Felting With Wool

Posted by in Felting Wool

Wool is a versatile, sustainable, and affordable textile fiber that has been used for centuries all over the world.Wool comes from sheep, or other animals, that have crimped hair or fur. It has remarkable properties. For example it is elastic, meaning it can stretch and bend without breaking (up to twenty thousand times, versus a mere few thousand like cotton or synthetic fibers – imagine, if you will, the poor soul that had to manually bend a wool fiber to determine that!). It can absorb water up to thirty percent of it’s weight without feeling wet or soggy, keeping it’s excellent insulating properties. Not only can wool absorb water, it also holds moisture and is fire resistant. Wool can also be dyed, uniformly, without the use of chemicals. It is truly a miraculous product.

Photo Courtesy of Mechok

There are different methods of using wool.

 

Felting is an ancient method that utilizes the unique qualities of wool fibers, the cuticle – or scales – to hold the fibers together. Felt can be made into almost any shape or size, and is easily molded into useful products.

Side note: Historians speculate that the discovery of felt came about when people used to walk around in hard soled sandals. In order to avoid blisters, people would stuff the sandal with wool and then walk. The combination of pressure, friction and sweat inadvertently produced socks!


Spinning is another method in which the wool is pulled into strands and then spun together to produce yarn. Yarn, can then be woven into structures, patterns, or products.


Wool products include, but are not limited too:

  • Canvas
  • Homes (Yurts)
  • Blankets
  • Hats, Gloves and Scarves
  • Bags and Purses
  • Diapers (hopefully not course wool)
  • Socks
  • Pants, Shirts, Coats, Sweaters
  • Jewelry
  • Saddle Blankets
  • Home Products
  • Insulation
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Undergarments and Lingerie (Oh, Honey, look what I made for you! Wink, wink…)
  • Whatever the imagination lends…

Written by Chad Mullens

HearthSong