How Is Felt Made?
Most fabrics are woven, meaning they are constructed on a loom and have interlocking warp (the thread or fiber that is strung lengthwise on the loom) and weft (the thread that cuts across the warp fiber and interlocks with it) fibers that create a flat piece of fabric.
Felt is a dense, non-woven fabric and without any warp or weft. Instead, felted fabric is made from matted and compressed fibers or fur with no apparent system of threads.
Traditionally, Felt is produced as these fibers and/or fur are pressed together using heat, moisture, and pressure; known for us as as wet pressed. Our felt is generally composed of wool that is mixed with a synthetic in order to create sturdy, resilient felt for craft or industrial use.
Today, some felts are made wholly from synthetic fibers, in a dry needle-punch process. Pre-dyed synthetic fibers are used, and tiny , harpoon shaped needles are used to press the fibers into a tight construction. If you look closely, you may see some of the miniature holes, which are mostly invisible to the casual viewer. Using synthetic fibers in a dry process, lets us make washable and colorfast felt in our Durafelt lines.
Felt may vary in width, length, color, or thickness depending on its intended application. This matted material is particularly useful for padding and lining as it is dense and can be very thick. Furthermore, since the fabric is not woven the edges may be cut without fear of threads becoming loose and the fiber unraveling. Pressed wool Felted fibers generally take dye well and craft felt is available in a multitude of colors while industrial-grade felt is generally left in its natural state. In fact, felt is used in a wide variety of applications both within the residential and industrial contexts. Felt is used in air fresheners, children’s bulletin boards, craft kits, holiday costumes and decorations, stamp pads, within appliances, gaskets, as a clothing stiffener or liner, and it can be used as a cushion, to provide pads for polishing apparatus, or as a sealant in industrial machinery.