Felt is one of my favorite materials to work with. Working with felt is completely different than working with other fabrics, which is why I’ve written down some background and basics for you below. I’m sure you’ll fall in love with felt just like I did!
WHAT IS FELT?
Felt is a non-woven fabric made of fibers that are “felted” or meshed together. It’s one of the oldest fabrics, made from wool. Wool fibers have scales which when rubbed against each other catch and lock into place to create this denser material called felt. Today, felt comes in many colors and fibers, from brightly colored cheaper felt made of synthetic materials to undyed felt made from sheep’s wool, or a mix of synthetic and wool, called ‘blended’ wool felt.
PRO’S AND CONS
Like any fabric, working with felt has its pro’s and cons. It’s always pleasant to know the traits of your fabric before you start crafting with it.
- No fraying
- Felt is non-directional, has no right side or wrong side
- Available in many colors
- Easy to work with
- Minimal Elasticity
- Prone to shrinking
- Coarse texture
WHAT TYPE OF FELT FABRIC TO USE?
The cheapest felt available is called ‘craft felt’. This felt is usually made from recycled materials such as water bottles or synthetic materials such as acrylic. It can be unusually thin or extra lofty and colors are limited. Fibers are usually sparse and is prone to stretching and pilling. Warning, do not iron this felt, it will melt! If sewing using a thin acrylic felt, beware of pulling the thread too tight or using too large a needle as it could create a hole in the fabric, or even tear it. Best left for kiddie crafts.
One step up is what they call ‘blended wool felt’, which is usually a mixture of wool and rayon. This felt is available online and in major chain stores that carry fabric and comes in many colors. Blended felt is more expensive than craft felt, but still reasonably priced. There are two common types of blended wool felt used in home crafting, the 35% wool/65% rayon blend and the 20% wool/80% rayon blend.
Then there is 100% woolfelt, which is my personal favorite. Like the name suggests, it’s made out of 100% wool, and it is the highest quality felt there is. It is very durable, naturally stain-resistant and inherently flame retardant. It is soft and dense, and available in a great range of colors weights. It comes in thicknesses of 1.2 mm, 2mm, 3mm, and 5mm. Almost all 100% wool felt are certified to meet the international human-ecological requirements (Oeko-Tex standard) which basically means there are no nasties are used to dye the felt. Many reasons to consider this the perfect material to use when creating softies or plushies that might fall in the hands of little ones.
QUICK TIPS FOR SEWING WITH FELT
Are you ready to start your first felt project? Here are a few tips to keep in mind while sewing with felt:
- Use sharp scissors – It will make cutting your felt a lot easier and quicker. I keep one pair of scissors separate just for using with felt, including a pair of embroidery scissors for the tiny spots
- Have lots of pins nearby – Use your pins to make your layers of felt stay in place while you sew
- Optional – Use freezer paper for cutting out patterns. Trace your pattern piece onto freezer paper, cut out and lightly iron the pattern piece to a piece of felt before cutting. If you don’t have freezer paper you can
- 1) trace your patterns onto your felt with a Water Erasable Sewing Pen
- 2) pin your pattern to the felt and cut out along the pattern
- Stitches – When sewing felt, I mostly use the whipstitch and the blanket stitch. I love how they look on a finished project. You can find my tutorial video’s in our Dreamy Patterns FB group
WHERE TO PURCHASE FELT?
Many craft stores carry felt, and of course anything is available online nowadays.
But if you’re interested, I have created a list with my favorite suppliers of felt and sewing supplies here.
THE FUN BEGINS NOW
I bet you’re excited to start your felt sewing adventure now! If you have any questions you can always let me know in the comments. If you want to stay informed about sewing tips / giveaways / new collections / member only discounts, join the Dreamy V.I.P. club below for free 🙂 Happy sewing!