Types and Applications of Materials for Felting - part 1

Types and Applications of Materials for Felting - part 1

Wool is a unique natural material, the only one with felting properties, which allows its fibers to interlock with each other and then bond and shrink when subjected to mechanical action under specific temperature and humidity conditions.

There are two main types of fibers: natural and synthetic (chemical).

Natural fibers are created by nature without human intervention. Natural fibers can be animal-based protein fibers such as wool, mohair, alpaca, cashmere, vicuna, camel hair, angora, and silk, as well as plant-based cellulose fibers such as cotton, linen, ramie, sisal, jute, and hemp.

Synthetic fibers are obtained through the chemical synthesis of polymers, which involves creating complex molecular structures from simpler substances, typically from petroleum and coal byproducts. Examples of synthetic fibers are polyamide, polyester, polyurethane, as well as polyacrylonitrile (PAN), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyvinyl alcohol, and polyolefin fibers.

---- Animal-Based Fibers ----



Merino Wool

Merino wool is obtained by shearing the fleece from Merino sheep. It is elastic, long, soft, and warm, and can hold its shape and volume for a long time. Due to its natural crimp, it also has a special resilience, making it highly sought after.

Merino sheep come in different varieties based on the thickness of their wool fibers. These varieties include:

  • Fine-wool Merinos with fibers measuring 16-20 microns
  • Medium-wool Merinos with fibers measuring 19-24 microns
  • Coarse-wool Merinos with fibers measuring 21-27 microns
  • Extra-coarse-wool Merinos with fibers measuring 26-30 microns

However, the thickness of the wool fibers does not affect its noble properties. High-quality Merino wool is inherent in all types of Merino sheep.

Merino wool is ideal for all felting methods and is widely used in the textile industry for making clothing, blankets, and other accessories.


Angora wool is very soft to the touch with a characteristic soft nap, provided to us by Angora rabbits. Products made from Angora wool create a unique comfort and are therefore very popular and in demand.

Felting with Angora wool requires additional perseverance and patience, as weak fixation of the fluff can lead to rapid wear and tear of the fabric and the formation of holes. Angora should not be wetted. Only dry cleaning is recommended for subsequent cleaning of Angora wool products. Angora wool is recommended for dry felting.


Cashmere is the down (undercoat) of the mountain goat, plucked or hand-combed during its molting season in the spring. Each goat produces only 100-200 grams of down per year. The regions where these goats live include Pakistan, China, and Mongolia. The harsher the climate in the country, the better the undercoat and the more there is of it.

Cashmere is called the fiber of kings because, in addition to being soft, hypoallergenic, and lightweight, it is also warm.

Cashmere is 8 times warmer than sheep's wool!

Products made from cashmere are very lightweight and pleasant to the touch. High-quality cashmere fiber measures around 16 microns. Cashmere is suitable for all felting methods.

Drum carders are a useful tool for blending and carding wool fibers and can help you on your journey of creating your dream fiber art project.


Mohair is the wool of Angora goats. The province of Angora in Turkey is considered the homeland of Angora goats, from which they received their name. Therefore, mohair is sometimes called angora.

Mohair is the strongest of all wool fibers. The fleece of Angora goats is uniform, usually white in color, with a strong shine, and consists of transition hair (mohair proper) and short guard hair (kemp) that needs to be removed. Mohair is easily dyed and looks quite natural after dyeing, as its natural shine does not disappear.

Mohair is divided into three types: Kid mohair (thin fiber, 23-27 microns) is the wool of the first shearing of a kid during its life (up to 6 months old). The wool is very soft and fine. The highest quality Kid Mohair is called Super Kid, and is used to produce expensive fabrics in very small quantities. Goating Mohair is obtained from the shearing of a kid up to 2 years old. The wool is soft and fine. Adult Mohair (thicker fiber, 30 microns) is coarser than the previous two.

This wool is used in the production of outerwear. Mohair is suitable for all felting methods.

Drum carders are a useful tool for blending and carding wool fibers and can help you on your journey of creating your dream fiber art project.

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