One Minute Tip: How to Make Felted Soap

Apartment Therapy Videos

Before there were loofahs and washcloths, people used an old fashioned bar of soap sewn into a felted wool covering. The wool was exfoliating and had antibacterial qualities, and the soap created a nice lather without wasting its suds. In the last few years, felted soap has come back into fashion (it's popping up in lots of Etsy shops as well as Anthropologie, and is a popular gift item this season). Today, we show you how to make it!

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Before there were loofahs and washcloths, people used an old fashioned bar of soap sewn into a felted wool covering. The wool was exfoliating and had antibacterial qualities, and the soap created a nice lather without wasting its suds. In the last few years, felted soap has come back into fashion (it's popping up in lots of Etsy shops as well as Anthropologie, and is a popular gift item this season). Today, we show you how to make it!

Supplies:

1. Wool Roving

2. Your favorite bar of soap

3. The toe of a nylon

4. A felting needle

5. A bowl full of warm water

Pull off a thin piece of wool roving.
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Stretch it out so that the wool is in an even square.
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Layer two squares with the fibers facing in opposite directions (perpendicular to one another), so that the wool will more easily bind to itself.
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Wrap your soap in the wool roving.
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Place it in the toe of the nylon.
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Dip it in the water.
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Start felting by causing friction so that the wool fibers bind to one another.
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Every once in a while, remove your soap to make sure the wool is not binding to the nylon.
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Add another layer of felt.
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Keep felting!
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Wipe the suds off and smooth your wool fibers before drying overnight.
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Add whatever design you wish.
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Let the felt needle pierce the soap and the wool roving. This specialty tool is worth the investment; it binds the fibers to one another on the way down, but is easily removed without catching.
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Vary your designs and experiment until you find your style!
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• The Star: Ashley Anderson is on the Operations Team here at Apartment Therapy. Born in Texas, she got to New York as soon as she could. When not at the office, she can be found sewing pillows, painting over canvases, or running Room & Order, a home organizing company she started way back in high school.

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(Image credits: Rebecca Blumhagen)

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