Felt is one of the most versatile textile materials because of its durability and affordability. However, there are a few different types of felt, and they all have their specific uses.
Andiec, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
This article discusses five types of felt and details their best uses. It also examines some lesser-known uses for felt and explains the benefits of felt as an affordable, durable, versatile material. Continue reading to learn about felt and its various uses. After reading, you’ll have a better understanding of how you can use felt to your advantage.
What Is Felt?
Felt is one of the oldest used textiles. Throughout history, it has been used for many reasons that range from clothing to sound treatment. Felt has its origins in Asia, where proof of felts dates back to Siberia and Northern Mongolia. Archaeologists discovered evidence of felt in Siberian tombs, including felt clothing, wall hangings, jewelry, and horse blankets.
What Is Felt- the Five Different Types
There are five distinct types of felt, each with its purpose and application. Wool, acrylic, fur, rayon, and PET are all examples of the different kinds of felt, and they each have their own characteristics and uses.
Wool felt is made by layering combined and carded wool fabrics at 90 degrees. You need soap and friction for the fibers to interlock and entangle. What’s left after the entanglement is a soft and permeable fabric.
Wool felt is easily malleable and is thicker than other types of felt because of its layered fibers. Unlike different felt types, wool felt also doesn’t pill. Manufacturers typically use lanolin to make it, which results in water-resistant fabric. You can also make wool felt with a sharp hand needle, and it is best used for softies and decorations.
Acrylic felt is best known for its affordability and availability as it is cheaply made and often cut into modular squares. One of the benefits of acrylic felt is that it doesn’t shrink after you wash it. The downside of acrylic felt it is not as durable as wool felt.
Acrylic felt is also not as environmentally friendly as wool felt because it uses plastics. It is not as long-lasting as other forms of felt, either. However, despite its drawbacks, acrylic felt has a considerably lower price point than different types of felt.
Fur felt is one of the most durable and versatile felt types. You can turn fur felt into hats and other clothing accessories. Unfortunately, to make fur felt, you have to kill animals, so people may disagree with the ethics surrounding fur felt production.
Rayon felt works best for industrial and medical applications. It contains many of the same properties as wool felt. However, rayon felt is mainly known for its insulative properties.
One of the drawbacks to rayon is that it isn’t biodegradable, and rayon is considered a pollutant. You can combine rayon with other wool felts to produce a softer felt option ideal for crafts.
PET felt is an excellent alternative to other felts that are not biodegradable. Because manufactures use recycled plastic to make PET felt, it is more environmentally responsible than other forms of felt. You can use this type of felt for a multitude of applications, including sound-dampening felt panels.
How Can You Use Felt?
Felt has a wide range of uses you might not know about. The following list only includes a few of those uses.
Children’s toys are an often overlooked use for felt. Wool felt is especially desirable for these types of toys because of its softness and lack of health hazards.
You can use felt for hair accessories, handbags and purses, and even shoes. Wool felt is best for these types of bags due to its water-resistant properties.
Mobile Phone Covers
You may not realize this, but using a wool phone cover will protect your phone from scratches and prevent damage caused by falls. Using wool felt is for your phone cover is also more environmentally friendly than using a 100% plastic phone case.
Acoustic Felt Panels
Acoustic felt panels work to create a sound dampened or soundproofed environment for rooms such as recording studios or at-home offices. These acoustic panels not only reduce noise within your room. They also provide decorative designs that consumers can design themselves.
One of felt’s most notable uses is for decorations. Soft and available in an infinite array of colors, felt represents an attractive option for the holidays and special occasions. For example, Christmas ornaments made of felt can replace plastic decorations, and you can create heart-shaped ornaments made of felt for Valentine’s Day. The list goes on.
What Are Some Advantages of Felt?
One of felt’s most notable benefits is its durability. The edges of acrylic and wool felt do not fray, and its durability makes felt a great child-proof material to protect your children from potentially hazardous materials.
Some felt is more expensive than others. However, for the most part, felt is an easily affordable material for crafts, decorations, clothing, and sound treatment.
Felt is an incredibly diverse material that you can use for various applications. Whether you want to use it for decorations, applications, clothing, bags, purses, or as decorative wall art, there’s a felt for you. You just have to decide which one fits your specific needs best.
Conclusion- 5 Different Types of Felt and Their Applications
There are many types of felt, and they each have their pros and cons. However, one of the best aspects to felt as a material is that you can use it in many different ways. Between wool, acrylic, fur, rayon, and PET felt, you can choose the felt that fits your needs best.
Whether using felt for felt acoustic panels or creating arts and crafts using felt, understanding the different felt options will make the most out of your felt material. When choosing your felt option, consider the environmental impact and composition of your felt. This will help you determine the best course of action for your felt application.