This step is optional. I place the soap carefully into the foot of an old knee high stocking. I've found that this step makes it easier to keep everything in place. It's also a little easier for kids to handle. Alternatively, you can just go onto the next step. I sometimes do this when I'm felting so I can see what's happening with the look of the soap and make slight adjustments.
This is my youngest 'felper', as she calls it. I guess that's a cross between a helper and a felter. Fair enough!
Dip your woolly soap into very hot water. Squeeze the water right through the layers of wool so that it is wet all the way through. Squeeze out excess water and then gently start 'working' the wool by squeezing and rubbing in small movements.
When the wool feels like it's knitting together into a single fabric you can start to work harder with your hands. The process of shrinking the felt is called 'fulling'.We use a pool blanket offcut to rub our soap on as the agitation helps the fulling process. If you don't have pool blanket you could try a sushi mat, regular bubble wrap or experiment with other bumpy surfaces. You can even complete the whole process with just your hands - just rub, pat and keep working the bar until the 'fulling' is complete.
After a few minutes you can remove the stocking (if you're using one). The wool won't shift any more. Pat the excess foam away with a towel and finish the process by giving each surface a good hard rub. That's it. You should be finished with a tight 'skin' of felt covering your bar of soap.