What is felt? Fabric felt where used
What is felt? First of all, it is a sort of felt that is obtained from down and waste of rabbit, hare and other small fur animals by stalling them. The structure of felt is completely different than the structure of woven materials.
A bit of history
The material appeared almost 400 years ago. Fabric felt at that time was distinguished by its lightness, durability and more attractive appearance. Today, thanks to modern technologies in industrial production, it is possible to mix pure wool with synthetic fibers, which makes the material more plastic, soft and smooth.
Before you buy a felt for any purpose, you need to understand its characteristics. The most basic of them is density and composition. They are interrelated with each other. Feather, which has a small density, is able to stretch, practically does not keep the shape. Therefore, it is used mainly as a second layer. High density of the material ensures the maintenance of the shape of the product, plasticity and the preservation of a clear seam. This largely depends on the composition of the felt fabric. Some types of synthetic material are much looser and softer than those that contain wool fibers.
What is felt, if you take into account the composition? It is a material that can consist entirely of both pure wool and artificial fibers. Woolen felt is considered more qualitative, dense, unable to roll down with time. It has a very pleasant texture, which can be rough and, on the contrary, softer, pile. Due to its natural composition, this material is very environmentally friendly and safe, but it keeps the shape poorly, since it is rather loose. In shops not very demanded pure woolen felt. Its price is slightly higher than the analogs and fluctuates between 150-300 rubles per sheet in the size of 30x30 cm. It is used mainly for making jewelry, cases, handbags, as well as for decorating clothes and interior.
Half woolen felt
Softness and plasticity - the main distinctive properties of the material, which consists of a mixture of natural woolen and synthetic fibers. It is an excellent fabric for the manufacture of soft toys (due to the property of taking any given shape without forming wrinkles). This feature is very fond of the material of the master puppeteers, they create from the felt puppet masks for the face. With the help of steam and hot iron, the fabric takes a very good shape. For the manufacture of small decorative elements, Christmas decorations, garlands, half woolen felt is used. The photo below shows some variants of such products.
What is synthetic felt, you can understand already from the name. Polyester and acrylic are the main components of this material. It can be of a very different thickness and rigidity.
Acrylic felt - the result of processing plastic, so it differs squeakiness, very badly bends. The advantage is a wide range of colors and no deformation when washing.
Polyester - a fairly strong material that perfectly holds the shape, preserves the color, it produces a very soft felt. Toys made from it, serve a long time, without losing the original color even after washing. In shops you can choose any thickness and coloring synthetic felt. Its price is low, so it is widely used in children's art. A sheet of 30x30 cm does not cost more than 30 rubles.
Most needlewomen know perfectly well what Korean felt is. Due to the fact that it does not stretch, does not crumble and does not tear, the products made of it are very resistant to washing, do not shed or cause allergic reactions. Such material does not require additional processing. It is more like a thick paper - it is easy for him to make any shape with the help of scissors, the details can simply be glued together. The fabric has the same density throughout the surface. Acquiring hard Korean felt, it is worth paying attention to the manufacturer. Sometimes you can buy a poor-quality material, which is characterized by looseness, heterogeneous texture and the presence of lumens.
Scope of application
In very old times, nomads living in the territory of Eurasia, knew well what felt. From it they made covers for yurts, carpets, details of clothes. In military affairs, too, there was an application of this material. High strength felt allowed to use it for making mails and for protecting city walls during a siege.
The combination of the properties of paper, fabric and wood makes it possible to use felt today in virtually all branches of production: in the automotive, furniture, clothing, shoe industry, medicine, agriculture and machine building. It is used in the manufacture of filters, wiping and polishing materials, in the production of musical instruments. It is difficult to imagine today the creation of children's toys, various ornaments and decorative elements of clothing without such material as felt. Photos of numerous products from it adorn the pages of magazines on needlework.
The most popular material is felt in furniture production. It is widely used as sofa upholstery, as well as for office chairs and chairs. The absence of the need for edge processing significantly reduces the cost of production of furniture factories.
The wide application of felt in various areas is explained by its numerous pluses:
- Material during the cutting with scissors does not crumble, does not require additional processing of the edges. Therefore, for children's creativity is just a godsend.
- The surface of the felt is absolutely the same on both sides.
- A wide range of colors makes it possible to select the material for the implementation of a variety of design solutions and zadumok.
- Cloths are produced in thickness from 1 to 5 millimeters, that is, it is always possible to choose the fabric of the required thickness.
Choose which felt
That the thing served for a long time and pleased the eye, it is necessary to choose the right material for its manufacture. Felt is selected for the product. It is important to create what kind of object it is intended for, how it will be used and whether it will directly contact the human skin. For example, for toys, volumetric letters it is better to purchase a felt that can easily be draped, that is, it can easily take the desired shape. Its thickness should not be more than 1.5 centimeters, because it is much more difficult to make a thick material.
To make original souvenirs, applications and paintings, it is very convenient to use felt sheet. A variety of colors, a large selection of sheets for density and thickness allow you to choose the material for every taste.
How to make felt yourself
Despite the fact that the choice of material is offered today in the market is the broadest, it is possible to make felt yourself. It is not difficult to learn the process of felting. The materials for this will require:
- wool (or fluff),
- roller (it can be replaced by a conventional rolling pin),
- bubble wrap,
- soap for solution,
Also have to be patient.
Wool is recommended to buy in specialized stores, since in this case it is already painted in a variety of colors and is fully ready for use. If the wool is bought in the market, then it must be carefully rastered to get rid of dust. Then you need to prepare a workplace (to lay it as a film) and put soapy solution in a small container. It is desirable that there is a dispenser. The solution is prepared from ordinary household soap and warm water. The main thing is that it should be very concentrated.
Now you can proceed directly to the process of felting. On a slightly moistened pre-film, you must put a thin coat of wool. Then soak it with a soap solution and cover with a film with bubbles. Smoothing movements, lightly pressing hands, to achieve an even distribution of water. Then walk on the film with a platen. Lay the next coat of wool and repeat the procedure. Using a napkin, you need to remove excess water and soap foam. So it is necessary to lay layer by layer, until the necessary thickness of the sheet is reached. Then remove excess moisture with a towel, cut off uneven edges and proceed to drying.
Today, many people are fond of making toys, jewelry and souvenirs from felt. For beginners, it is recommended to use the simplest method in this case. You will need a stencil, pieces of felt, scissors and a needle with a thread or glue.
With the help of the stencil, you need to cut out the figurines from the fabric and put them on top of each other. They can be fastened together with a suture seam or textile glue. It remains to decorate the received toy - it completely depends on the imagination of the master. In this way, you can create whole pictures, if you take as a basis a piece of felt, which is then sewn or glued various elements in the form of applique.
Having mastered this technique, you can start creating two-layer toys. They will be larger than single-layered, and also denser and stiffer. Instead of one piece, two pieces are prepared from a piece of felt. Then on the front side of the toy are sewn various elements in the form of jewelry from buttons, beads.Both parts are sewn with a seam wrap, and when the sewing process comes to an end, you can put a little cotton wool inside to give the toy some volume.
Once forgotten felt today is experiencing a second birth. This is just the perfect material for needlework. Modern designers also show increased interest in it recently, using for accessories and ornaments. Felt - a colorful, bright and very practical material, the products from which look just great.