"FELTED WOOL vs WOOL FELT"
WOW!!! Where did that weekend go - it's already Monday a.m. It's true that even though it went by rather quickly, there were so many things that I wanted to do that didn't get done...perhaps this will be a busier week than normal. YIKES!!!!!
I did have a bit of a productive weekend...so pleased to have completed the pattern writing for "PENNY BLOSSOM"...there's a group of patterns that I am working on completing...and introducing you so some wonderful new products in the process.
I have a wonderful selection of delicious felted wools that are awaiting new designs, a special project to try out some new wool felt in order to sample a new products for customers...there are lots and lots of fun things going on at my STUDIO.
Since I do a lot of wool Applique, I thought I'd try to answer one of those questions this morning that has to do with FELTED WOOL vs WOOL FELT..because the 2 products, although both are used in wool applique, are very much different. One thing is for certain, you can easily tell the difference between both products. Also, in the same way that they look and feel different, there is also a big different in the price factor between the two.
Let's see if I can give a bit of a simple explanation during coffee time this morning :-)
Wool is sheered, the fiber is washed and what we get when we do that is a product that is called wool roving, otherwise known as raw wool. Once we have the wool roving, it is then spun into thread and the thread is used to weave wool fabric.
When we purchase wool fabric from a bolt, it's not normally felted..so we wash it using HOT water, throw it in the dryer..and come up with this wonderful FELTED WOOL.
What happens during this process is that the wool shrinks, and the fibers mat together; at which point the wool will no longer unravel. (I find that there are still some exceptions to this rule, depending on different yard-dyed wools. e.g. plaids)
During the felting process, the wool will be come more soft, thicker.
Remember, that if you purchase wools that have been hand dyed, then the wool will all ready be FELTED WOOL... during the hand dying process, the wool will have already gong though the wash/dryer in order to complete the hand dying process.
Now comes the big question as to what is WOOL FELT??
Well, remember those felts that they sell in craft stores..the acrylic ones? Many people think that those and Wool Felt are the same. They are not.
Wool Felt is made with wool fibers, or a combination of fibers where there is at least some small percentage of wool.
When making wool felt, the fibers are tightly compress, mixing the fibers with moisture and heat and then compressing the fibers under pressure, making this wool felt. It is will not be soft and pliable like felted wool; wool felt is a harder product.
Meanwhile, although we can get 100% Wool Felt, the more favourite product is a blend where rayon is added to the composition. Adding the Rayon to the mix will make the wool felt softer. Most wool felts that are used in wool applique projects will contain somewhere between 20-35% wool.
Now, the big question, can wool felt be felted? Yes it can. After this process, we will end up with FELTED WOOL FELT....not FELTED WOOL. Meanwhile, felted wool will indeed shrink a little when felted.
I know a lot of designers that will use the WOOL FELT for many of their projects, especially wall hangings. Others use only FELTED WOOLS. Yes, there are others who use both.
However, I don't think that I would mix them and use both products in the same project.
Both of these products are wonderful....I'm actually working on 2 fun projects at the moment; and will reveal them when they are ready. I brought back some new HAND DYED FELTED WOOLS from the International Quilt Market in Pittsburgh last month; along with a fun selection of WOOL FELT. I am designing a project for each of these and looking forward to sharing them with you as soon as they are ready.
I hope that this has helped answer some of the questions with regards to the differences between FELTED WOOLS and WOOL FELT. Please feel free to leave any comments and/or questions.
Wishing you all a wonderful day!