I hope you learn as much from this article By: Marla Canfield Clark of “Creative Dish” on FaveCrafts as I did about 5 types of felts with tutorials for each of the 5 (pictured).  In this informational article, you’ll learn all about felt crafts including the differences between the 5 types of felt, and what felt craft projects you can make with each type. Felt is a great material to use for crafting, home décor projects, and fashion. It is easy to cut, sew, glue, and embellish, and it comes in many colors. The key to using felt is to pick the correct type for your project.  

1. Craft Felt

Craft felt is a generic term for 100% synthetic, man-made felt. The felt is mainly acrylic, polyester, rayon or a rayon/viscose blend. Craft felt comes in many colors and styles. This type of felt is widely available at major craft chains and online. Most craft felt comes in thin pre-cut 9”x12” sheets. However, you can find craft felt by the yard. In addition to a wide assortment of beautiful colors, craft felt is also available in glitter sheets, self stick adhesive backed sheets, and with stiffener added. Craft felt is best used in projects such as: Children’s crafts, seasonal holiday crafts, school, or camp crafting. Try this:

Furry Friends Felt Bookmarks

2. Eco Friendly Felts

There is now a popular felt on the market made using eco-fi. Eco-fi is a polyester fiber made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. The look and feel of eco-fi felt is very similar to original polyester craft felt, however it is slightly stiffer. The felt is available with glitter, in rainbow colors, felt numbers, and a line of embossed patterns. Eco-fi craft felt is widely available at major craft chains and on the internet. Buy thin, pre-cut sheets or buy it by the yard. Check the felt packaging for the eco-fi name to make sure you are buying felt made from recycled plastic bottles. Another felt available is a bamboo/rayon blend. Bamboo is considered a sustainable fiber as it is a fast growing crop that can grow practically anywhere, releases more oxygen than trees, and does not need chemical fertilizers. There is some debate about how “green” the process is to turn the plant fibers into usable bamboo thread. However, it is certainly more eco friendly than 100% synthetic materials. Bamboo felt is available under the brand name Xotic felt. Use Eco friendly felt for: all the same types of crafts as regular craft felt. Additionally, use the embossed patterns (alligator or decorative) for small home décor crafts. Try this:

Felt Needlebook

3. Blended Wool Felt

Blended wool felt refers to felt that is actually made with real wool. 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. One major difference between blended wool felt and craft felt is that wool is used in making the felt. The result is a soft, luxurious felt that actually has some of the characteristics of real wool. When comparing polyester craft felt to blended wool felt, the blended felt will have a nice, nubby texture. Some of the 35% wool/65% rayon felts also have heathered coloring. This is because the wool fibers are interwoven which results in a rich, two tone effect. Although the 20% wool/80% rayon felt is less costly than the 35% wool/65% blend, many merchants sell them for the same price. The wool felt is available online and in major chain stores that carry fabric. Blended wool felt comes in over 100 colors. This felt may be purchased in sheets and by the yard. Blended felt is more expensive than craft felt, but still reasonably priced. Recommended uses for blended felt include: Home décor crafting such as pillows, table runners and garlands, heirloom quality holiday ornaments, and patterned sewing crafts using wool felt. Try this:

Easy Pillow Sewing Project

4. 100% Wool Felt

Unlike blended wool felt, as the name suggests 100% wool felt is made from 100% wool. 100% wool felt comes in thicknesses of 1.2 mm, 2mm, 3mm, and 5mm. Real 100% wool felt is sold by the yard and is quite expensive. This felt has a luxurious feel and is used in professional apparel and home décor applications. 100% wool felt is available online and by the yard in some retail stores selling fabric. Recommended uses for 100% wool felt include: 1.2 mm felt may be used for making hats, clothing, pillows, and other home décor items. 1.2-2 mm may be used for children’s footwear and slippers. 2mm and 3mm felts are best used for fashion, fashion accessories, hats, tabletop décor, and computer accessories. 5mm felt is best for wall coverings, decorative hanging room dividers, and wall art. Try this:

Felt Baby Booties

5. Needle Punch Felting – 100% Wool Roving

Needle punch is a technique using wool roving and needles to create a decorative effect on clothing and home décor, as well as creating cute critters and dolls. Wool roving is a piece of wool which has been combed, formed into a clump, and twisted to hold the fibers together. There are many tutorials and kits for projects that can be made using the needle punch technique.

