How to Make Wet Felted Soaps Using a Tumble Dryer
Wet Felted Soaps
What is the Purpose of this Tutorial?
We have all read those ads which promise work from home opportunities to anyone looking to earn an income. Most of these ads offer false hope and promises which will never materialize.
For those of you who love crafting and would love to earn some income from being creative. it will be a long road to prosperity. Far too many people give up on their creative dreams only to replace them with 'real work' because they become discouraged by their inability to produce enough quality items to turn a profit. The aim of this tutorial is to help you discover an easier way to make more quality items in the least possible time.
Wet felted soaps can look beautiful. but they should function perfectly as 'scrubbers' as well. To do this, the fibers need to be put down in a meaningful way which will produce the best results. This takes time, lots of it. Felt making is not a quick process especially when one considers how much rubbing and rolling goes into it to making it.
With this method which I created, you should be able to prepare multiple soaps in one sitting and then tumble dry them together at your leisure.
True, there will be some preparation required to make the little foam parcels but you may be able to source recycled waste foam which already has cavities which were cut into it from the manufacturing stage to cushion a product in transit.
The beauty of my system is that these foam bundles will be used over and over again. It is my hope that you will find this felted soap tutorial useful and that in time it will help lead you down a path to some genuine financial gain. You can sell them at craft fairs, on even from your own Etsy store. If not, give them to friends and family for Christmas or birthday gifts. These soaps make wonderful gifts which will likely be treasured or enjoyed.
Soap in a Sweater!
Things Needed to Complete this Project:-
Place a Piece of Foam on a Cutting Table
The foam should be about a minimum of 1 1/2 inches thick and not quite dense.
Cut the Foam into 2 or 3 Lengths.
Place the soap on the foam and cut into the strip leaving a border of about an inch of each side.
Use a long Metal Ruler to Measure the Foam
Cut the foam into two to three strips depending on the size of the soap. The metal ruler provides a strong line to hold the knife against for cutting purposes.
An electric carving knife can be used if you have one handy.
How to cover the soap in Merino Wool Fibers
Please follow the instructions below for creating the wet felted soap. The felted soap will act as a loofah, shrinking as the soap shrinks leaving a handy scrubber behind.
Squeeze Bottle, Water and a Little Dish Washing Liquid
One needs very little soap with this tutorial as the soap will come through from the woolen fibers below.
Add the Fibers carefully
Place the fibers down carefully onto the soap. Drop a few drops of soapy water onto the fibers and smooth down with your fingers to ensure that they stick to the soap below.
A note on the following Step.
Unfortunately. the foam can shed little pieces when it has been cut with a knife which is why I decided to cover the hollow in the foam with bubble wrap before placing the soap in the hollow. I would suggest that you pull a stocking leg over the length of foam after you have cut the hollow to prevent it from clinging to your wool fibers and leave it there.
Use an Electric Carving Knife for cutting the Foam
I used a small piece of bubble wrap to prevent any loose bits of foam from getting onto the covered soap. This was a preventative action as the soap is already covered in a piece of stocking.
Please prepare all your soaps and then insert them into a tumble dryer at once. Better still, pop them into the dryer at with your laundry in the last stage of drying process to help conserve energy in order to make this project as cost effective as possible. The soaps should felt in about 10 - 15 minutes. Check the contents of the dryer after 10 minutes and if the soap is not quite ready, continue felting for another 5 minutes.
Remove the Soap from the Stocking and check the contents
Check the contents of the stocking after 10 minutes by removing the soap from the stocking.
If it has stuck to the stocking, gently tug the wool away. . Put the soap back into the stocking, knot and plunge the soap into very hot water as shown and then into cold water. Repeat twice more, rinse under a cold tap, dry with a towel and put it onto a radiator to dry.
Wet Felted Soaps
The completed Soaps in their Sweaters and one which has a personalized Label
I hope you enjoyed this Tutorial!
I look forward to receiving any feedback or suggestions for any future projects which you might like to see.
Your opinion matters!
Which type of felting do you find the most interesting
More wet felting tutorials by this author
Questions & Answers
What temperature setting do you use for the tumble dryer?
I use the lowest temperature on my tiny tumble dryer. It only has two settings but I do not think that temperature is as important as the vibration that happens within the drum of the machine.Helpful 3
Have you tried this with handcrafted soaps? I do rebatch and melt and pour. The latter is pretty soft compared to a hard milled or “store” soap. Do you have any ideas?
I have only tried this with store-bought soaps but think that if you use the foam there should be no reason why they should not survive. Perhaps you could try an experimental batch.Helpful 2
© 2015 Sally Gulbrandsen