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How thick is Wool Blend Felt?

14 Nov

How Thick is Wool Blend Felt?

This is the question that I struggle to answer the most often.

The technical answer is wool blend felt is 564 of an inch  or (1.6 mm) in thickness.

That didn’t help at all did it? 

Well this might 1 sheet of wool blend felt from our online store is …

Slightly thicker than a penny

About as thick as 2 credit cards

or

3 playing cards

or

2 standard staples

or

15 sheets of standard copy paper (20# weight)

Happy Crafting!

~Andie

Wool felt questions Part 3: The difference between wool felt and felted wool.

25 Aug

If you’ve just joined us it may benefit you to know we are on part 3 of our 5 part series covering the most common questions about wool felt, so far we’ve seen aflow chart, solved a mystery and today we witness a MURDER… bum bum bum!

Question 3:   What’s the difference between felted wool and wool felt?

Felt (a noun) is created by agitating fibers either by using barbed needles or by getting the fibers wet and tangling them into each other to make a nonwoven felt fabric. Non woven fabrics including felt are awesome because they require no seams and are as user friendly as a fabric can get.

Wool Felt begins the felting process as wool roving or batting. Felted wool starts the process as a wool or wool blend woven fabric.

To make something “felt” (a verb) or “felted” (an adjective) implies washing a pre-woven, or knitted, wool or wool blend fabric in hot water to agitate it and force the fibers to lock making it impossible to untangle or loosen the fibers. Felting the wool fibers will make them contract and give you a  thicker fabric than what you started with as well as a bubbly texture.

To make this even more clear I have volunteered my husbands dress pants for this assignment*

Dressedin WoolSuit Pants 2006 – 2011 -

 These amazing wool slacks lived an wonderful long life. Ahh the good times, here they are in all their pin-stripy glory, so full of hopes and dreams.

Rest in Projects, my wooly friend!According to their owner Pants assisted in many aspects of business. Without Pants many deals simply would not have been made! In a world filled with Saggy Pants, Skinny Jeans and Culottes, Mr. Pants stood out from the crowd, a beacon of professionalism in a seemingly increasingly ill fitting world. The Pants spirit will live on in the lives of felted wool items for years to come.

Warning the following are actual pictures of a crime against wool taking place you may wish to avert your eyes.

Pants murder

Actual Crime Scene Photos.

As you can see from these photos Pants put up quite a fight, but in the end he was no match for hot water and Tide with bleach alternative.

Here’s a 9″ x 12″ sheet I cut after the felting process was complete, as you can see the felted wool still frays easily this could be because of a low wool content or  they could use another trip or two through the wash cycle to really get the fibers to lock. 

The difference between wool felt and felted wool.

Your felted wool results may vary based on the way the material was woven, wool content, or water temperature.
Most felted wools will not fray along the edges, and felted items have a beautiful thick bubbly texture to them.
This texture is the main reason to “felt” an object rather than just starting with felt.

Sure felt snobs will argue that felted wool is not a true felt because it started out it’s life as a woven fabric rather than as wool roving or batting. But since I am the only felt freak you’re ever likely to meet  you have my permission to call it whatever you like.

On a related note, I finally got around to making that felt bird!

wool Felt bird

Thanks Pants!

* No actual usable pants were harmed in the making of this blog post. 

~Andie

All your felt questions answered* Part 2: What is bamboo felt?

23 Aug

All of your felt questions will be answered in our 5 part series*

What is bamboo felt?

*Provided you have less than 5 questions about wool felt fabrics and that they are the same questions I will be answering.

I get emails nearly everyday asking some basic questions about felt fabrics. I thought I would re-post the top 5. Of course if your question isn’t here email me at customerservice@feltandcraft.com and I’d be happy to help any way I can.  So here we go with…

Bamboo felt

Question 2: What is Bamboo felt?

The currently available bamboo felt is a felt fabric made from a blend of two rayons. One rayon is made from bamboo fibers, and one rayon is derived from other sources, most commonly wood pulp. These two rayons are  then combined through commercial needle felting to create what is refered to as bamboo felt.

What you want details? I swear I heard a yes, so here goes:

 Bamboo stalks contain fibers

Bamboo cellulose fiber before being processed into bamboo rayon.

