Hello everyone! Today I am participating in the Wool Lovers Blog Hop hosted over at Pieced Brain. Be sure to visit her post and follow the links to all the other bloggers participating.
For my contribution to all things wool, I am going to show you how I make felted soap. Felted soap is exactly what it sounds like: a bar of soap encased in a wrapping of wool felt. The soap has its own built in wash cloth which shrinks along with the soap as you use it. When all the soap is gone you are left with a useful scrubbie!
The best thing about felted soap is how much longer your soap lasts. Because the felt contains the soap you eliminate the problem of sloughing off huge chunks of softened soap. Bars that I know from experience would normally last me no longer than 2 weeks last months when felted.
Step 1 to felting soap is to gather your supplies (and probably some curious cats). You will need some wool roving (I found mine at Hobby Lobby), a bar of soap, an old stocking or panty hose, and a bowl of hot water (alternatively, you could just do this over the sink.)
Step 2 is to stretch and thin your wool roving to prepare it for wrapping around the soap. Stretch it so you can just see through it. You'll need at least 2 layers of thinned roving. Also, you can add strips of contrasting colors to make a more interesting design.
Step 3 is wrapping the roving around the soap. Wrap the layers, alternating the direction of the fibers, and tuck in the ends. At this point it's not going to stay put very well, just wrap it and sort of hold it in place. This is also a great time to add some final decoration to the outside of the bar with another color of roving.
Step 4: holding everything in place dunk the bar of soap in hot water and let it get soaked so the wool sticks to itself and the bar. Then, carefully stick the bar of soap down into the end of the stocking and tie a slip knot. The stocking will hold all the layers and colors in place while you felt.
Step 5 is to wash your hands! No really. Scrub the bar as if your are washing your hands. The friction will help the soap to felt. Dunk it back in the hot water every couple minutes to rinse and re-wet it. As the roving felts it will become more firm and shrink down onto the soap. It usually takes me less than 10 minutes. When it is ready you will feel the roving become more taut and stop moving around. Go for a couple more minutes after that, then rinse and remove the soap from the stocking.
Step 6 is to set the soap in the sun for a couple hours and let it dry. Once it dries it is ready to use. Each time you finish using the soap rinse it and set in a well draining place.
Enjoy! And be sure to check out the rest of the bloggers in the Wool Lovers Blog Hop today: