How to Make Luxurious Felted Wool Soap
Scrub-a-dub-dub, this soap is totally perfect for an at-home spa day.
Felted soap is a novelty I’ve admired in specialty shops, a pretty, handmade goodie that makes the perfect gift (and is undoubtedly the type of gift you'd love to receive too). Natural wool offers antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, making it a great material to use in bathing. Wool roving wrapped around a bar of soap serves as a nice little scrubber and preserves the lifespan of the soap. If you’ve ever rubbed a bar of soap into a loofah and witnessed how bubbly and foamy it can get, you’re going like this, because felted soap is basically that, all bundled into one pretty package that you’ll love to display in your bathroom.
- colorful wool roving
- bar of soap
- spray bottle with water
- piece of fabric
- rubber bands
- boiling water
- ice bath
Pull the wool roving into various loose sections, overlapping the pieces so that the fibers run in different directions.
Place your bar of soap on top of the wool roving. Keep in mind that the shape of your soap doesn’t necessarily matter, but you might have an easier time with an oval rather than a rectangular bar.
Wrap the wool roving around the soap, bundling it tight and checking to be sure coverage around the bar is sufficient. Use a spray bottle to spritz the wool with water. As the wool gets wet and is gently massaged, the fibers will intertwine and contract.
You’ll start to generate a lather too. All good!
While the wool is still damp, wrap more layers of wool roving around the bar of soap. Some of the moisture on the existing wool will help this dry wool lock in position. If you’re a wool felting prodigy, this is a good point to add special designs or incorporate stripes or patterns onto your felted soap.
If you’ve ever washed a wool sweater in hot water, you’ll get the point of the next step. Hot water makes wool fibers contract and shrink quickly, locking them into position. Prep a pot of boiling water and wrap the bars of soap into a piece of cloth. A reusable washcloth worked well for me, but you may also have success with a cotton cloth or piece of mesh. Use rubber bands to hold the fabric in position.
Lower the wrapped bars of soap into the boiling water for 30 seconds.
Pull it out and place it in an ice bath.
Unwrap, and find that the wool has bonded itself. It’s a beautiful thing, and it feels durable too. Allow the wool-covered bars of soap to dry completely. It could take a day or two.
When you’re done, they’re perfect to store, give as gifts, and use in the shower. The hot water in the shower will continue to help the wool contract around the bar of soap as it gets smaller and smaller. When it has been used completely, you can separate the fibers and wedge a new bar of soap into the wool wrapping. Avoid cutting the fibers with scissors. Instead, use your fingers to encourage them to re-contract around the new bar.