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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Felting Soap?

“Join me for a couple of hours of messy fun!”  That’s what the class description said.  I had no idea what felting soap was, but if it was messy and fun, I decided to sign up.  So I was off to the Ranch House at Jojoba this morning to find out what I had gotten myself into.

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The first step in this process was to pick a bar of soap.  That’s my lavender scented bar on the lower left.  There were bags of wool scraps to choose your colors from.  The purple jumped out at me, but the instructor wasn’t sure it was really wool, so I had to pick a different color.  (I did wonder why she would bring stuff that you couldn’t use, but we’re all just volunteers here.)

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                   Next you have to shave off all the edges on your bar of soap to make it easier to cover.

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After pulling the wool strands apart, you begin wrapping your soap in the first layer.  Making sure the corners get covered is most important.  You don’t want to be able to see the soap at all, so it might take several layers.

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            I decided I wanted some white highlights to that burgundy, so I wrapped on a cobweb of white.

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Once you’ve got the colors and layers you want, you wrap the bar in a section of pantyhose; creating a bag for the bar to be in.  Our leader, Sarah, said she wished she had called some of us to bring along some pantyhose.  Good thing she didn’t call me.  It’s been well over ten years since I’ve had any of those around. Eye rolling smile  Someone suggested that maybe you could pick up some pantyhose at Goodwill.  Used pantyhose??  Yuck!

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Then we went outside for the messy part.  You have to immerse your soap bag in hot water to get it good and soaked.  Then you start rolling it in your hands; around and around.  Soap suds go everywhere!  You’ve got to do this for about a half an hour until the wool begins to ‘felt’ and seize up around the bar of soap.  (The scenery around us was not too shabby either as we were working.)

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You can squirt it with cold water to keep it wet as you work.  Sarah said that it also helps to shock the wool by rubbing it on old fashioned scrub boards.

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Well, after about 45 minutes, my bar of soap was still lumpy and not seizing up.  I took it out of the pantyhose bag to discover that the white stuff apparently wasn’t wool.  It hadn’t transformed at all, but the burgundy underneath was perfectly felted.  So I ended up with a rather mundane felted soap.  Guess it just wasn’t my day for picking the right materials.

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Everyone was pretty happy with the results of their labors.  You might ask why the heck would you do this to a bar of soap?  Well, I’ve been told it’s something like having a loofa sponge with the soap built in for your shower.  As the soap gets used up, the felting shrinks to stay tight around the bar of soap.  Sarah says that when the soap is gone, you end up with a little pouch that perhaps granddaughters would like to hide little precious items in.

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I do know that after 45 minutes of felting/washing my hands, seven hours later my hands are still creamy and smelling like lavender. 

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

104 comments:

  1. That was interesting. Never heard of that before.

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  2. I've never heard of this.... about the only felting I've done is accidentally washing wool socks in hot water.... your project is much more interesting!

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  3. I've heard of felting wool for hats and purses but never soap!

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  4. You do find some "different" messes to get into.

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  5. Who thinks up these things? Strange but interesting!
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  6. I felted Christmas ornaments a couple of years ago and had heard of felting soap but had no idea how it was done. Glad to know. Looks like you had fun!

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  7. I felted Christmas ornaments a couple of years ago and had heard of felting soap but had no idea how it was done. Glad to know. Looks like you had fun!

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  8. I'm thinking you must really be bored. That looked like entirely too much work, but what do I know, I'm a guy... :cD

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  9. Count me as one who has never heard of felting soap. For all the work and effort that goes into it, I'd never have the patience to do it! Glad you had fun trying it.

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  10. Looks like fun to me! I have never heard of this before:)

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  11. Yes, I was wondering why the heck you would do this to a bar of soap. Now I know! I like the fragrance of lavender, but I don't know if I'd wanna get that involved either. Heck, as long as you had fun, that's what counts!

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  12. I'm going to save your instructions and photos to make these myself some day. Easy peasy and very useful. Great gift idea, too! Thanks!! :)

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  13. Sounds like a fun project with a nice ending.

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  14. Lavender seems like an excellent choice. Does it seem like loofah when you use it?

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  15. Sorry friend.....sounds like too much trouble for someone lazy like me. Thinks I'll just settle for one of those cheap things made of netting.

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  16. Well that was interesting. I was thinking maybe after all that you let it dry and just used it to be some scented something or other. Love lavender!

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  17. I haven't had panty hose in my house for 30 years..I hate them..those and bras!! But how fun to take the class!!!!

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  18. Lavender seems like an excellent choice. Does it seem like loofah when you use it?

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  20. Wow! Amazing post. Felting soap is one of my favorite interests, especially when I have the opportunity to see. Very nice pictures.
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