Reported by Cassandra Darwin
Felt is one of the hot trends in the craft world right now, from appliques on aprons and clothing, to pincushions, to scrapbooking; felt is everywhere! I thought I would take a chance to do a quick comparison of three different types of felt and some examples of projects that would use each one.
I’ll start out with a quick definition of felt. According to Wikipedia, felt is a non-woven fabric that is instead made by “matting, condensing, and pressing” fibers together. For the sake of our comparison, I will limit the scope of our comparison to two different felts that you can purchase at craft and fabric stores (acrylic and wool), and in the case of wool “woven felt” you can make it at home.
This is probably the most accessible type of felt, found in craft stores everywhere. It is usually sold in small pieces like these, measuring approximately 9 inches by 12 inches and retailing for about $0.25 per piece.
Oftentimes you can find acrylic felt sold by the yard at fabric stores. This comes in handy for larger projects or if you need a certain color not available in the smaller sizes. Let’s get right down to the nitty gritty on acrylic felt.
- Widely available, and in a huge range of colors
- The least expensive out of all three options
- Because of the first two pros, it is the perfect material for trying new things and learning techniques before moving on to more expensive materials
- Perfect for holiday decorations, card making, or other projects that will not be handled much and don’t need a long life
- I know that at least a few brands use fiber from recycled soda bottles to make acrylic felt
- Relatively thin and not very strong – will pull apart
- Usually not as clean of a cut, more loose flyaway fibers
- Cannot be washed or laundered
- Stronger and more durable than acrylic felt
- Stand the test of time for your heirloom projects, like applique on a quilt
- Will withstand dry cleaning, and can be washed at home if you take care to not let colors bleed
- Much more expensive than acrylic felt – I feel like I should save my wool felt for the “special” projects
- Because it is more dense and strong, some crafters prefer to use acrylic felt for softer, dainty accents like flowers and butterflies on dimensional projects