Thursday, February 5, 2015

From the Beginning!

Today I thought I would answer a question that is so often asked when I am vending at quilt shows.  It is, "What is the difference between wool felt and felted wool?", and is a very good question.  I was confused about it when I first started working with wool myself.  So I my hope is, in doing these little tutorials, to start right from the beginning and help in any way I can.

 Below is what 100% wool looks like before it has been felted.  You can see how wide the weave of the fabric is and how much it frays.  Not the best, at all, for doing your wool applique' since it leaves it leaves the edges of your embroidered shapes quite messy looking.

The process of felting 100% wool is to wash it in hot water and then dry it in heat in the dryer.  The next photo is 100% wool that has been felted.  You can easily see how the weave of the fabric has pulled together tighter BUT it still has some fraying.  Also, 100% wool, even after it has been felted, is still a sort of squishy fabric and I find that my embroidery stitches don't always show up like I'd like them to. 

Which is one of the reasons I prefer to do my applique' with wool felt!  I also like that I can always depend on getting the same dye lot with wool felt.  That helps when customers see the original with certain colors and want their finished project to look exactly the same.  Wool felt is a wool blend, shows our stitches perfectly and, I find, it is much easier to work with!

 Wool felt can be felted, as well, which takes on a more rugged look but I prefer to use it just the way it is and I package all my kits without that process.  

As far as cleaning goes, the manufacturer recommends dry cleaning.  I have never had to do that but I do, every now and then, use a gentle lint roller over each of my works to spruce them up.  That seems to do the trick nicely!  

I'm so happy to be able to provide wool felt by the 12" x 18" rectangles for purchase, now, on my website!  At some point I am hoping to be able to sell it by the yard, at least in some colors, as funds allow.  
We also now sell Bamboo/Rayon felt, as I have mentioned before, that is soooooo wonderfully soft and cuddly and comes in some drop-dead gorgeous colors!

In the meantime, I hope this helped in some way!

I hope you will post any questions or feedback you may have!

Next, I'll be posting what some of my favorite tools are and why they are my favorites, how to begin a project with tips and tricks, then, if all goes well, my own stitch videos so stay tuned!
Well, blessings to you and, as always,
Happy Stitching!!!

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