Felt – Types, Making Your Own, and Craft Ideas
is created when the fibers of wool or acrylic are intertwined or
matted, so they create a thick, dense fabric. Unlike knitted or
woven fabric, it is not made up of woven stitches, so there is not
a grain. Therefore, it will not unravel or fray when you cut
Make Your Own Felt
Use unspun wool
roving, a felting
needle, and a mat
to needle felt a design or object. The felting needle has
barbs along the sides, which catch onto the wool fibers and tangle
them until the fibers become dense. You could make 3D
sculpture, or a flat picture onto another piece of wool. Needle
felting will not work if you use "superwash" wool roving (if it is
superwash, it will be marked as such), because that type of wool
has specifically been treated so it will not felt and therefore you
can wash it in a washing machine. Beginners can use needle felting kits that come with
wool, needles, a pad, and a pattern to get started.
Felting From Knit, Crochet, or Woven Material
Have you ever accidentally shrunk a sweater in the wash? The
fibers in your sweater have felted themselves. When using a yarn
made from an animal fiber such as wool or alpaca, the finished
project can be shrunken or "felted" to create a thicker and smaller
material. This process is technically called "fulling" and is
executed by washing the item in hot then cold water while
agitating. The easiest way to do this is in your own washing
machine on the hot/cold setting. This can also be completed by hand
to control the amount of felting and its location. Make sure to
knit the project much larger than you want the finished project to
be as some felting can be shrunken drastically.
Types of Felt
Stiffened Felt- holds
its shape and does not drape. It makes a nice background for a
craft project, and can be propped up. It is easy to cut, paint on,
or glue things to.
Backed Felt- peel off the paper backing, and the back of it is
sticky. Cut out shapes, and stick it to another surface. This
type of felt is available in sheets, as well as die cut letters and
made from the wool fiber from a sheep. Not machine washable, but
you can needle felt wool roving onto it. Brands that carry wool
felt are National
Feltworks, and Raggedy
made from synthetic fibers such as nylon, polyester, or acrylic.
Also called craft felt. This type is very inexpensive, and great
for a wide variety of craft projects.
Glitter - Acrylic with glitter
embedded into the fibers. Kunin brand FanciFelt has glitter
shapes and other colorful patterns.
Shapes- Felt is so thick and dense
that it is very difficult to cut into small, intricate shapes.
Pre-cut shapes, letters, and numbers are
available and usually come with adhesive backs.
- Story-telling props
- Bean bags
- Tabletop protectors
- Embellishments for clothing or scrapbooking
- Creating non-skid surfaces
- Decorative pillows
- Christmas stockings
For felt and felting tutorials and projects, visit ThinkCrafts.com
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