These Bamboo fibers can be woven into a stiff and rough fabric, similar to linen or hemp fabrics.

Bamboo fabrics

Fabric made with bamboo not made into rayon.

If the bamboo fibers are first turned into a rayon the structure of the material being made changes.

bamboo felt rayon fibers

Regenerated cellulose bamboo fiber (AKA Bamboo Rayon)

All rayon fibers are then combined by machine usually by needle felting

Rayons are layered and put into a machine which uses needles to create felt.

You cannot actually “felt” or create a soft smooth fabric with bamboo fibers without first processing it into a rayon.

Bamboo rayon fabric

Finished Bamboo rayon felt

So it may help to know how rayon is made:

Rayon fabric is the product of any cellulose fiber like cotton, bamboo, or most commonly wood pulp, —usually from pine and spruce trees, which is processed to create a regenerated cellulose fiber (fancy phrase for turned into diffrent, softer, easier to work with material.)

So what are the benefits of a bamboo felt if it’s just a rayon felt?

*Starting with the fastest growing grass like bamboo rather than a slower growing tree fiber makes bamboo a more sustainable fiber to work with.

*Bamboo is great for the planet, it produces more oxygen and absorbs more carbon dioxide than trees, it also prevents soil erosion.

*Since bamboo has no real threats in terms of pest nearly all of the bamboo grown in the world is grown organically with no pesticides, fertlizers or herbicides used.  And all rayons are 100% biodegradable.

*Bamboo is made up of smooth rounded fibers which are very soft even on extremely sensitive skin. It has a buttery feel to and is very lightweight.

*Bamboo felt is a beautiful fabric to work with, it has the softness of a cashmere, and the sheen of a silk  it flows and drapes like silk and cashmere too! It’s no wonder that bamboo rayons are now showing up on fashion runways.

*Rayon fibers, bamboo rayons especially, carry dyes very well and so they can be used to create very vibrant felt colors.

*Bamboo is also hypoallergenic and highly absorbant.

What are the drawbacks of bamboo felt?

*Chemicals are used in the production of all rayons, although technology seems to be moving towards fewer chemicals and new techniques for creating regenerated cellulose fibers are in the works.

*Rayon fibers become very weak when wet and do have a tendency to shrink when washed. Bamboo felt will shrink and dry cleaning is recommended. Never machine wash an item made from rayon felt try to hand wash if possible.  I have not noticed a diffrence in the strength of bamboo felt versus other felts.

*Bamboo felt is a little on the pricey side but it is a new fabric to the market so I am sure the prices will go down.

Wondering where you can buy bamboo felt?

We sell the bamboo felt sheets, bamboo felt fat quarters and smaller sample packs of bamboo felt on our website.

What is bamboo felt good for?

Bamboo felt is great for any application where you might normally use a 100% wool felt. It’s higher price point means it’s usually used for special or important pieces like Christmas ornaments, gifts, keepsakes, stuffies, baby booties, etc.

~Andie

All your wool felt questions answered* Part 1

18 Aug

*Provided you have less than 5 questions about wool felt fabrics and that they are the same questions I will be answering.

I get emails nearly everyday asking some basic questions about felt fabrics. I thought I would re-post the top 5. Of course if your question isn’t here email me at customerservice@feltandcraft.com and I’d be happy to help any way I can.  So here we go with…

Question 1:  

Which kind of felt fabric is best for my project? Acrylic felt, Wool Blend Felt, or 100% wool felt?

That depends on many factors however 75% of the time my answer is wool blend felt. Wool blend felt combines the beauty and durability of 100% wool felt fabric with the lower price point of an acrylic. I actually find that the wool rayon blend felts are nicer to work with in small sculpture (felt food, stuffies. plushies etc.) compared to 100% wool felt, since it moves and drapes into shape beautifully. If you follow this blog at all you probably know my feelings about Acrylic felt. In short I think it is horrible!!

For more specifics on which felt to use see the Felt Smack down where in I discuss all the ins and out and light stuff on fire too!

Still stuck? Have no fear for I have created this handy flow chart:

What kind of felt should I use

~ Andie


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