History of Felting and Types of Felts

History of Felt 

It is the older form of fabric known to man. They say it predates weaving and knitting, It’s origin or pioneers is very controversial because many claim its invention.  

It is mentioned that the earliest discovered felt remains were found in Turkey and dates as far back as 6500BC, (Torg&Reiner). It was the remains of a wall covering. In addition, 30 different types of felts were excavated in Pazyryk tombs of Siberia dating as far back as 300-400 BCE (Montessori hand work). According to the Sumerians, felting was invented by Urnamman of Lagash who was a legendary worrier as well as a traveller. Even the Greeks mention the use of felt. (History of clothing) 

Techniques of felting include (History of Clothing) –  


Fibres are made wet in soapy water, and made to interlock by compacting the fibres then rubbed into fabric 


Here no water is used. However, a barbed needle is used to stub the wool – interlocking the fibres 


Loose fibres are bonded into a sheer fabric e.g., silk, nylon, muslin. The word Nuno is a Japanese word meaning cloth. 

In general, Felt is created when fibres are pounded and compressed leading to the wool shrinking. After this moisture and pressure is applied, then temperature is changed, and fibres are roughed abrasively (Plush Addict) 

The felt comes in forms of: 

Acrylic Felt: – This is better for crafts such as appliques, ornaments, embellishment  

Wool Felt: – It is sturdier; therefore, it can be used for toys or other items that will be used a lot and can handle some rough and tumble (plush Addict) 

6 Types of felt:  

Eco-friendly felts 

This is created using Eco-fi; – made from a polyester fibre which is also made from recycled plastic bottles. Mind blowing this is. Great way to save our planet for sure.

Needled Felt

With this type of felt, a blend of wool and synthetic fibres is interlocked using machine. It turns out to be softer and less dense. Best for cushions crafts and cushioning. 

100% Wool Felt 

This is made from exactly that, – 100% wool. It is quite luxurious to the touch. It tends to be used for apparel and home décor applications – (fav Crafts) 


A method used to make this is very similar to pressed felt. Wool fibres forced to interlocked during a process where wool is woven into a cloth by applying moisture and pressure. (contrado.co.uk)

Wool Roving 

This type of felt is created when wool is combed, forming a clump. It is then twisted to hold the fibres together (fave crafts).

Wool roving

Pressed felt 

It is the oldest form; it is made from wool and synthetic fibres created when heat and moisture is applied causing the fibres to interlock. 

Pressed felt

And there it is, a short history of felt to keep with you. 

I hope this post gives you an idea or some knowledge of felt and that you are ready to try out some fun creative projects for you and family or friends, during these lock down periods. 

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