• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Mike Haasl
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
  • James Freyr
master gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • jordan barton
gardeners:
  • Jay Angler
  • Greg Martin
  • Leigh Tate

Gift making: soaps in sweaters!

 
pollinator
Posts: 283
Location: Poland
101
purity dog forest garden tiny house books earthworks fiber arts writing wood heat rocket stoves ungarbage
  • Likes 12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I probably invented the coolest gifts ever! They might turn into a disaster when people actually start using them, but to me they'll still be incredibly awesome!
It started from a friend of my permaculture friend, who became a masseuse. I do need a massage once in a while, because of my complicated back problems. So I went there and she helped me a lot (I officially can't carry more than 2 kilo in my hands, but I'm doing all the gardening work and with some exercise and therapy it raises my unofficial limit to 5 kilo). Then I saw that her girlfriend started making handmade soaps; many of them with herbs and flowers that she collects herself!

So I ordered the soaps as Christmas gifts for my family. Soon after, I heard that someone else is making bags for these soaps, from old curtains. Recently, I was making a lot of crochet shopping bags, so I thought I could make some myself, for these soaps.
But with what? I'm not using synthetic yarns, and I had no linen or anything suitable.
My Tibetan spindle was full of sheep wool, which I got from my sister. The wool is a waste, and I washed it gently to preserve the lanolin. So I thought that it will be amazing as a natural massaging washer, with lanolin already!

Now I'm spinning the wool and crocheting the "soap sweaters" right off the spindle! And it's all local sustainable handmade and natural! I feel like the coolest Santa ever ;)

I suppose there might be problems with using the soaps, as the yarn is a single ply and not stretched or washed after spinning (and no carding before spinning), so it will probably stretch and get messy when it's wet and mixed with the soap. I hope that the twine which wraps it around will help keep it together.
Anyway, the family will be testing it and for now I think it's a great idea to use this kind of wool, which for most people is too rough to wear. And it can be tossed into the compost bin when it's finished!
tibetanspindleandsoap.jpg
Just starting to crochet! Isn't the spindle a beautiful little thing?
Just starting to crochet! Isn't the spindle a beautiful little thing?
soapsinsweaters.jpg
[Thumbnail for soapsinsweaters.jpg]
More soaps in sweaters but still more need to be done...
 
Posts: 7785
Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep clay/loam with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
1569
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Flora, those are wonderful!  
I think they will work great and the wool will probably felt and shrink rather than get too loose?
A friend here, who raises sheep among other animals, used to felt unspun pieces of fleece right onto the handmade bar of soap.  I'm not quite sure how she did it? I think it likely she did a bit of felting first but then in the end it would have had to have been finished by wet felting around the bar itself as there were no openings.

I like that yours are removable and could be transferred to a new bar of soap when the old is used up...I doubt that the 'sweater' would wear out for a long time.

...and such a beautiful drop spindle!
 
Flora Eerschay
pollinator
Posts: 283
Location: Poland
101
purity dog forest garden tiny house books earthworks fiber arts writing wood heat rocket stoves ungarbage
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Maybe they will shrink? We'll see!

Judith Browning wrote:I like that yours are removable and could be transferred to a new bar of soap when the old is used up...I doubt that the 'sweater' would wear out for a long time.



Maybe, but I think it will rather be a ball of wool in the end. I make them very tight and they'll probably mix with the soap when it gets smaller. Fortunately, sheep wool is great for composting, I use the dirty parts as mulch.

...and such a beautiful drop spindle!



It's a support spindle! I tried a drop spindle before getting this one, but I didn't like it. In the summer, when I have fresh wool, I will make a new spindle from juniper. I read that it was traditionally used to protect wool from moths, so the yarn will be safe waiting on the spindle till I use it!
 
pollinator
Posts: 324
78
dog trees books bee medical herbs
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Nice project! But... So one of the things I make for my business is natural soap. When I first came across this type of "soap jacket" at a farmers market, I thought it was a great idea. But I wasn't thinking it through. I did buy the "jacket" and tried it on a soap in my shower, forgetting that one of the important things about natural soap is that it gets put in a draining soap dish after use. The dish needs to be draining because if the natural soap sits in wetness, it will turn into a slimy, soft blob of mush, never to harden again. So it gets wasted. And that was, unfortunately, what also happened to my soap in the jacket. The jacket stayed wet for a long time after use and the soap inside of it couldn't dry and started to turn into that blobby goop. I was rather disappointed because I was hoping to offer my customers a nice exfoliating option with a "soap in a jacket" while at the same time supporting another local craftsperson since I would have bought the "soap jackets" from her. However, hers were made of cotton. Maybe with wool it will dry fast enough so it won't be a problem. How does it smell? Does it have the wet wool smell when you use it? (One of the sellling points of a soap is the scent. Wet wool scent won't likely be appreciated by most . It's one of the reasons I haven't truly investigated making a sweater from my dogs' incredibly soft and warm, but a bit stincky when wet, shedded undercoats.) What about the soap, are you finding that it stays hard after use, or is it starting to get soft? I'd be interested to hear your findings using wool. Perhaps I should not give up just yet on the idea of offering my customers a "soap jacket"; maybe I simply tried the wrong material. I want to use only recyclable and/or compostable materials as much as I can in my business so wool would definitely be an option. Please post on your findings as far as scent and drying time, and if the soap is staying hard and holding its shape. Thank you!
 