By Linda Lanese




Comments

15 Comments so far

  1. Lia on November 12, 2011 10:54 pm

    There are only 4 types listed here, however the title states there are 5 types. Please explain.

  2. Linda Lanese on November 13, 2011 7:09 am

    5. Needle Punch Felting – 100% Wool Roving
    Needle punch is a technique using wool roving and needles to create a decorative effect on clothing and home décor, as well as creating cute critters and dolls. Wool roving is a piece of wool which has been combed, formed into a clump, and twisted to hold the fibers together. There are many tutorials and kits for projects that can be made using the needle punch technique.

    Thanks Lia for calling my attention to this mistake on my part.

  3. Stitchwerx Design on January 11, 2012 5:49 am

    I found this article to be very informative. I mostly sew using quilting fabrics, but I do love to make crafts with felt and this gives me a clear idea which type of felt will work best for each of my projects! Thanks!

  4. Linda Lanese on January 11, 2012 6:46 am

    I am happy that the information helped with you project:)

  5. Lynn Roberge on February 16, 2012 8:50 am

    Thank you for this information. I have been searching the net looking for something to inform me on the best felt to use for making finger puppets. The felt that I have purchased and the felt that another manufacturer have used definitely have a difference in feel and consistency. I need the stronger of the two….this is the eco friendly felt I believe.
    Thanks!

  6. Linda Lanese on February 16, 2012 1:03 pm

    You are very welcome :)

  7. Rose Campion on March 30, 2012 12:10 am

    I’m looking at a book on embellishing right now that calls for “commercial needle punched felt” as the foundation for several projects. Is this something I could purchase in a craft shop? The only such felt I’m finding online either appears to be for industrial use or is purchased by the tonne! Thanks.

  8. Linda Lanese on March 30, 2012 1:29 pm

    What book did you see this in? :)

  9. The DragonFly Quilt shop on May 22, 2012 3:46 pm

    100% virgin wool is real wool? but sometimes it feels rough and not as soft as other wools. you said the blend of rayon and wool has a softer hand. What is ususally used in making quilts or tables runners.

  10. Linda Lanese on May 24, 2012 3:51 pm

    If you are going to make a table runner you will have to buy felt by the yard. I think a wool mix would be fine. :)

  11. owen booth on March 15, 2013 11:46 pm

    Hi there
    I’m a bit tired of trying to find the right felt for my needs, so I’m going to pick on you and see if you can help!
    I’ve bought a load of 100% merino wool felt from Etsy.com, and found that it’s not the best product for what I’m trying to make from it.
    Basically, I want to laser cut AND ENGRAVE coasters, and from the products I’ve seen here in New Zealand, it’s not genuine, woolen felt, but synthetic.
    From my experience, Acrylic, and Polypropylene cut/engrave the cleanest, can anyone recommend a supplier for 3mm thick, Red, or Black synthetic felt I can play with whilst I work out what products I can make?
    thanks all

  12. Linda Lanese on March 16, 2013 9:34 am
  13. Jedidath on January 7, 2014 2:27 am

    I have a stack of pieces of felt, some of which are at least 30 years old. How do I tell which ones are wool and which ones are synthetic?

  14. Linda Lanese on January 7, 2014 1:45 pm

    If you wash a small piece if each in hot water the wool ones will strike up and the others will get limp :)

  15. Lynn on June 14, 2014 1:06 pm

    What is the best felt to make brooches

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