Wool & Wool Felt 101

Since wool is such a popular item in our store and on our website, we asked Cathy Mark, one of the buyers for that department, to give us some basics! We carry two types of wool fabrics for applique projects; woven wool, and wool felt. Woven wool is what most people think of when they think of a wool skirt or coat. The fibers are woven into a fabric that can be used for sewn items as well as craft items. Then there is wool felt, which is a felt product (like acrylic felt the kids use) in that the fibers are just randomly layered and pressed together into fabric. The wool felt has a stiffer feel than the woven wool, but because it is a blend (ranges from 20% – 70% wool) it is less expensive. We do also carry 100% Wool felt, but it is priced more like the 100% woven wool fabric. All can be used for the wool applique patterns we sell. Choosing is a matter of look and feel more than anything else – which colors do you want to use, what texture do you like? The woven has a finer texture, so is great for details and smaller pieces, while the felt makes a great base for a project because of its sturdy characteristics.

You can “felt” either of these fabrics. This process is explained on our web site. It involves washing the wool to get the fibers to react and shift. This gives the wool more texture and prevents fraying. When you purchase over-dyed wool, you don’t need to wash it because that was done when it was dyed the second time. You can use wool felt just as it is, or wash it, to give it a thickened, antiqued, bumpy look.
We have a great selection of wool felt which you can purchase in squares, or as yardage as well as a basic selection of woven wool yardage and woven fat quarters. We carry Week’s Dye Works over-dyed wool fat quarters and squares, as well as our Erica’s Exclusive Mini Color Rolls of over-dyed wool. We also have a beautiful selection of wool bundles – color coordinated to make choosing easy. These have already been felted, so they are ready to go!

You also have options when choosing what fiber to use for doing the stitching on your project. DMC Floss is a great all purpose choice as the multiple strands let you decide how much you want the floss to show (one strand for almost invisible to 6 strands for really “there”). If you prefer a single strand, there’s Perle Cotton. Week’s Dye Works Floss and Gentle Art Floss are over-dyed, so each strand gives a range of color and this is a nice effect, especially if you’re using over-dyed wool and its colors vary. The Valdani products are also over-dyed in wonderful shades and are THE preferred floss and pearl these days. And they come in combo boxes or individually, so you can get a great assortment or just what you need.

We have 2 new holiday wool projects we’d like to mention. Both make use of the wool felt that we carry. The “Santa Pillow(“use Ctrl F” like we showed you last week, to find 40086, and the pack 58169) and “The Stockings Were Hung” (40823, pack 58168) are sure to be popular pieces this holiday season, and they are quick, easy, and fun!

Non-seasonal favorites are several new pincushion patterns – great little projects – (44265, 44266, 44267). Also very popular on that page are the chicks candle mat (29603) and strawberries candle mat (36133).
Another line has wonderful, colorful, modern designs. Some of the new penny rug patterns have precut templates! (45269, 45270)

We hope you’ve found this interesting. You can shop our wool/wool felt department by starting here.

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