Is it Wool Felt or Felted Wool?

What’s the difference between wool felt & felted wool? Both are made from the same ingredients, wool roving, but they are created very different.

It starts with fiber that has been sheered from an animal…most often a sheep.

Image result for sheep
Hello!!!

These fibers are then cleaned and carded (the process of breaking up unorganized clumps of fiber and realigning them). The result is what we call wool roving. Now here’s where each textile takes a different path.

WOOL FELT

Wool Felt is a non-woven textile. There is no thread or weaving involved in the making of it. It originates as wool roving and by adding heat, moisture and agitation, the roving compacts and matts together tightly to form what we refer to as pure wool felt.

Image result for national nonwovens
There is no weaving structure to the fabric.

Wool felt blends are also made using the process described above but with a combination of wool fibers and those from another material. The most common combination is wool and rayon, a non-synthetic man-made fiber derived from wood pulp. Rayon’s properties are similar to those of cotton and linen, making it an excellent choice for wool blends.

Nationalnonwovens is a company that I buy a lot of my wool felt from https://www.nationalnonwovens.com/Applications/Arts.html

FELTED WOOL

Felted Wool is a woven textile. There is thread and weaving involved. Like wool felt, it originates as wool roving, but the roving is spun into thread after being cleaned and carded. This thread is then woven into wool cloth, which is washed in hot water and dried on high heat to emulate the “add heat, moisture and agitation” process used to make wool felt. This process turns wool fabric into felted wool.

Image result for spinning mills

Image result for weaving

This felted wool then becomes a solid piece of fabric that you can cut without fraying. Some wool felts harder and more dense then others. So you would have to decide what type of project you are making. A fabric that is not tightly felted would not be good for cutting small applique shapes out of as it would have a tendency to fray.

Image result for felted sweaters

Wool roving is also spun into yarn, which is used for knitting wool sweaters and accessories such as scarves and mittens. You can “felt” these knitted items as well but regardless of your wash/dry temperatures, they will not compact as tightly as wool fabric woven from thread. A good rule of thumb when looking for wool garments at the thrift store it that the item is made from 80% wool or more.

WHICH ONE SHOULD I USE?

I have used both. Wool felt is soft yet strong and comes in a variety of colors. It is also more economical to purchase then wool fabric. Felted wool comes in many colors and patterns. It is however, more expensive but the choices in patterns are more. I use both sometimes in a piece…whatever works with the project I am working on. There are some ladies who prefer their wool applique to be authentic; all done in felted wool all.

Image result for wool applique

I hope this information helps clear the confusion!

Happy Creating!

Anita

The Pineapple

SYMBOL OF HOSPITALITY

The pineapple as a welcoming icon can trace its roots to Christopher Columbus, who brought he succulent fruit back to Europe from its ancestral home in the late 1400s. Believed to have originated in Brazil and Paraguay, Columbus “discovered” the fruit in Guadeloupe in 1493.

Legend has it that captains would mount a pineapple on their gateposts outside their home to signify a safe return home. They were also an invitation to visit, enjoy food and drink and hear tales of the sailors’ adventures.

In colonial America, hostesses would place a fresh pineapple as a centerpiece at the table when entertaining visitors in their homes. Visiting was the primary method of cultural exchange as well as entertainment, so hospitality was central to colonial life. The pineapple symbolized the warmest welcome a hostess could extend to her guests and became the dessert for the meal.

I have loved this image for a long time and always wanted to make it into a project. Here is my interpretation of a pattern I found by Vicki Stratton Designs

I chose to use hand-dyed wool for the stem at the top of the pineapple. Instead of individual leaves I made it in 3 pieces graduating the color from dark to light.

Here is the finished project… a table runner. It still needs quilted but I am excited about the colors. I had enough pineapple material left over so I made a bag with the motif. There is still fabric left to make another pineapple motif and I may just make a pillow too!

Kits will be available soon!

Happy Creating, Anita

I

New Program in 2019

Can you believe we are almost at the end of January in the new year! One of my goals for 2019 was to be more active in the community.  Barb of Bee Happy Quilting is always telling me people ask for wool. She sends them to my studio (not far away) but they never seem to get here. So we decided I needed bring the wool to them!

Two times a month I will be at Barb’s shop with my hand-dyed wool. There will be samples to view and kits to buy along with various sizes and bundles of wool. I will be featuring something new each month! For February there are two projects of which both have kits.

I have also dyed some pretty pink and red wool colors….YUMMY!

pink and red wool

To keep up on new things happening you can check out Anita’s Homespun on Facebook 🙂

The next event will be February 6th. See you then!

Happy Creating! Anita 🙂