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What Exactly Is Felt?

What's the Deal with Felt?

In my previous video we were talking about knit fabrics vs woven fabrics and how to identify each type.

So in the textile world we have:

  • Knits
  • Wovens
  • Nonwovens

and it all has to do with the construction of the fabric - how it's specifically made.

Felt is a nonwoven textile. Knits and woven are knitted and woven, respectively from yarns. Felt does not require yarns, it only requires fibers (what yarns are made up of).

So without getting overly technical, suffice it to say that felt is made with fibers that are simply mashed together. Sometimes the application of heat, moisture, and once in a while adhesives, the fibers can join together to form a textile.

The easiest fiber to use for felt is wool because fibers have microscopic barbs that tend to stick together with little effort.

Chances are when you think about felt you picture the sheets of craft felt from the craft store. That type of felt isn't made from 100% wool, it is made from a blend of less expensive fibers such as acrylic, polyester, and/or rayon.

When you pull apart a piece of felt and look closely, you'll see there is no organized structure to it - remember it has not been woven or knitted. You can see the individual fibers when you pull it apart.

Another nonwoven fabric that is similar in construction to felt is the nonwoven interfacing used to sewing applications. You can also pull that apart easily and see the fibers it is made up of.

Hopefully that helps a bit, along with the video, to clarify our classifications of fabric. This knowledge will ultimately help you decide which fabrics are best for the projects and clothing you want to make!

Want to know more about wool and other fabrics? I gotchu! My Basics of Fashion Fabrics mini-course is available now!

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