What is felt? Felt is a term for a piece of textile that is neither knitted nor woven (non-woven fabric). Felt can be made from many different types of fibers - from synthetic fibers to natural fibers. The felt we make is always made from natural fibers of 100% wool.
We felt the wool ourselves, and to do that, we need to have our hands in the wool many times. A lot is done by hand, but we have made machines that help us in some of the processes.
How do you felt? Wool can naturally felt! Everyone has probably washed a woolen jumper in the washing machine in water that's too hot - the result is a jumper that's too small. It's impossible to pull it out to its original size.
This is the property that is used when we felt the wool.
Under the microscope, you can see that wool fibers have scales that rise when they are heated. Underneath the scales are hooks with barbs (like fishhooks) which can interlock. This is basically how wool felt.
How do you needle felt? Wet felting is felting with clean water or soapy water. Using warm water and movement, I can get the wool fibers to interlock with the natural barbs’ wool has. Once the wool has taken shape, it is permanent - a kind of wool memory. When I felt from cleaned wool, I use only hot water and agitation. No chemicals are added - it's a very sustainable, green process.
When I felt raw wool that comes directly from the sheep, I wet felt with hot water and a lot of soap. This way I both wash the wool and felt it together in the same process. This saves water consumption.
Which yarns do you use for felting?You can use different yarns for felting. I use core wool for felting. It's wool that is combed through, so it's very light and fluffy.