Wool Felt: What is it and how is it made?

Wool Felt is a non-woven fabric created through pressing, matting and condensing wool fibres. Felt can be very soft, or very rough, and can come in any size, and can any shape.

Wool is made into felt by a process of wet felting, where moisture (usually water) lubricant (commonly a type of soap) and friction (your hands, if you choose to felt manually!) creates the right conditions for the wool fibres to entangle, and create a sheet of felt.

Commercial wet felting also usually iuses soapy water, rolling the wool toward the friction source, and away again. The process is continual, so even though only 5% of the fibres are active, different ”sets” become activated and deactivated, creating a matted fibre.

Impure wool felt contains a minimum of 30% wool, otherwise the fibres struggle to create a stable cloth. Purely artificially felts are not wet felted at all, they are actually needle felted!

Needle felting is a process used to make felt. It is used to create artificially felts and below 30% minimum wool felt. Small hand-felting needles can be purchased from Handmade Presents, however industially, a amchine with many small needles is used. These needles may be refered to as barbed, however, technically, the needle is adorned with notches that take fibres from the top of the material, and tangle them with the one within.

Felt is used everywhere, from handmade gifts, to the automotive industry. Piano hammers are made of felt around a wooden core, it is also used in drum kits, to protect the cymbal from cracking, and helping to produce a clean sound. Felt is found under accordion keys to control noise and touch, and many other uses.

Visit our main website, where you can puirchase wool felt, natural wool of all shapes and sizes, from fleeces, to rovings to yarn.


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