Here at Lincolnshire Fenn crafts I promote British wool and hope you will also support our British sheep farmers. All my needle felting kits contain 100% British Wool and I use only British suppliers. Any merino used for my other work is ethically sourced and from South America. My personal favourites are: Grey Jacob, Shetland, Blue Faced Leicester, Wensleydale Long Locks and, of course, Lincoln Longwool. They are great for needle felting because they felt easily into 3D shapes. The beauty of needle felting is in its simplicity. You only need basic equipment and a small area to work on.
Needle felting is a process which uses barbed needles to interlock wool fibers to form a strong condensed material. Wool fibers have scales which, when rubbed against each other, catch and lock into place to create this denser material called felt. Felting needles are used to entangle the fibers. Told you it was easy...!
A Few Felt Facts
is widely acknowledged that felt may be the oldest known fabric and is referred
to in many ancient writings and was produced as far back as 6300 BC
*The processing of
felt remains largely unchanged: One
exception is that until the late nineteenth century mercury was used in the
processing of felt for hat making. Mercury was discovered to have debilitating
effects on the nervous system causing “the hatter” a type of poisoning that led
to tremors, hallucinations, and other psychotic symptoms. This is where the
term “Mad as a hatter” originates.
*Felt is not woven but is made from matted and
compressed fibres that are pressed together using moisture and heat. *One story of how felt was invented says that
St Clement and St Christopher, while fleeing persecution, packed their sandals
with wool to prevent blisters. At the end of their journey, the movement and
moisture had turned the wool into felt socks.
Felt is not woven and so doesn't fray
Felt was once ground up and used as an aerosol spray to conceal bald spots.
* Roman Empire soldiers used felt pads as
armour, felt tunics, boots and socks.
the first century AD felt making was a common form of fabric making
Felt is widely used in many industries including the home construction
industries for insulation and soundproofing.
Many musical instruments use felt, including pianos. The density and
springiness of the felt is a major part of what creates a piano's tone.
*Earliest felt remains date back to 700 BC. They were found in frozen tombs in the Siberian Mountains.