Pingback: Adventures With The Sage » Blog Archive » Coconut Soap
Pingback: Adventures With The Sage » Blog Archive » Creamy Chai Soap