Heartfelt for felt

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By Lorrin Windahl.

Let me introduce you to a little material that has been around for years, is made from renewable resources, is soft to touch and can provide shelter from the rain. Is there really such a wonder material? Indeed there is. Meet my new friend – felt. It’s up there with my other good friend, cork.

Felt you say? Isn’t that the brightly coloured stuff that you use to create your crafty works as a five year old? Yes, that is felt but it is actually much more than that.

Felt is a textile made from wool and is produced by wetting and condensing its fibres. This process is known as wet felting. This is done with a liquid (such as water), a lubricant (often soap) and some form of agitation to entangle the fibres. It can be manufactured commercially in large volumes or by hand (with a lot of elbow grease) for smaller quantities.

Felt is used in many different industries and products. From housing to cars to musical instruments to footwear, felt has a wide range of uses. Whilst there is still debate as to its origins, feltmaking is undoubtedly an ancient technique and has traditionally been used by nomadic peoples in Asia for many years.

Traditionally nomadic peoples have used felt to cover their huts, known as yurts.

Nomads have traditionally used felt to cover their tents, known as yurts.

Although an ancient tradition, felt has only recently experienced popularity in the mainstream consumer market. We are seeing it used in industries such as furniture, homewares, clothing and footwear. This soft, tactile and renewable material is a great alternative to less sustainable textiles and plastics.

'Scale' felt wall panel by Selina Rose. Image courtesy of selinarose.co.uk.

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Dolores Flet Pendant by DesignerEco. Image designereco.com.

Images:
Hush Pod by Freyja Sewell – www.freyjasewell.co.uk
Scale felt wall panel by Selina Rose – http://www.selinarose.co.uk.
Folding Felt stool by Wasatch Design Collective – http://www.wasatchdesigncollective.com
Felt necklace by Nervous System – http://www.n-e-r-v-o-u-s.com

Lasso slipper by Gaspard Tiné-Berès – http://www.gaspardtineberes.com
Paperlote felt range – www.papelote.cz 
Dolores Felt Pendant by Designer Eco – http://www.designereco.com

 

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4 Comments on “Heartfelt for felt

    • Haha. I love that you accidentally felted a hat Veronica. I guess that could be called upcycling… perhaps a little prematurely though.

      Like

  1. I love this post Lorrin- beautiful inspiring material. Thanks, Zoe

    Like

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