Felted soap stinks ! :-p

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ChattyCathy

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Just made my first felted soaps with some of my hp soap and 100% wool .
Holy wet dog smell ! Yuck . Really hope they don't stink every time they are wet / used ?

They do look really cute tho ...
 

boyago

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The smell is dependent on the source of your fiber. You may have gotten a more raw grade. The ones I have done haven't smelled, but the wife has made some felted items that did smell like wet animals at first.
 

boyago

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I meant more of the type of processing it went through before they put it up for sale. It takes some serious washing to get the sheep funk out of the wool. My Badger hair shave brush smelt of wet badger for the first half dozen shaves if that's any comparison.
 

marilynmac

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Wet wool is wet animal hair. It's gonna smell when it's wet unless it's extremely processed. Even your hand washed wool sweaters have that smell. Also, it will likely make your skin itch so be careful where you use it.
 

navigator9

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Sorry, but I just don't "get" felted soap. Pretty? Sure. But I don't want to wash with a hairy bar of soap, stinky or not. And I imagine it's difficult for the soap to really dry out between uses. And then, at the end, what.....you throw the wool away? I've made felted mittens and I looooove them. Felted soap, no thanks. Am I missing something?
 

DeeAnna

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I make a few felted soaps for fun. Tried one and I personally didn't like the feel of the felt against my skin. Also it's hard to wash tender bits with something that doesn't flex.

But I could see guys liking it fine -- you know the ones who just rub the bar of soap on their skin and never use a washcloth. It's nice for little kids, because they can't eat the soap and it's less slippery in little hands. My friend and I thwarted her grandson's habit of eating handmade soap by felting the bars. Felted soap is good for travel since it doesn't need a soap container when it's at least damp dry. It also may be helpful for people with disabilities since it's soap and washcloth all in one -- only one hand is needed to wash.

The felt wicks moisture away from the soap and dries fairly fast, so I don't have too many concerns about the soap mushing up. When the soap is gone, cut it open to make a pouch and give it to a child as a toy ... or slip a small bar of soap inside.

So ... no, not for everyone, but it has its uses.
 

dixiedragon

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Sorry, but I just don't "get" felted soap. Pretty? Sure. But I don't want to wash with a hairy bar of soap, stinky or not. And I imagine it's difficult for the soap to really dry out between uses. And then, at the end, what.....you throw the wool away? I've made felted mittens and I looooove them. Felted soap, no thanks. Am I missing something?
I think the idea is that it is a built-in wash cloth.

When the bar is used up, you cut a slit in the end of the felt, put in a new bar, and it will close itself. Wool is full of tiny little barbs that hook together. That's what makes a wool sweater shrink. There's not less wool in it - the wool gets bunched up as those little barbs hook and don't release. That's why wool is so itchy.
 

DeeAnna

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And dixie is right -- felted soap is not itchy -- I've also thought that is partly because you're washing with it, not wearing it, so the wool isn't able to do its prickly thing. If you use a fine gauge merino and felt it well, it's not particularly hairy either.
 

dixiedragon

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And dixie is right -- felted soap is not itchy -- I've also thought that is partly because you're washing with it, not wearing it, so the wool isn't able to do its prickly thing. If you use a fine gauge merino and felt it well, it's not particularly hairy either.
Do you have some recommendations for suppliers? I want to try felting soap but I know diddly about it except what I Googled, and a lot of that information is vague.
 

boyago

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I did it with some Castiles that I thought people would find slimy. Also this is probably not what most people go for but I found they worked really really well for getting dry paint off my skin. You can also do it if you have a particularly good soap that is also particularly ugly.
 

navigator9

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Well, I feel better knowing that the wool doesn't get thrown away, but I'm still not a convert. I like nylon net for scrubbiness. The hairiness still gets me, LOL.

shrug3.gif
 

DeeAnna

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Dixie -- These folks have nice stuff: http://www.mielkesfarm.com/flt_fbrs.htm

ETA: If you don't like hairy felt, stick with the Merino. The Corriedale I have used (not from Mielkes) is a coarser fiber and it doesn't felt down quite as smooth, giving the piece a slightly hairy finish.

This lady makes amazing felted objects -- http://sallybea.hubpages.com/ You can use her general method of felting to do soap too -- especially look at her tutorials about felting over balloons and balls.

Here's another good resource: http://www.allfiberarts.com/topics/felting
 
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ArtisanDesigns

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I have taken up spinning wool this year. If you use a wool that has a lower micron count you will have less chance of itching. Usually 25 microns or lower are considered next to skin. Also the way the wool is processed can cause itching due to chemicals used.
 
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