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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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I hope this information helps clear the confusion!

Happy Creating!

Anita

Felt Play Mats

Welcome Spring!   As bits of green are peaking through dormant grasses and Snowdrops appear in unexpected places, a few Robins pass through...
http://www.willodel.com/2014/02/first-felt-play-mat-of-2014.html?spref=pi&m=1

What a fun idea! Making play mats from wool. While this website is not an actual tutorial it does explain the process used for creating this cute scene.

I spent some time on Pinterest and found an abundance of examples for felted play mats.

http://castleofcostamesa.com/waldorf-days/the-waldorf-school-of-orange-county-2013-annual-gala-auction/auction-package-no-910-raffle-ticket-enchanted-fairy-tale-playscape-created-with-love-by-the-talented-wsoc-craft-group/

How about a seascape with lots of fun underwater creatures!

Hand felted sea bed play mat felted tropical fish with image 0

This is not a play mat but I had some fun making 3-dimensional Scenes. Snowman Scene for the holidays.

View from the back!

Well, I better get going as I am now fully inspired! What will you create? Let me know. I’d love to hear from you!!

Happy Creating!

Anita

Fun & Funky!

I was on Pinterest this morning and came across this cool idea for a journal cover. It was from the blog post of Expression Fiber Arts. What a great way to use up small bits of wool, ribbons, and other scrap fibers and jewlery! I think this is my next project!

https://blog.expressionfiberarts.com/2013/11/30/how-to-make-a-fun-and-funky-felted-journal-cover/

Off to do some Holiday visiting!

Happy Creating!

Anita

Merry Christmas

Greetings!

Another holiday season is upon us. We have not had much snow here but today everything is covered in white. It has been a busy and emotional year. Through it all the act of creating has kept me sane!

I had fun using some unusual fabric and pre-fusable Hawaiian applique cutouts. This piece was quilted using my Sashiko Machine. WOW! what a learning experience that was!!

I vended at two new shows this year that was for handmade finished products; Wildwind in Pittsfield, PA and Crary Art Gallery in Warren, PA. Both were alot of fun and got to talk to people from the community where I grew up. I also have a booth at the Titusville Market Square in Titusville, PA. It features my handmade goods. They are open seven days a week.

I stretched myself with my needlefelting and created some Wool Paintings. Yes! They are all made of wool fibers felted together in a dry needling process. One lady had to touch one to make sure it really was made of wool…LOL

I also went back to making gnomes and this year added the elf. What fun to see their individual personalities come to life.

The santa gnomes were a big hit!

I am taking a bit of a break right now. Doing research for new projects for next year. I have myself quite booked with a record number of shows to vend at….6!!! The first one is in March and I will also be teaching 2 classes and demonstrating. It will be an exciting year for sure!

Look for new updates on my etsy store with a brand new name in the new year. I am finally making a committed effort to getting things on the etsy store….YEAH!

I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas

Happy Creating!

Anita

Not just for St. Patrick’s Day!

New shop listing: March blessings Kit

I wanted to create something that would appeal to everyone not just the Irish lovers! It has the feel of St. Patrick’s day but can be put up anytime.

This banner is 6″ wide and 18″ long. Wool cut outs and wool felt background provided in kit.

Kit is $10.00 + 4.00 shipping. It can be found under Shop Anita’s Homespun–wool kits.

Happy Creating!

Anita 🙂

 

Fearing Failure!

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I don’t know about you but I seem to let failure stop me from creating sometimes. I look and look at pinterest or other sites for inspiration. I have a massive collection of books and saves on my computer! But that seems like all I do sometimes is look!

Why do I just look? I think it is because I am a perfectionist when it comes to my art work. I want it perfect the first time 🙂 When it doesn’t come out like I envisioned I usually drop that project and never go back to it. However, all the accomplished artists talk about samples.

In knitting, make a sample swatch…WHAT???…you want me to waste time making a swatch when I could just dive into the project! Painters draw ideas in their sketch book and make many samples using watercolors or colored pencils and markers.

I spoke in my last post about receiving my newest book, The Art of Moy Mackay She is a painter turned felter. She makes absolutely beautiful wool painted landscapes. In this book she goes deeper into her process.

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Her process starts with using that sketchbook and making notes and drawings. She also talks about making mini samples in various colors of the picture you want to make before committing to the bigger version.

Making minis! Making samples! Oh My….this will be a hard concept for me to follow but I am going to give it a shot 🙂 After all she is a famous artist and she might know a thing or two about process…LOL

Speaking of process….I recently came across a website written by two brothers Joe and Sam Pitcher They just had a free series of videos about process and their mom Sue Stone

She talks about the power of 5 basic stitches. It is amazing what her art looks like with just a few basic stitches!

sue stone

You can see more of her work on Facebook

So….I have decided to go small and samples before creating a big project. Those felted pieces I talked about finishing last time, well, I am just going for it. Many of them require free motion stitching before the hand stitching. I am good with hand stitching but not free motion. I am not going to worry (well almost…lol) about what I am doing. I am just going to get myself into the Flow 🙂

If you are stuck and afraid, I say, “no more!” as Nike tells us…..JUST DO IT!

Happy creating!

Anita 🙂