You may not be aware, but you have undoubtedly encountered felt fabric in your life so far. Furthermore, the chances are there is at least one item containing felt around you!
Felt is an incredibly popular material. And it is time to know about it. Our article will provide all the necessary information to pick the right type of feeling for any application. Don’t hesitate, and start reading right away to become a real perceived expert!
Chapter 1. What Is Felt Fabric – A Brief Overview
Felt is a type of textile material that falls into the group of human-made fabric. You can use both natural and synthetic fibers to make felt.
The natural fibers usually involve wool, but you can also consider using any other animal fur. When it comes to synthetic, the common choices include rayon based on wood pulp and acrylic based on petroleum.
The History of Felt
It may be interesting to note that felt was the first textile material the humankind made in its history. The primary choice was wool, and people adopted synthetic fibers many years later.
The first felt fabric takes us down the history lane back to 5,000 years ago. The first place to produce is in Asia.
Moreover, nomads in this continent consider felt making their primary “job” even today.
Chapter 2.What Are the Advantages of Felt Fabric?
Believe it or not, felt has many advantages, which is why we decided to put them in a list. Here are the benefits of this fabric:
- It is versatile – you probably know that felt is very popular in the fashion industry. However, it is convenient, and people also use it for musical instruments or framed paintings. Many crafters, such as puppeteers, also love using felt to make dolls.
- It is resilient – as long as you take proper care of it, felt can last for years.
Furthermore, it will look as good as new even after a lot of time passes.
- Impressive warmth – the reason why felt is warm lies in the fact that the creators mesh fibers. Which doesn’t leave any room between them. That gapless design is what ensures excellent thermal insulation and provides warmth warm even during cold weather.
- Resistant to fraying – felt is incredibly durable, and fraying or unraveling is not a problem for this fabric. In other garments, you may notice that a clothing piece erodes with friction in the elbow or knee area. However, that won’t happen with felt as it is resistant to fraying.
- It is lightweight – even though it is durable and resilient, felt also manages to be light. That ensures comfort while wearing the fabric, and is another benefit of the material.
- Available in different colors and thicknesses – you can choose the desired felt thickness to fit any application. Additionally. You have the chance of picking the preferred color to meet your expectations.
Finally, it is vital to note that felt is not expensive. Furthermore, the fabric is affordable, and it should fit your budget even if it is a bit tight.
Chapter 3.How to Classify Felt Fabrics
The primary felt classification divides this fabric into two different types:
- Polyester felt
- Wool Felt
When it comes to thickness, polyester felt can achieve the same level as wool. However, it is density that might not make it such a great choice if you are looking for a particularly dense material.
Additionally, it will probably feel like wool felt is softer than polyester. Although it depends on the production process, polyester can be somewhat rugged.
The comparisons in terms of strength also speak in favor of wool. However, the choice will ultimately depend on the preferred use and application.
Chapter 4.How to Make Felt Fabrics
If you are interested in practicing the felt craft. Please note that the manufacturing involves fiber blending, material matting, and using steam to press the material. Those looking for a simple way should know that moisture and heat can do wonders for blending the fibers.
Depending on the approach used in manufacturing, there are three types of felt fabrics.
4.1. Woven Felt
If you choose woven felt, the process will involve directly weaving the wool into the cloth. It is not mandatory to use pure wool as a blend is also a suitable choice. After you finish the weaving, apply moisture and pressure to boost natural interlocking of the fibers.
The result will be an exceptionally durable felt that you could use indoor seals or musical instruments. It is interesting to note that woven felt doesn’t have to be as thick as pressed or needle felt.
4.2. Pressed Felt
It was the first method that people invented for making felt. The techniques of weaving and knitting followed later.
As for pressed felt, you can choose between a synthetic fiber and wool blend, or pure wool fibers. The idea is to use moisture and heat to compress them so that fabrics would interlock. The process is both affordable and straightforward, and you will get a dense tissue in the end. Creators are welcome to choose the desired thickness of the material.
4.3. Needle Felt
The third method people use for making this fabric is needle felt. The process also requires fabric interlocking. You can also choose between only wool or a synthetic wool mix. However, the difference is that you will need a machine to interlock the fabrics.
These machines have numerous needles that work toward the interlocking. It turns out that won’t be as dense as it is made by other methods. However, will also be incredibly soft, which makes it perfect for cushioning and crafts.
Chapter 5. What Products Can Felt Fabrics Make?
Due to its versatility, the felt fabric is an attractive choice for different applications across various industries. Here are some of the many forms of this fabric.
5.1. Musical Instruments
Did you know felt has vibration dampening characteristics? It is why the musicians don’t hesitate to use it with different instruments.
For example, felt is a part of a drum construction to help to maintain a clean sound. Additionally, it is this fabric that manufacturers use to wrap up the core of piano hammers. You can often find felt under the keys of the piano to optimize noise level and control.
Everything started in the 18th century when felt was the material of choice for top male hats. It was later when people began using felt to make trilbies, fedoras, and other hats.
Today, people use felt as boot liners in the footwear industry. It is also a great choice if you are making a cosmetic bag or other types of containers.
5.3. Other Uses
Here are some other sectors that use felt:
- Automotive – it is the vibration dampening characteristics that make it a suitable choice. Felt serves to keep fastenings from coming loose, and it can also help to keep everything tight inside the engine.
- Casino – it may be unusual, but felt is famous in land-based casinos. Those who tried playing roulette or blackjack probably noticed the soft green table. Now you know that felt was the material of choice when designing it.
- Toys and puppets – a wide range of dolls and toys for children contain felt because it secures the necessary softness that kids love.
Individuals also frequently use felt in their arts and crafts projects.
As you can see, the felt fabric is incredibly popular, and for a good reason. It is affordable, durable, and versatile, which makes it an excellent value for the price.
We hope that you now know all the secrets to this amazing fabric, and can make a smart choice when it comes to acquiring the right type for your desired application!