You may have already heard of wool felt, but you would like to know more details about it. That is why you should read this article as it provides all the features you should know about wool felt.
We will start with the basics, but we will also focus on different uses of this fabric, as well as its benefits over synthetic fibers. Finally, you will learn about different types of wool, but also how to ensure that you buy real wool. If you are ready, let’s start our guide!
Chapter 1.We need to know what Wool Felt is
Wool felt is a natural textile material. We frequently get wool from Merino and other sheep, but you can also get wool from a got, bison, rabbit, or other animals. The wool goes through the process of fiber matting, condensing, and pressing to become felt fabric. Felt is one of the first textile materials that humanity has ever used.
Even today, wool felt has many applications and uses. Moreover, its versatility impresses since we can see this fabric in clothing, footwear, music, automotive, glass, and other industries.
Since it is easy to handle and process, wool felt is also an excellent choice for individual craft projects. You will often see both children and adults making different items out of this fabric.
Chapter 2.What Are the Advantages of Wool Felt Over Polyester?
Apart from wool, you might also consider using polyester felt. The crucial difference between the two is that wool is a natural material, while polyester is synthetic.
It is interesting to note that the materials are quite similar. They are both exceptionally resilient and fray-resistant, which adds to their versatility. Also, they are light and come in various thicknesses and colors.
However, here are some benefits of choosing wool over polyester:
1. It is eco-friendly – wool is a natural material, which makes it environment-friendly.
2. It is softer than polyester – although synthetic fibers can be smooth, too, wool takes the softness to the next level.
3. It is warmer than polyester – apart from providing extra warmth, it is also more
comfortable, which can be vital if you are making sweaters or other clothing items.
Wool is a good material, we have also introduced wool balls before. For specific information, you can read through the previous articles to understand
Chapter 3.Different Types of Wool Used for Felting
Are you getting ready for your first felting project? If you set your mind on using wool, it may be a surprise to discover there are many different types of this material out there. Here is a short explanation to know which is the best fit for you.
3.1. Raw Fleece
We will start with the most basic type of wool – raw fleece. Nobody processed this wool, which means that it looks like it was taken off the back of a sheep a couple of minutes ago! While that guarantees purity, it also means you will face some dirt and other compounds. If you are willing to clean it, you can feel proud for taking care of your material from the start!
In this case, somebody has already handled the cleaning part. The distributors will usually wash and clean the wool. You will also find that some people used different colors to dye the material. However, there was no combing and carding, which means you mostly get a raw, clean fleece.
If you a needle felt fan, this is the type of wool you should use, especially if you are a beginner. The distributor made sure to comb the wool, and it now looks neat with all the fibers turned in a single direction. In most cases, you will buy this type of wool in the form of balls. Please note that you can also find it under the name “tops.”
The final stage of wool processing indicates that someone has taken care of washing and carding. It is easy to pull chunks of desirable size from this wool. Although they are also convenient if you are applying the needle felting technique, batts are a bit harder to find than roving wool.
Chapter 4.How to Buy Real Wool Felt
When you are buying wool felt, it inevitably crosses your mind if that is real wool. We’ve all been there, but the good news is there are ways to confirm you are purchasing the first thing.
Let’s take a look at some of the factors that you can consider when determining whether you are buying real wool, and not synthetic fibers:
1. Check the product label – in some cases, wool felt will have a name that will state the material of the fabric. That is what you should check first as it may be the easiest way to confirm you are buying real wool.
2. Incredible softness – wool has unmatchable softness, and it is much softer than synthetic fibers. Inferior quality acrylic can even lead to your fingers tingling, but that will never happen with wool.
3. Cost – the truth is that top-quality wool cannot be as cheap as synthetic fibers. The good news is that it is worth every penny you invest.
4.1. Burn and Felting Tests
These are the two tests that can help you to determine if it is real wool. For starters, take a small piece of the material and light it on fire. If it is synthetic, it will melt, and you will feel chemicals. If it is real wool, it will turn to ash and the smell will remind you of a burned hair.
As for the felting test, you will need two small chunks of the material. Make sure to wet them at the ends and try to weave them together. If the pieces stay together, it is real wool.
Chapter 5.Do You Know About the Use of Wool Felt?
Wood felt projects could be exciting as they allow you to express a lot of creativity. Here are some ideas on the things you can make from wool:
1. Dolls and toys – kids will appreciate a soft baby they can play with whenever they want.
2. Moreover, you can also show them how to make their toy!
3. Decorative pieces – why not design something that will fit right into your room décor?
4. Clothing items – scarves may be a good idea, but if you think you have enough skills, you can also make a cosmetic bag, sweater, or hat.
5. It may be interesting to note some of the industries that use felt regularly:
6. Music – since it has excellent vibration dampening traits, we can often see it in drums and pianos.
7. Automotive – in this industry, people use felt as acoustic and thermal insulators, and for its anti-vibration properties.
8. Electrical appliances – once again, vibration dampening is crucial but felt can also serve as a sealant or even lubricant in consumer electronics.
9. Packaging – felt is excellent in absorbing shock, which makes it suitable for different forms of packaging.
10. Furniture – you will often find felt to be the material that protects furniture, and people also use it for padding, cushioning, and decoration.
Chapter 6.How to Make a Wool Felt
The most common way of working with wool felt is to use specialized felting needles. It will be easy to learn this felt craft, and you will enjoy doing it.
6.1. What Materials Do You need to Start Felting?
Here is a list of the things you will require before you start:
1. A specialized felting needle – these are very sharp and come in different shapes and sizes. Make sure to choose the way and the thickness that suits your application. The general rule is that thick needles are suitable in the beginning, but you should use thin ones for fine details.
2. A working surface – since you will do a lot of poking, it would be wise to use a sponge or EPE foam. That way you won’t risk poking the table below the working surface or hurting yourself.
We will assume that you already have wool and that you don’t need to process it further.
6.2. Three Essential Steps of Felting
The entire process comes down to three steps:
1. Pull chunks of wool or cut it, and place it on the working surface. You can experiment with different forms and shapes depending on what you are making.
2. Grab your needle and poke the wool. Make sure to position yourself so that you can do the poking effortlessly, but stay safe and don’t risk poking yourself.
3. You will notice the fibers interlocking, and the wool will slowly form into felt. You can poke around the edges, as well as use your hands to get the desired shape. Keep in mind the wool may shrink during the process.
That rounds up our guide that covered all the wool felt basics you should know. We hope that you are now aware of the versatility and usability of this material. Feel free to experiment with shapes and forms, and we are sure you will soon start making unusual items!