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Wool Felt Blends- part 3 of Whats the difference between wool, acrylic, wool blend, and eco felt?

3 Apr

acrylic wool eco blend felt

AFC wool felt rainbow

Meet me in the middle, part 3 of whats the diffrence.

In this post we’ll look at Wool/Rayon felt blends, please see my other post on wool felt and Acrylic/eco-felt , or for a more simplistic match up check out Felt Smackdown.

Wool Felt Blends

Wool felt blends are blends of wool felt and another material most often rayon. Rayon is made from wood pulp a naturally occurring polymer. It can be manufactured to look like a number of different fabrics in this case wool. Rayon’s properties are similar to cotton or linen and it is the obvious choice for blends because it’s blends with other fabrics easily and in the case of wool it removes the “itch” factor and provides an added softness.

Wear and Care

Wool blend felt wears in a similar way to wool in that it holds up well to wear and stress it does however pill after friction is applied.  Generally this is not a problem in any normal situation as it takes a great deal of friction to cause this, in which case I do not want to know what you are using this felt for. Oh who are we kidding yes I do.  Wool blend felt has a very nominal amount of elasticity and will not be pulled out of shape as easily as wool.  The addition of rayon to the wool does not affect dyeabity at all allowing the felt to achieve very vivid colors. Rayon generally speaking is not damaged by bleaches, although it will alter the fabrics color.  Unlike 100% wool, rayon does not build up a static charge so when blended together the felt will not hold a charge. Rayon blend felt is soft and quite comfortable on the skin. The blended felt will wrinkle but will easily flatten out with time or the application of a low temperature iron. The blends generally resist insect damage and retain the mildew resistant qualities of wool so if you live in the wettest most bug infested place in the world (see Florida) your still in good shape with a blend. However only a moderate amount of water resistance is retained so you’ll want to wipe up spills as soon as possible. Blends generally wash well if washed correctly and spots are easily removed.

Safety and environmental impact

Rayon/ Wool blends retain a good amount of the fire resistant qualities of wool and when it does catch flame it generally burns out. Wool felt blends must contain a minimum of 20% wool in order to be felted without chemical processes this gives wool felt blends similar anti-bacterial and hypoallergenic properties but in a lesser amounts than 100% wool.  Since rayon is made from wood pulp a relatively inexpensive and renewable resource it can be considered a more environmentally friendly option than acrylic/ eco felts.

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Usages

Blends can be sewn, needle felted, glued and molded.

DisadvantagesAFC felt stack

Rayon blends will shrink, although slightly less than wool. And when cut into shapes less than 1/3 of an inch they will come apart when strongly pulled however this effect is somewhat lessened when the wool percentage is higher. All in all Rayon blends span the vast chasm between wool and acrylic felts.

Now that your a felt expert why not put all that knowledge up to good use in Felt Smackdown. Of course if you missed part 1 or 2 you can go back and catch up.

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