Felt is probably one of the most unique and versatile types of fabric that we currently have. The high resilient nature of the material is what makes last for ages, even with frequent use.
The feature that makes felt clothing popular is its warmth nature. Since the material meshes during the manufacturing process, there are no gaps between fibers. This means that they are resistant to wind and cold, which makes felt clothes common during the cold seasons. So long as the felt material is kept safe, you can use them for years without worrying about wear and tear or color changes.
Section 1:Understand the Problems You Have Encountered
Now the next question will be: How can I maintain felt materials for them to last longer?
This question is quite common among felt product enthusiasts. The truth is, cleaning and caring for felt is an easy and simple process.
In this article, we are going to give you detailed tips on how to maintain your felt items without spending a lot of time and money.
Section 2 How You Should Handle Your Felt Products
2.1 Caring for felt products
The technical process of felt making makes the material stronger compared to woven fabric. While the felt products in the market may cost more, they are generally stronger, can shield you from harsh weather, and tend to maintain their shape for a long period. Since this might be a huge investment, it is prudent to take the utmost care when handling the material. This will protect the material from getting dirty fast. With poor storage, the felt materials can also get damaged by pests and harsh weather.
2.2 Here is how you should handle your felt products
• Ensure that your hands are clean before holding a felt material
• Do not leave the items near hot stoves, windows, lamps, or in hot vehicles. A warm environment makes the felt to shrink
• After washing your felt items, let them dry naturally
• Avoid folding a wet felt product since the fabric maintains the shape it dries in.
• Avoid using a washer or drier to clean felt. Felt is a delicate material which can easily get damaged by washing machines
• Iron or steam the felt to remove wrinkles
• Felt materials quickly absorb body oils. Do not over-handle the surface of the items
2.3 General cleaning
If any of your felt products are excessively dirty, the best thing to do is talk to a professional. There are, however, a few tricks that you can use to ensure that your felt products stay clean.
• First, brush the item to remove surface dirt, dust, and lint. If there is stubborn lint, use masking tape or roller lint remover
• You can also use a slightly damp cloth to wipe away dust and dirt
• At times, the felt may spot with grease or water. If this is the case, use a cornstarch or baby talc powder to clean it. This home hack works best on a light-colored felt material. Never use liquid cleaners on felt material.
2.4 Vacuuming felt
If there is loose dust or dirt on the felt product, you can also vacuum it away.
• Run a small vacuum nozzle over the felt.
• Take care when vacuuming around ribbons and beading. Ensure that they are secure to avoid sucking them off the item.
2.5 Handwashing felt
The best way to clean felt products is by hand washing them in a sink. If you have to use a washing machine, the felt should be extremely dirty, smells terrible, or other cleaning options don’t work. Also, use cold water when washing felt material since hot water can easily damage the fabric. If possible, try to use a mild detergent. Here is a quick video on how to wash knitted clothing without flattening it.
2.5.1 Important tip:
Avoid hand washing felt products frequently. Only do this on an occasional basis.
2.6 Storing felt
Even before storing felt material, make sure that the area is dry, preferably dark, and cool. The place should also be free from extreme changes in humidity and temperature. If you have a large drawer, set aside a few compartments to store your felt items specifically.
2.6.1 Important tips:
• The storage place should be clean to prevent dust particles from cutting the fiber through abrasion and friction.
• Store the felt products flat, subject to minimum abrasion, pressure, and folding. If you have to fold the item, avoid sharp folds
• Do not expose the fabric to light when storing them. This is because felt tends to get damaged by direct sunlight.
• A clean, cool and dry place will also keep the fabric safe from moth and mildew( we will discuss this point in details later)
• Periodically remove the felt from storage and air it. If the material was folded, change the position of the folds to avoid subjecting it to the tension of folding, which may lead to fiber breakage.
2.7 Protecting felt against harmful insects
Once you expose your felt items to moths and pests, they can easily get destroyed. These small but harmful creatures exclusively feed on animal fiber, which also includes wool. With severe infestation, the insects can cause irreparable harm to vulnerable felt materials.
The good news is that it is easier to keep the insects away from your precious items by;
• Storing the felt products away from direct sunlight.
• Keeping the storage area clean
• keeping the felt in an airtight container
• Using cedar hangers or cedar wood blocks(cedar is known to camouflage fabric from moths)
2.8 Protecting wool felt from damage caused by heat and moisture
As already mentioned, excessive heat can damage felt items. So do not, at any cost, leave your felt material near a heat source-not even in direct sunlight. This is due to the reason that heat can restart the felting process. It can even be worse when the item is wet since this can lead to shrinkage.
When your felt items get wet, either by rain or sweat, leave it to dry naturally. Using forced heat from a blow drier, for instance, is never a good idea. If the material is rained on, shake off the excess water and place in under a shade. This will help the item maintain its shape when drying.
You also should take care when holding a welt felt material. If you are not careful enough, the product will easily distort. We already know that a wet felt material maintains the shape it dries on. Ensure that the product shaped the same way you want it to be once it dries.
Section 3 What are the Common Problems With Felt Maintenance?
3.1 Can I iron felt?
Yes, you can iron your felt items. When you store a felt product for a longer time, it can end up in wrinkles. You can, at times, buy a felt product when it already has some wrinkled lines. When ironing the product, start with a lower temperature and steadily increase when the material doesn’t smooth. You don’t have to iron-steam with water. If possible, do a smaller test to confirm how the fabric will respond to ironing.
3.2 Can felt be dry cleaned?
Synthetic felt can wash without causing problems. But when it comes to wool felt, washing may make it shrink, bleed or start to fuzz. As much as you can still clean felt with water, the best way to clan felt is by dry cleaning. Wet cleaning may damage the fabric.
3.3 Does felt bleed in the wash?
Ensure that you are as gentle as possible when washing felt. Always wash your felt items by hand using cold water.
However, some colors may still bleed even after you wash the product with cold water.
• Hot water can fade felt
• Regular wash can also twist the felt
3.4 How long can felt material last?
Felt is one of the oldest human-made textiles. If well maintained, the material can last for as long as you wish
3.5 Is the felt fabric waterproof?
Felt is also a resilient material, being able to compress and released several times without getting deformed. The fabric is highly absorbent and can retain its weight in water.
When you visit a store to purchase your preferred felt products, ensure that the item is in good condition. It should be clean and have a proper shape. The longevity of your felt product depends on how you care for it. We hope that our tips will guide you through taking care of your felt items, and even encourage you to purchase more!