These felts will be put through the 6 tests and a winner will be declared after each round. But first the details; Each felt square will be cut into a 5×7 squares, both the wool and wool blend are from American Felt and Craft and the acrylic and eco-spun (now called eco-fi) are from my local craft store.
Challenge #1 Appearance
OK well this one is tough since it’s largely dependant on what your looking for personally I love the bouncy loft of the 100% wool but you can declare your own winner….
Challenge #2 Transparency
Winner: Wool Blend with 100% Wool in a close second.
Challenge #3 Stitching
Each of the felts were cut into smaller strips and machine sewn together (wool to wool and so on) with red thread, I gave them 1 good tug and here are the results.
When I placed the sewn pieces down I noticed that the act of yanking them distorted some more than others so I thought I’d show you that too.
Winner: Tie Wool’s loft almost completely hides the stitches but blend holds a nicer looking seam and wasn’t easily pulled out of shape as much as wool.
Challenge #4 Fuzz Factor
Each of the felts was cut into a free hand circle I then pinched along the edges to see how much fuzz each felt produced:
I also wanted to see how much fuzz was produced with normal usages, I am nothing if not though, so I cut apart my stitched felt (which is why the sample pieces are a bit wonky) and placed a clear return address sticker onto each piece of felt smoothed it down and removed it VIOLA!
Winner: Blend Second Place: Wool Voted most likely a waste of money: Acrylic, seriously it almost has a hole in it at this point!
Challenge #5 Shrinkage
For this test I threw my 5×7 inch sheets from challenges 1 & 2 into the washer with a few pairs of jeans for agitation and washed them on warm, which here in Arizona means scalding hot, basically the worst conditions for felt.
Winner: Eco-felt Second Place: Acrylic
Challenge #6 The moment you’ve all be waiting for…FIRE!
For this challenge I took a small swatch of each felt equal in size and lit them on fire waited 10 seconds and took a picture of what was left, in some cases the flame just kind of died out on it’s own but only the acrylic had to be put out before 10 seconds. All tests were conducted outdoors in a well ventilated area, don’t try this at home.
As silly as this test seems it’s actually a serious matter. If you intend to attach your felt to clothing or make toys that a child might sleep with melting plastics can cause serious burns. Because fire can be extinguished but melted plastic actually sticks to and continues to burn into the skin, melted plastics are far more dangerous in a fire.
The Acrylic did not self extinguish and created a thick black smoke as it melted, giving off drips of plastic. It burned surprisingly rapidly and frankly between the smoke and the quick burning I got a little nervous and blew it out, so this is it after about 5 seconds. It left behind hard plastic globules (I have always wanted to use that word).
The Eco-felt was a little bit of a slower starter which was surprising considering it’s composition is identical to acrylic I can only assume it was treated with some kind of chemical however once it was ignited it melted very rapidly and created the same signature black smoke. Burnt areas once cool enough to touch (about a full minute after burning) were hard solid plastic masses.
The blend felt did not create any real smoke to speak of and self extinguished almost immediately in fact the only time it seemed to want to burn is when direct flame as applied. The burnt areas created a soft grey ash which when touched fell into dust.
As odd as it sounds I couldn’t actually get the wool to burn at all. I held the lighter to the wool the entire time and this was all I was able to accomplish, there was no smoke although there was a faint smell of burning hair although nothing like the smell of human hair and what I did manage to burn created a soft ash which fell to dust on contact.
Winner: Wool Second: Blend
Well there it is, I welcome your questions, comments, or suggestions.