I’m surrounded by fluffy, colorful felt in my daily life but despite my love for felt even I have to admit that not all felt is created equal. And in my line of work you need to understand your material in order to produce your best product.
I’ve had customers approach me letting me know they already bought materials just needed my expertise in the actual assembly of their mobile but when I start looking through their materials, there it sits the dreaded (at least for me) acrylic felt. Now don’t get me wrong acrylic felt, or craft felt, has it’s place but not on something you want to last and look beautiful. I thought I’d break down the types of felt available so you can decide which type of felt is best for your project.
First there is acrylic felt. While this isn’t my favorite material to work with for my mobile pieces it does have it’s place in crafting. The best part about acrylic felt is the price, it runs about $0.25-0.30 a sheet. Which makes it ideal for kid crafts or any projects where you need a lot of it. It also comes in a good assortment of colors and patterns. Acrylic felt is best used for cutting and gluing not sewing and it’s made with plastic material so any type of heat (iron, hot glue) will melt it. My favorite type of acrylic felt is Eco-fi because it’s made of recycled materials and it holds up the best when cut. Be mindful that this type of felt stretches and sheds easily and it can be thin depending on the batch. I use acrylic felt the most for decorations for kids birthday parties.
Next there is the wool blend type of felt. This is a bend of wool and rayon, the mixture % changes based on where you purchase your felt from. This is my most used type of felt. I purchase my wool blend from Benzie Design which sells a 20-35% wool blend (the rest being rayon) and I can get a full yard for $10.00. This type of felt holds up well to cutting, sewing, gluing, and it doesn’t stretch when stuffed. Basically you get the benefits of wool felt for a much more reasonable price, ideal for producing merchandise.
Then there is 100% wool felt, the Mercedes of felt. This felt is AMAZING, soft and fluffy. This is the absolute best felt to use if you are making a stuffed animal. It holds up to sewing and it lasts. My favorite place to buy wool felt is from The Felt Pod. When I call it the Mercedes of felt though, I mean it. This felt is priced at 8 inch X 12 inch = $2.75/sheet 18 inch X 18 inch = $8.40/sheet 36 inch X 36 inch = $30.00/sheet 36 inch X 72 inch = $55.95/sheet and to make a decent sized project you need at least an 18×18 sheet.
*The best part about wool felt is that wool is a natural antimicrobial which makes it ideal for baby/kid toys or decorations for their rooms since it won’t hold germs.
Lastly there is wool felt roving, which is a type of felt used in needle felting. I dabble a little in needle felting but to see what it truly is look up Wildwhimsywoolies on Etsy. Basically needle felting is taking this very wispy, feather wool felt and binding it together by continuously stabbing it with a very sharp, barbed needle. It can be made into all kinds of shapes or it can be felted onto a flat surface and made to be a beautiful picture.
Whatever your project is there is a type of felt for you and I’m sure you’ll fall in love with felt just like I did. It’s a super easily material to work with and it allows you a lot of freedom in your projects. Happy Crafting!!