In contrast to most fabrics, felt material is not made from yarn or twisted yarn, but rather is connected (felted) using chemical, mechanical or thermal processing from fibers to form a fabric, felt wool. For this reason, felt is assigned to the “non-woven fabrics”.
The origin of felt:
Felt can be a mixture of different natural and synthetic fibers or can consist of only one type of fiber as a starting material. Traditionally, felt fabric for clothing consists of new wool or sheep wool, i.e. the raw wool obtained from living sheep.
The quality and manufacturing method of felt:
A distinction can be made between two methods for the production of felt: there is whale felt and needle felt.
Manufacture of Whale Felt:
Whale felt is made exclusively from animal or wool fibers. The raw fibers of the raw wool are wetted with oil and layered to achieve a certain weight.
By using air pressure, this mass loosens and mixes in the next step. Then a thin fleece is obtained using a needle roller. Now, this fleece is further compressed.
It is alternately layered with damp cloths and rubbed between an upper and a lower plate while applying heat and pressure. Since the wool has a scaly surface, the fibers can get caught due to the friction.
This process is called whaling. Finally, the material obtained is wetted with lye, compressed, pressed, and tapped until it is still about half the initial volume and is therefore particularly dense.
Manufacture of needle felt:
With needle felt, just like with felt, thin fleece is initially produced from the starting material. Now the fabric is further processed or needled with a needle bar and felting needles, as the technical jargon says: Needles with special barbs are pierced at high speed. This process makes it easy to determine the height and density of the material.
How to maintain felt material or products?
Felt is dirt-repellent and machine washable. However, make sure to wash clothes made of felt only on a gentle cycle, especially for wool, and with wool detergent at a maximum of 30 degrees. Always follow the care instructions on the label.
Features of felt:
Felt has high strength and it is elastic against pressure, has a high density, and is temperature compensating. Thus, felt is the ideal material for warming clothes and footwear. Visit our site millaifelt.com and take a look around our wide collection of felt products.