All’s Wool That Ends Wool

Thanks for all of the color suggestions for my wool. After switching back and forth several times I finally decided on Tropical Purple and Canary Labcolors to go with my Brilliant Blue. If you have not dyed your wool yet, see last week’s post on “Sheep Thrills“. Also, I strongly recommend felting cold process soap. It’s a harder bar that generally lasts a little bit longer than melt and pour. Learn how to make Cold Process on Soap Queen TV or buy Finished Cold Process Soap at Bramble Berry.

ONE: Start off by taking a couple strands of your wool and wrap it around your soap. Do all one color, stripes or a creative pattern. Just make sure to cover the entire soap in wool so there are no “bald spots”. The corners of my soap (pictured above) still needs some more wool.

TWO: Wet the soap with warm water and start “using the soap”, scrubbing the wool with your hands, rubbing every inch of the soap. The felting process is basically matting the wool hair so it will stick together. Scrub for about 10-20 minutes until you can’t pinch off any of the wool fibers. I know what you’re thinking: 20 minutes is a long time. But think positive. When you’re done, your hands are going to be soft and smooth as a baby’s derrière.
These soaps are looking good but aren’t quite done yet. 
The wool is still a little too loose on the soap. 

10 minutes Later: See how the wool looks more matted together?
I can’t pinch off any of the wool.
VARIATION: Martha (as in my idol, the divine Miss Martha Stewart) puts her soap in old pantyhose before she felts. I think it’s a great technique if you have different layers and colors. It keeps your design intact. There are also techniques that use felting boards or washing boards instead of using your hands. This would save you a little bit of time and elbow grease, but I’ve always done it the old fashioned way.

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  1. Anne-Marie says

    Great minds think alike =) It can take a little practice to figure out exactly how much wool to use to cover the entire soap. I didn’t actually weigh the wool but my guess would be about 1/4 of an ounce per bar.

  2. Amanda says

    Thanks for this tutorial Anne-Marie! It’s funny that you posted this exactly 1 day after I told my husband that we should start selling it :) I’ve done a few bars now, and it seems like I always have too much or too little wool – do you know how much you used (by weight?) I read somewhere about 1/4 oz? Does that sound right? Also, how much wool did you dye at one time? I love the idea of dying it myself, so that I can pick all the colors… just trying to see if it’s cost effective! :)

    Thanks again for all your great ideas and tutorials – you’re amazing!

  3. tanyachappell says

    Beautiful, beautiful colours….a wonderful finished result. Thank you for posting your easy-to-follow tutorial Anne-Marie :)

  4. Anne-Marie says

    LOVE love love the idea of gloves. Thank you for sharing that tip. I wish I had thought of that …. =)

  5. Anne-Marie says

    Yay! You can make some super cute green, red and white or green, red and black felted soap for gifts. =)

  6. Anne-Marie says

    It’s a good question – the soap doesn’t seem to shrink at all – or at least not that I’ve noticed.

  7. Anne-Marie says

    I don’t have the patience to do with persnickety pelican does either! Just felting by hand for 20 minutes was enough for me =)

  8. Anne-Marie says

    It’s sort of like washing with a wash cloth and soap all at once; it’s nice and convenient. =)

  9. Anne-Marie says

    Ooooh! Did you make the Bacon Caramel Brownies? Yum! I’d love to know what your DD thought! =)

  10. Anne-Marie says

    It’s like putting soap in a wash cloth and washing with it. It’s a nice, soft lather and scrubby all at the same time. I’m a fan of it as long as you have a draining soap dish. =)

  11. Anne-Marie says

    I agree – therapeutic is a good word. And yes, there are lots of tutorials out there. It’s completely a personal preference thing so try a lot of things and go with what you like the best.

  12. Kcrotty says

    Thanks Anne-Marie for this simple straightforward tutorial.
    There are many tutorials on youtube – can get quite confusing! I think you need to find a method that works for you (whether using pantyhose, gloves with those textured bits, snap lock bag, plastic bag, washboard, sushi mats…..). Its so therapeutic to sit there for 20 minutes felting the soap while watching your favourite tv show or listening to music – and when you use a lovely cold pressed natural soap, it’s so luxurious and softening on your hands. A great way to turn a plain soap into something beautiful!

  13. France says

    Why is it this idea is not appealing at all to me? Memories of cold wet soggy mittens on a Montreal’s Winter day? Maybe. I don’t know why, and I like soapy stuff and trying new things, but felted soap just doesn’t sit well with me. What’s great about it? I would love my mind changed as I have gorgeous wool I could put to good use :)

  14. SierraSnowSoaps says

    Thank you so much for the picture by picture. I know now I have not been using enough wool, so I am going to try it again.
    I am LOVING the bacon caramel. It is my dd’s birthday tomorrow and she would loveit, she was born on Friday the 13th 17 years ago and it has been my lucky number ever since!
    Michelle in NV

  15. kellyanntaylor says

    can’t wait to try this, it is ever so cool and clever. So easy too, from the looks of it.
    Except for persnickety and her wonderful designs.

    I could never have the patience and now the eyesight to do what persnickety pelican does.

  16. kellyanntaylor says

    You KNEW what we were thinking…20 minutes!!!!! Do you start with a huge bar of soap or use really really OLD soap? Does the soap disappear? Willing to ask the dumb questions, as always. Inquiring minds have to know.
    I am thinking that 20 minutes of use will make the size of the soap diminish drastically?

  17. Susan says

    I LOVE this idea! I have a huge bag of my sheep’s wool just sitting here… I can’t wait to try this, especially for the holidays! Thanks Anne-Marie!

  18. Anusqui says

    I made a couple today too..they look so awesome, still I felt them with gloves, like the ones you use to clean dishes. One because that many soap hurts my hands, and two because, they have little bumps on them, to make sure the dishes won´t slip..i think, that help the process too, Plus you get to use hotter water that if you don´t use the feltin it´s a bit more fast.