It seems that detailed and adorable felted soap is all over the place these days so I’ve been inspired to give it a try. While I have felted and dyed wool before and felted soap a lot (I used to teach the every-week-lunchtime-class series at Otion on felting soap back in the day), I can’t promise that it will look anything like Persnickety Pelican (check out the blog post HERE) but I’m excited nonetheless.This week’s Soap Queen Tutorial is how to use Bramble Berry LabColors to dye your wool any shade under the sun. After your wool is dyed and dried (ha- I’m a poet and didn’t know it), I’ll show you how to felt the soap (but you’ll have to wait until next Thursday).
When I’ve dyed wool in the past, I’ve always used a crock pot. If you don’t have a crock pot, not a problem, here’s a new technique using the microwave. You should be able to find wool roving at your local yarn store. I was able to get 4 ounces (which looks like a massive bundle – definitely enough for 20+ soaps) for just $2.00 per ounce (pretty standard pricing).
Large Ball of Wool Roving
Brilliant Blue LabColor (Any undiluted Labcolor will work)
ONE: Tear off enough wool to fit into your silicone tray mold (or microwave safe pan). Mix 1 cup of water with ½ cup of vinegar and pour the mixture over the wool. Use a spatula to press the wool down into the vinegar mixture to make sure all the wool is saturated. Let soak for 30 minutes.
TWO: Then add one more cup of room temperature water to the wool and add 30 drops of undiluted Brilliant Blue LabColor, evenly dispersed. Then use your spatula or your hands (with gloves) to poke the wool, spreading the dye around. TIP: Try to handle the wool as little as possible, we don’t want it to start the felting process just yet.
Variation: Use less dye for a lighter blue and more dye for a super dark blue. Or check out the LabColor selection for a different color entirely.
THREE: After the dye is dispersed and the wool seems to be evenly colored, cover the wool with plastic wrap and put it in the microwave for 5 minutes. WARNING: The water will almost be boiling when the 5 minutes is up. DO NOT TOUCH. Just let the wool cool until it hits room temperature. Then remove the plastic wrap.
FOUR: Lift the wool out of the tray mold and into a large mixing bowl. Rinse the wool several times with room temperature water until you can lift the wool out of the water and the water dripping from the wool is clear. This means that the wool has taken in all of the color and is ready to dry. TIP: Room temperature water is really important. Hot or cold water will shock the wool and start the felting process.
FIVE: Layer up several paper towels and spread out the wool and let dry. I let my dry overnight. TIP: Rinse the wool the best that you can but if there are a couple blue spots left on the paper towels after drying, don’t worry about it too much. The wool will be rinsed again when we actually felt the soap.
I’m going to dye one more color for my felted soap.
What LabColor do you think I should use to go with my Brilliant Blue?
Oh, that’s a good idea!
Thank you so much Anne Marie! I been wanting to dye felt since a long time and never though I could dye it with my soap colors..you are my Yoda online teacher!!! 🙂 🙂
We’re doing a felting-soap tutorial this week on Thursday too so you’ll learn how to dye the wool AND felt the soap =)
100% – on Thursday. =)
I once dyed my hair with Kool-Aid. It worked but my hair was pink for a few months.
Agree – purple is definitely a winner! But you’ll have to wait until Thursday to see what we did =)))
It would definitely be eye catching =)
Three colors – it’s possible. And yes, it would look incredible! It’s just a matter of how crazy my Monday gets. Will there be time for two more wool colorings? We have Soap Intensive Weekend coming up (eeeeeek!) next weekend and next week is shaping up to be intense (but good).
No worries. It’s funny, when I read your note, I thought to myself ‘Oops! I must have messed up my post! I’m sure glad someone told me right away.’ I would rather you double check than let anything go out to others not perfect. =)))
The Birchwood Mold is stunning, isn’t it? We are iiiiiiin love with the mold and try to find an opportunity to use it at practically every opportunity. The 2 pound mold is perfect for testing small batches too.
Oh and Blue Man, agree, nicely balanced manly man scent. =)
Aw, thank you for the the Labcolor props. I use them almost every day too. =) The rainbow soap sounds intense!
Oooooh, bold! Orange and teal … that would be a bold choice.
Nice – what a fantastic find! You are lucky.
Purple would be fantastic – maybe with a white or a lighter color to really make the bold colors stand out?
Love love …
You could always add a drop or two of fragrance or essential oil to the cold wet water to overcome the smell of the wet wool?
Nice! I was wondering how to dye wool. I did try felted soap once before but the wet smell of the wool was really gross to me. It smelled like a wet animal. I just couldn’t get past it.
Sabastien's Nook says
I think you should use a fuchsia or a brilliant green…
That blue looks great! I agree that purple would look good. I’ve tried felting once but my colors were much more tame, grey and white. It was really easy to do and I look forward to seeing your next post about it. Thanks!
Just the other day I found a big bag of virgin wool among my Moms arts & crafts stuff. And I thought: Felted soap! Seen it everywhere, have never made any myself but would love to give it a try. Can’t wait for your next tutorial, Anne-Marie! Thanks a bunch in advance
Yellow or orange, I think would be lovely with blue! 🙂
Laura B says
Never mind – I breezed by the vinegar ingredient. Whoops! I’m still planning on trying citric acid though – smells better. 🙂
oh and I love labcolors. They grace my kitchen counter all the time; never EVER put my colors away. Arranged in the color spectrum; standing ready for my every whim.
Like my rainbow soap that I made last night; it took 6 hours to make…..
will put pictures on facebook shortly.
You REALLY ARE a crafty chick!
Woo Hoo and I cannot wait!
So excited! Thank you!
(Can you tell I am excited!)
Oh and, I got my Baltic Birch Mold yesterday and it is a masterpiece.
Not only that, but LOVE blue man F O too!
Three cheers for Brambleberry!
Laura B says
Don’t you need to add some sort of mordant – such as citric acid – to keep the dye in the wool?
I agree with both lime and purple! Why not do three colours Anne-Marie?
Thank you for such an easy-to-follow tutorial on dyeing the wool roving. I am looking forward to your soap felting blog on Thursday 🙂
So it’s sort of like dying Easter eggs? 🙂
Laura S. says
Lime would look great with the Brilliant Blue
Liberty's Yarn says
You can also use kool-aid and food coloring. I’ve not had great luck with Wilton cake dyes – but some really like them. =)
I love this!! Will you show us how to felt the soap, too?
You can do the same thing with Kool-aid. Follow the same process you’ve laid out, but instead of adding drops of the labcolor, add Kool-aid that you’ve mixed into water. You need about 1 packet of the pre-sugar stuff for every ounce of wool.
Thank you, thank you; thank you. I’ve been wanting to find instuctions.