Presented by Katherine Shearer
The first of our Winter Warmers Zoom talks was on the 28th November.
Kath Shearer, our new committee member very kindly agreed to share her practical experience on how to make felted soaps. These make great alpaca-themed Christmas presents or gifts to sell in your alpaca themed shops and stalls.
Kath had made a pre-recorded video of the process of actually making felted soap, and this was followed by a question and answer session. The event proved popular and we had enthusiastic feedback from those taking part.
Felted soaps are easier for people with arthritus to hold; they don’t get slimey in the bathroom and everybody in the family can have their own with a different design. Felted soap can be made using second grade fibre from neck and legs.
Kath starts by carding the fibre and removing any short pieces (which won’t felt properly) as well as bits of vegetable matter that have gone through the carder. She doesn’t wash the fibre before felting as the felting process itself will wash it. Soaps that lather up well are easiest to felt but you can felt other soaps by using another soap to lather up your hands. She estimates it takes about 15 minutes to felt one soap. She normally uses huacaya fibre but perhaps surprisingly she has found that you can felt suri too (although fibre from different animals may vary in its feltability!). Once the felted soap has dried thoroughly you can finish off by needle felting a contrasting design. Like Kath, you might like to think about teaming up with a local craft soapmaker to create a unique, artisan local product. You can buy felted soap and other alpaca products from Kath at https://freerangefibre.co.uk/
If you missed the zoom talk, or you want a reminder of how to make the soaps, members (and non-members who attended) can view the video via EAG’s u-tube channel. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for the link.