Confused about Wool Felt?

Wool Felt ~ Felted Wool

Unraveling the Mystery

When I first started working with wool for applique' I didn't understand the language of the industry. I thought wool felt and felted wool were the same. A very sweet woman explained it to me in a simple sentence. She said wool felt is felt that is made from wool and felted wool is made from woven wool fabric that is then felted. Still confused?
Let's begin with a few definitions.
Wool is the textile fiber from sheep. It consists of protein together with a small percentage of lipids. In this regard it is chemically quite distinct from the more dominant textile, cotton which is mainly cellulose. *Source- Wikipedia
Woven Wool Fabric is wool that undergoes several processes. The fleece is sheared from the sheep, scoured, carded, combed and spun into yarn. The yarn is then woven on a loom to create wool fabric.

Milled Wool 

Wool Felt is a dense, non-woven fabric and without any warp or weft. Felt is produced as these fibers are pressed together using heat, moisture, and pressure. Felt is generally composed of wool that is mixed with a synthetic in order to create sturdy, resilient felt for craft or industrial use. National Nonwovens fiber is sourced from all over the globe, including Merino wool imported from Australia that is used to make WoolFelt®
Felting is the procedure of taking raw wool (wool roving that has not yet been spun into yarn that will become wool felt) or woven wool (wool fabric that has been made from wool threads/yarns and woven into fabric) and adding hot, soapy water and agitating it until the fibers interlock. 
Felted Wool is woven wool fabric that has been felted making it dense and tightening the weave.

So Wool Felt has less processing than Felted Wool. Woven Wool Fabric has to first be processed into yarn then woven on a loom. Since Wool Felt has less processing the cost reflects the process.

Well what does it mean to the stitcher? You have choices. You can stitch with either to make beautiful wool applique projects. 
For me, when I stitch with wool felt I have more colors available to me, my cut edges don't unravel or fray and it is more affordable with a beautiful finished product. Wool felt is my favorite.
For more information about the product I use in my Grab 'N Go Kits and Stay 'N Stitch Packs check out this article from National Nonwovens. Made in America for over 100 years.

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