gardener
Posts: 1752
Location: Cascades of Oregon
153
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I purchased a bar of felted wool over a bar of soap at our local natural food coop. My wife loves it. The bar has remained firm and the felt seems to be shrinking with the bar, at some point it wil probably be bigger than the bar.
 
master gardener
Posts: 2208
835
personal care gear foraging hunting rabbit chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Annie Collins wrote:Nice project! But... So one of the things I make for my business is natural soap. When I first came across this type of "soap jacket" at a farmers market, I thought it was a great idea. But I wasn't thinking it through. I did buy the "jacket" and tried it on a soap in my shower, forgetting that one of the important things about natural soap is that it gets put in a draining soap dish after use. The dish needs to be draining because if the natural soap sits in wetness, it will turn into a slimy, soft blob of mush, never to harden again. So it gets wasted. And that was, unfortunately, what also happened to my soap in the jacket. The jacket stayed wet for a long time after use and the soap inside of it couldn't dry and started to turn into that blobby goop. I was rather disappointed because I was hoping to offer my customers a nice exfoliating option with a "soap in a jacket" while at the same time supporting another local craftsperson since I would have bought the "soap jackets" from her. However, hers were made of cotton. Maybe with wool it will dry fast enough so it won't be a problem. How does it smell? Does it have the wet wool smell when you use it? (One of the sellling points of a soap is the scent. Wet wool scent won't likely be appreciated by most . It's one of the reasons I haven't truly investigated making a sweater from my dogs' incredibly soft and warm, but a bit stincky when wet, shedded undercoats.) What about the soap, are you finding that it stays hard after use, or is it starting to get soft? I'd be interested to hear your findings using wool. Perhaps I should not give up just yet on the idea of offering my customers a "soap jacket"; maybe I simply tried the wrong material. I want to use only recyclable and/or compostable materials as much as I can in my business so wool would definitely be an option. Please post on your findings as far as scent and drying time, and if the soap is staying hard and holding its shape. Thank you!



I hang mine up, out of the line of water splashing, much.
 
Annie Collins
pollinator
Posts: 324
78
dog trees books bee medical herbs
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Robert Ray wrote:I purchased a bar of felted wool over a bar of soap at our local natural food coop. My wife loves it. The bar has remained firm and the felt seems to be shrinking with the bar, at some point it wil probably be bigger than the bar.



Good to know- thank you! Sounds like wool will make a difference.
 
Annie Collins
pollinator
Posts: 324
78
dog trees books bee medical herbs
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Carla Burke wrote:
I hang mine up, out of the line of water splashing, much.



I tried that with the cotton one I bought also, but still it turned mushy. Maybe the cotton was too thick. I think I will revisit the whole thing using wool.
 
Flora Eerschay
pollinator
Posts: 283
Location: Poland
101
purity dog forest garden tiny house books earthworks fiber arts writing wood heat rocket stoves ungarbage
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Cotton takes very long to dry. Linen is good for the wrap around cord, and as a hanger, because it gets stronger when wet.
 
Carla Burke
master gardener
Posts: 2208
835
personal care gear foraging hunting rabbit chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
For something with more scrubbing power - like for using lye soap to scrub stuff - you can also make them from jute or hemp.
 
Flora Eerschay
pollinator
Posts: 283
Location: Poland
101
purity dog forest garden tiny house books earthworks fiber arts writing wood heat rocket stoves ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yay, thanks for giving me a pie! I only had time to look what comes with it, but to start, I will NOT turn off the ads, because they're so funny and non intrusive!

Meanwhile, the soapy gifts are all wrapped up and waiting for Christmas. I have one more bar soap, store bought but also natural (and black, because it's with active carbon), so I will probably make a sweater for this one too, and try it myself.

As for the smell, the 10 soaps I made as gifts have very strong smell (geranium, rosemary, lemongrass, lavender, etc) and I could only smell that, not the wool itself. The wool is washed, but it still has lanolin, and it has a little bit of its own smell but I find it rather pleasant. I don't feel it on the soaps, though; only when smelling the wool alone. I haven't tried it when wet but soon everyone will receive them and I will tell you their feedback!
 
catch it before it slithers away! Oh wait, it's a tiny ad:
Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum
https://permies.com/t/61704/Food-Forest-Card-Game-Game
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic