Felt is a textile material that is produced by matting, condensing and pressing fibers together. Felt can be made of natural fibers such as wool or animal fur, or from synthetic fibers such as petroleum -based acrylic or acrylonitrile or wood pulp -based rayon. Blended fibers are also common. Felt from wool is considered to be the oldest known textile. Sumerian legend claims that the secret of feltmaking was discovered by Urnamman of Lagash. At the end of their journey, the movement and sweat had turned the wool into felt socks.
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- Felt Hat manufacturers & suppliers
- The History of Felt in Hat-Making
- Felt crowns of hats in a hat factory waiting to be shaped.
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Felt is a textile material that is produced by matting, condensing and pressing fibers together. Felt can be made of natural fibers such as wool or animal fur, or from synthetic fibers such as petroleum -based acrylic or acrylonitrile or wood pulp -based rayon.
Blended fibers are also common. Felt from wool is considered to be the oldest known textile. Sumerian legend claims that the secret of feltmaking was discovered by Urnamman of Lagash. At the end of their journey, the movement and sweat had turned the wool into felt socks.
Feltmaking is still practised by nomadic peoples Altaic people: Mongols ; Turkic people in Central Asia , where rugs , tents and clothing are regularly made. In the wet felting process, hot water is applied to layers of animal hairs, while repeated agitation and compression causes the fibers to hook together or weave together into a single piece of fabric. The felted material may be finished by fulling. Only certain types of fiber can be wet felted successfully. Most types of fleece , such as those taken from the alpaca or the Merino sheep ,  can be put through the wet felting process.
One may also use mohair goat , angora rabbit ,  or hair from rodents such as beavers and muskrats. Needle felting is a method of creating felted objects without using water. The special needles used to make 3D sculpture, jewelry, adornments and 2D art have notches along the shaft of the needle that catch fibers and tangle them with other fibers to produce felt. These notches are sometimes erroneously called "barbs", but barbs are protrusions like barbed wire and would be too difficult to thrust into the wool and nearly impossible to pull out.
There are many sizes and types of notched needles for different uses while working. Needle felting is used in industrial processes as well as in individual crafting. Needles used for crafting are often very thin needles, sometimes fitted in holders that allow the user to utilize 2 or more needles at one time to sculpt wool objects and shapes. The single thin needles are used for detail and the multiple needles that are paired together are used for larger areas or to form the base of the project.
At any point in time a variety of fiber colors may be added for detail and individuality, using needles to incorporate them into the project. The kawaii style of needle felting was made popular by the Japanese culture. Kawaii means cute in Japanese and to felt in the kawaii style just means to make the object cute.
Most kawaii needle felt sculptures have small, minimal detail, faces and are brightly colored. They are more cute and playful compared to the more traditional needle felt which is more rustic and earthy.
Needle felting can also be used to create realistic 3 dimensional animals. A wire armature can be created to help the process and provide support, around which a needle felted body and coat can be added. Here are some examples. The art of needle felting is becoming very popular worldwide. More recently, needle-felting or embellishment machines have become popular for art or craft felters.
Similar to a sewing machine, these tools have several needles that punch fibers together as the user pushes fibers through in a manner very similar to feeding a sewing machine. The embellishment machine allows the user to create unique combinations of fibers and designs.
Invented in the mid 17th century   and used until the midth centuries, a process called "carroting" was used in the manufacture of good quality felt for making men's hats. Beaver, rabbit or hare skins were treated with a dilute solution of the mercury compound mercuric nitrate. These 'hoods' were then dyed and blocked to make hats. The toxic solutions from the carrot and the vapours it produced resulted in widespread cases of mercury poisoning among hatters.
Felt is used in a wide range of industries and manufacturing processes, from the automotive industry and casinos to musical instruments and home construction , as well as in gun wads , either inside cartridges or pushed down the barrel of a muzzleloader. Many musical instruments use felt. It is often used as a damper.
It is used to wrap bass drum strikers and timpani mallets. The density and springiness of the felt is a major part of what creates a piano's tone. Felt is frequently used in industry as a sound or vibration damper,  and in machinery for cushioning and padding moving parts.
Felt is used for framing paintings. It is laid between the slip mount and picture as a protective measure to avoid damage from rubbing to the edge of the painting. This is commonly found as a preventive measure on paintings which have already been restored or professionally framed.
It is widely used to protect paintings executed on various surfaces including canvas, wood panel and copper plate. A felt-covered board can be used in storytelling to small children. Small felt cutouts or figures of animals, people, or other objects will adhere to a felt board, and in the process of telling the story, the storyteller also acts it out on the board with the animals or people. Puppets can also be made with felt. The best known example of felt puppets are Jim Henson 's Muppets.
Felt pressed dolls, such as Lenci dolls , were very popular in the nineteenth century and just after the first world war. During the 18th and 19th centuries gentlemen's top hats made from beaver felt were popular. Felt is often used in footwear as boot liners, with the Russian valenki being an example. As part of the overall renewal of interest in textile and fiber arts , beginning in the 's and continuing through today, felt has experienced a strong revivial in interest.
