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What Is What In Felting

Apr 01, 2020

Are you going crazy with the ‘what is what’ in terms of the wool for felting?

I do my best to avoid insider lingo, but the truth is there’s no escaping. You’ll just have to learn a couple of new terms when it comes to this. Otherwise you risk not getting the right materials for your projects. So here is some of the terminology you’re bound to hear if you’re taking on felting:

Raw fleece is what you call the wool when it’s right off the animal and unwashed (that means dirty and greasy). This is not something you can normally get, unless you buy directly from a sheep farm.

Scoured fleece has been washed to remove lanolin and dirt, but it still has the lock structure. I use it to fill pillows or for doll’s hair, for example.

Wool batts, wool batting or carded wool is very similar to quilt batting. It’s the result of removing the debris from the wool with a machine that breaks up the lock structure, and then going through the carding machine. The carder brushes and blends the fibers into wide sheets. The fibers are blended in different directions. It’s great for both wet and needle felting.

Wool roving goes through a carding machine that brushes the fibers into generally the same direction. It looks like a long rope but the fibers aren’t all aligned.

Wool tops or combed wool has been combed so that all the fibers go in the same direction. It’s great for spinning or for wet felting. It normally has a shinier look.

Pre-felt hasn’t been fully felted. You can buy the industrial one (needle felted) or you can make it yourself. I use it to cut shapes and apply them as decoration and to create patterns for wet felted pieces.

Core wool is a cheaper wool that is usually used for the inside or the base layer of a project. It can also be used to fill pillows for example.

The microns define the wool’s thickness or width of the fiber. This depends on the sheep breads, the climate they live in (the warmer the climate, the thinner the wool). The lower the micron, the finer the fiber and the softer the wool. A larger micron fiber is therefore coarser and harder. So, as a rule of thumb, it’s better to choose a lower micron fiber (19 microns) for delicate, light pieces and for those that contact directly with the skin. A very good example is the extra fine merino. A larger micron fiber is good for thicker, resistant pieces, like carpets.

This is the most common jargon in felting. If there’s something else you’ve heard and don’t know what it is, drop me a line and I’ll answer it for you.

I’d like to remind you that there’s 20% off all the products in my Etsy shop (workshops as well as finished items) until Easter Sunday, April 12thThere are less than 2 weeks left, so go grab the promo!

And, before I go, here’s a sneak peek of what I’m working on.

I’m creating a complete course on hats. If there’s a type of hat you’d like to see in this course, send me an email or leave a comment below. I’m still in the development phase and choosing the hats I’ll make, so it’s your chance to let me know what you want.

And, in the meantime, you can follow me on InstagramYouTubeFacebook

Talk to you soon!

Stay safe!

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