We’ve all accidentally put a nice wool sweater into the washing machine and watched it come out a matted mess. What you may not know is that the process of creating this mesh of matted fabric is the same idea behind the process of creating felt.
What is felt? Felt is a non-woven fabric that is made by condensing, matting and pressing together wool. When the wool gets wet and heated each individual fiber starts to interlock with each other, creating a very durable and solid mass of material. The felt can then be dyed and used to make everything from craft projects to construction material.
So basically it’s an awesome and sustainable way to recycle wool.
Felting has apparently been around for centuries, as archaeologists have uncovered garments, shelters, shoes, saddles and more made from the durable material. There’s even a current website, The Felting Shoe, which shows clever and creative ways to turn felt into crafty objects.
By simply starting with a mass of wool that has been recycled into felt:
The website also shares another interesting example of recycling wool: Jean-Luc Cornec’s Sheep Sculptures. These sculptures, which are on display at the Museum of Communication in Frankfurt, Germany, are made from recycled wool and rotary phones.
For more information on the process of felting and recycling wool check out The Felting Shoe website.