Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom

Felted Wool

A wool roving is a slightly twisted roll or strand of wool fibers. After the wool is sheared from the sheep, it is washed and then combed to separate the fibers. The wool is then twisted into rovings to make it easier to handle.

 

  • wool fleece
  • warm, soapy water

Felted Balls

  1. In one hand take a handful of fleece.
  2. Submerge the hand, with the fleece, in a pan of warm, soapy water. Make sure all the fleece gets wet.
  3. Using two hands, form the felt ball as though you were making a snowball. You may have to add 1-2 drops of liquid soap.
  4. Pass the ball from hand to hand, squeezing very gently. The ball will continue to get smaller and firmer the longer you work it. Add more fleece if you want a larger ball.
  5. When the ball is firm, rinse out the soap and let it dry.

Make two or three balls, and you are ready for juggling. Invite a juggler to class to teach students how to juggle their felt balls. Smaller balls can be strung on strands of yarn to make bracelets.

  • bar soap

  • wool roving

  • nylon stocking

  • cold water

  • hot water

Felted Soap

  1. Thin wool roving out until you can almost see through it

  2. Place bar soap in center.

  3. Wrap soap in wool roving. Tuck in at ends.

  4. Lightly cover soap with wool. (If you have too much wool it will bunch off soap. If you have too little, you can see the soap.)

  5. Add two or three colors with little strips of wool roving.

  6. Stretch and thin wool roving until it covers the bar of soap.

  7. Drizzle a little hot water on soap and press wool very gently together.

  8. Insert bar of soap wrapped in wool roving into the nylon stocking. The nylon helps hold the wool into place until you have finished the felting process.

  9. Sprinkle a little more cool water until soap starts to foam up inside nylon.

  10. Gently rub wool on soap, alternating hot water and cool water.

  11. After a few minutes the soap will lather, and the wool will start to contract (or felt) onto the soap.  At this point you will be lathering the soap up in your hands like you were washing them.

  12. Keep rubbing the wool until it tightens around the soap.

  13. It may take 10-12 minutes, but eventually the wool will tighten and form a casing around the soap.

  14. Remove soap carefully from nylon.

  15. Wipe off excess lather with a paper towel.

  16. Set out to dry. When dry, it is ready to use. Tie with a pretty bow and give it as a gift.

Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom is a program of the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry and the Oklahoma State Department of Education

Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom

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