Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Wool roving on soap

For some of my Thanksmas/Christmas gifts, I decided to cover some soap with wool roving and felt it. This make the soap bar almost like a loofah and it will continue to felt with use as well.

I had never done this before, or any wet felting, but how hard could it be?

I learned that starting very gently pays off in the end (from my first four not so good attempts).  I first wrapped my soap with white roving. It is best to do one layer and dampen it with hot water (dribbled on) and pat it to the soap. Another layer the opposite direction, another wetting/patting, then the third layer the same direction as the first, wet and pat. In the picture below, I started felting it before adding the colored roving, which was a bad idea. The colored layer didn't want to stick to the white layer because the white fibers were too far along in felting.

 Once I got to bar number 5 (yes it took that long), I found I needed to rub tiny gentle small circles to the white roving (after all layers were applied) for a short amount of time, then add the colored roving in one direction only. I did more tiny gentle small circles until all the fibers seemed to be attaching, sprinkling with hot water every now and then. Then I took a piece of bubble wrap and started rubbing in earnest.

This is bar #2, I had felted the white roving too much before adding the colored roving, and the colored roving didn't want to "stick" and was very lumpy.

Here are my felted soaps. The turquoise on the top left and purple/blue at bottom left were bars 5 and 6, and are my best ones.  I did not want to over-felt as they will felt more with use. I did go back to the other bars and rubbed them with hot water and bubble wrap and it did help somewhat with getting the colored roving to felt to the white. I still had to cut off some lumpy parts. My hands smelled like honeysuckle and orange peel for the rest of the day.

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