In the U. This led to renewed interest in the historical roots of feltmaking, including the diverse traditions of the craft, from Mongolia to Japan, and North Africa to Europe. An international infrastructure emerged to support this widening circle of felting enthusiasts that included many kinds of entrepreneurs from those who raised sheep to those who did bulk preparation of fibers.
New organizations to support felters sprang up, as well as conferences, and books devoted to guiding new comers. Annual gatherings such as Felters Fling or Felter's Rendezvous , among others, provide special opportunities for newcomers and experienced felters to interact around the topic.
Moreover, arts organization with parallel or intersecting interests, such as the Surface Design Association , also provide support or inspiration to felters seeking community.
Fashioning Felt, an international exhibition held at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York City March 6-September 7, , was an important moment in the recognition of both the artistic and practical elements of modern felt. Art felters today represent a broad continuum of work--some of which is closely related to the production of practical items such as wall coverings, clothing, hats, and shoes to those who exploit the qualities of felt in the creation of purely abstract pieces of work.
For instance, Dutch felter Claudy Jongstra produced artistic felt that lines the walls of the Central Library in Amsterdam, are featured in the state home of the Dutch president, and are found in many corporate headquarters.
Jori Johnson , an American working in Japan, even demonstrated the integration of felt with laquer work.
Working with American Teresa May O'Brien, he has produced work that crosses approaches to felting with ancient practices. Others, such as German artist Josef Beuys , prominantly integrate felt within their works. Today, felters continue to push the boundaries of the material and its incorporation in new works that respond to developments in art and the sciences.
Eva Sanchez Comacho is an artist integrating the medium of felt with the emerging field of eco dyeing to produce striking works sustainably dyed with discarded metal, leaves, and many other natural materials. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Felt disambiguation.
This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Part 1 Wool". E eco spun same damn thing! Part 2 of whats the difference between wool, acrylic, wool blend, and eco felt? Lark Books. Bronze Age Military Equipment. Casemate Publishers. U of Minnesota Press. University of Pennsylvania Press. Goldstein; Cynthia M. Beall The Changing World of Mongolia's Nomads. University of California Press.
Yurts: Living in the Round. Gibbs Smith. Agency for International Development. Bemis Publishing Company. Petrie Harvesting of Textile Animal Fibres. White 1 January Course Technology.
Fibrous Materials. Cambridge University Press. Rockport Publishers. Department of Natural Resources. London: Batsford. Lyons Press.
It is a typical page government handout to prospective overseas buyers outlining where Hong Kong is in the world and what the colony can sell or make for you. Can anyone provide further information about the history of their manufacture in Hong Kong, or specifically in the s or when the last such hats were made here? The entire process of manufacture is carried out by machines in our factory. Felt is a non-woven textile that is produced by matting, condensing and pressing fibres together from wool, fur or synthetic fibres. It is produced in many different forms for industrial, technical, designer, craft applications and of course hats.
Hong Kong made Felt Hats – 22 factories in 1955
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From furry buns to natty titfers: workers at Jackson's in Stockport demonstrate traditional skills of hat making. Documentary 15 mins Silent. There are many stages in the production of fur felt hats, as can be seen in this detailed look at the work of Jackson's hat manufacturers of Stockport. In the hot and steamy workshop, men clean, shape and shrink the heaps of rabbit fur, while women workers prepare the satin linings and trimmings. Finally, the hats are ready to be polished, packed, and dispatched to Jackson's outlets across the UK.
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Felt Hat manufacturers & suppliers
Simple felt hats were made in Britain throughout the 17th and 18 th centuries and all were made in the same way with the same materials, but fashion dictated how their shape was adapted. After the restoration of the monarchy in , felt hats were decorated with feathers and the brim was curved in various ways, developing into bi-corn and tri-corn hats which, through their association with the French Revolution, became unfashionable during the s. Beaver fur Beaver fur was the best material from which to make felt hats. Beaver became extinct in Europe in the later middle ages, but it was hunted in North America during the 18th century and as a result it was almost extinct by the beginning of the 19th century. The fur was purchased from the native Americans as fresh pelts, but the most valuable were those which had been worn by the natives because the felting properties of these pelts were considered better than fresh ones.
The History of Felt in Hat-Making
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Felt crowns of hats in a hat factory waiting to be shaped.
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Most fabrics are woven, meaning they are constructed on a loom and have interlocking warp the thread or fiber that is strung lengthwise on the loom and weft the thread that cuts across the warp fiber and interlocks with it fibers that create a flat piece of fabric. Felt is a dense, non-woven fabric and without any warp or weft. Instead, felted fabric is made from matted and compressed fibers or fur with no apparent system of threads.
Felt has been used for producing headwear for many centuries and is perhaps the oldest textile material. Archaeological evidence shows that from very early on, people had discovered the tendency for fibres to mat together when warm and damp, many years before they learnt how to spin and weave yarn. To this day there are three varieties of felt used for hat making.
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