Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Soap in a Sweater...

I learned how to felt soap so that it comes encased in its own little wool sweater. It is a wonderful way to exfoliate and also makes hand washing fun for kids. And you know what they say about hand washing...

I thought I would show how I make it. First I make homemade soap, then I get some wool I bought from family farms in Michigan and Wisconsin. I like the Michigan Merino wool better than the Wisconsin NZ Corriedale wool, but they both are fun to work with.
I start with soap, hot water, a textured felting mat and wool.

I lay some of the wool down, then wrap it around the soap. I usually wrap it one way, then I go the other way, then one more wrap the original way.

Now it is all wrapped.

I carefully drop it in hot water to sort of "set" the wool so it I can see if it is even.

Once it is all wet, then I put it in a section of a nylon that has been cut to size.

This is to keep the wool in the soap. I dip in hot water, twist the nylon tight and then I start to rub the soap on the felting board.

Then I apply friction [yes, felting soap is done via the "armstrong" method]. I rub it over and over the board, which is like a ribbed scrub board. After about 10 minutes, the soap is done. I dip it once more in the hot water, then blot and let dry.

Here are some I finished today. The pink are bubblegum soap, the blue are lavender and the green peppermint. My hands are very wrinkly and smell great! Felting soap is GOOD CLEAN FUN!

To use, wet and rub. The wool will continue to shrink as it is used, so when the soap is all gone, you will have a little wool scrubby left.

Soap in a Sweater

Take care,


  1. Very nice tutorial. Well explained and it seems very doable! I have plenty of alpaca fleece to use on various projects so here I go... Thank you for you wonderful post. I'm off to try it myself.

    Jodi Dominick
    Sunrose Alpacas

  2. Hi Jodi, I am glad this is helpful. A couple of tips. Use about three layers of the wool, kind of thin.

    And, I found that if I don't dip the soap in the water, but rather kind of splash some hot water on the wool when I first get it on the soap, then a bit more after it is in the nylon, it felts faster. I think it is best if it isn't too wet.

    If it doesn't lather up at first, add a bit of dish soap to the nylon.

    Happy Felting,