Felt is a great starting fabric to use to learn applique. It doesn’t fray when cut and is easily stitched together.
That being said, there are a lot of different types of felt which we will discuss here!
This is the most inexpensive felt because it is 100% synthetic. Usually it’s made with a blend of acrylic, polyester, rayon or viscose. These are the types of felt you will generally see that craft shops, dollar stores or online retailers. They usually come in letter sized sheets which should be perfect for most of the designs that you will be working with. If you will be creating something large, some specialty local retailers will be able to sell them by the yard as well.
I would recommend using this type of felt for test projects, childrens crafts, or ornaments that you will be using for one year.
Blended Wool Felt
Blended wool felts are made with real wool felt. General blends are 35% wool and 65% rayon or 20% wool with another blend. This type of felt is very soft to the touch and will hvae a nubby texture. Blended felt will be more expensive than craft or eco-friendly felt, but it will last a lot longer.
Pure Wool Felt
Pure wool felt is the most expensive but more luxurious of them all. It is often used in high end ornaments as well as professional apparel or home decor that will last a lifetime. Our ornaments are currently made with 100% real wool felt!
If you are on Etsy, you will have noticed a trend in eco-friendly type felts. These are felts made from recycled plastic bottles or post consumer items. The feel and look of this type of felt is similar to craft felt but a little bit harder to work with. It’s generally available at major craft chains as well as etsy or online. This type of felt is also available using a bamboo material (also known as Xotic felt). If your niche market is eco, I would be sure to look into this type of material for your items.
Wool Roving Felt
Preparing your felt
If you will be selling your items, you should make sure that they are prepared correctly. If it will be exposed to moisture or water, you should pre-shrink your 100% felt or blended wool felt before working on it. Make sure to iron it out after you are done.
Transferring a pattern to felt
One con to working with felt is that it is difficult to write on due to its texture. We recommend using tracing paper on top of the felt and cutting out the shape.