We are so happy to now be carrying Wool in our shop to enhance our fiber offerings.
But there is a lot of confusion about what kind of wool to use for our wool projects. And the answer is "It depends". So we thought we'd give you a brief description of the differences.
Felted wool or wool felt?
First, let's explain the differences between felted wool and wool felt. "Felted wool" is a woven wool fabric that's been washed and agitated in hot water and dried with heat. This process condenses and compacts (felts) the fibers and results in a lovely soft, fluffy fabric that won't fray. Projects made with felted woven wool can be laundered without the worry of shrinkage or fraying.
By comparison, "Wool Felt" is made up of individual wool fibers that have been wet, heated, and tightly compressed together, as opposed to being woven together - (Think non woven interfacing!) Wool felt cannot be laundered as successfully as felted woven wool.
To Felt or Not to Felt
Felted woven wool looks soft and fluffy and very inviting off the bolt! Some shop owners will felt the wool for you when the fabric first comes in, so that it's pre-shrunk and ready for your appliqué project. If you purchase your wool unfelted, your first decision will be whether to use it as it is, or to felt it yourself.
How to Felt Woven Wool.
Felted woven wool looks soft and fluffy and very inviting off the bolt! Some shop owners will felt the wool when the fabric first comes in, so that it's pre-shrunk, and pre-felted and ready for customers' appliqué projects. So ask the shop owner, if you are unsure.
- Wash the wool on a hot cycle, agitating for approximately 20 minutes. This works in a top loading machine. The front loaders do not agitate enough. Spin (Normal cycle).
- Machine dry on a Warm/Hot setting. Allow about 45 minutes for a 5-yard piece, depending on your dryer.
- Remove wool from the dryer immediately and wrap on a cardboard fabric bolt to avoid creasing the wool.