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Navigating the Woolly World of Felting: Choosing the Right Wool for Your Project


It's a question we often encounter in the world of feltmaking: Which type of wool to choose? The abundance of options can be overwhelming, leaving us pondering the perfect choice. In response to this common query, I've decided to craft a blog to help fellow feltmakers navigate this woolly maze.


Selecting the right wool is crucial in the art of feltmaking, and it hinges on several factors. Wool type, micron count, and the intended project all play a pivotal role in achieving the desired results. To address these factors and guide you through the decision-making process, I'll be sharing insights and expertise gained through years of experience.


Throughout this blog, you can expect not only explanations but also visual examples that illustrate the differences between various wool. These visuals aim to make the selection process clearer and more accessible, particularly for newcomers to the craft.

It's important to remember that the wool you choose has a significant impact on the outcome and quality of your felted creation. So, join me on this journey to demystify the world of wool in feltmaking, and let's ensure your next project is a woolly wonder!"


As a dedicated felting enthusiast, you're already aware of the sheer variety of wool at your disposal. From fine and delicate fibres to more robust options, the wool you choose can greatly influence the outcome of your felting projects. Whether you're crafting wearables, bags, sculptures, wall hangings, or rugs, it's essential to select the right type of wool to achieve the results you desire.


In my own studio, I've streamlined my choices to two main types of wool: Merino wool, specifically 19-23 microns, and Bergschaf wool. These two wool types form the foundation for my diverse range of projects. It comes in bats and tops and I use both. Let's dive into the specifics of what wool to use for different purposes.


Merino Wool: Nature's Luxury Fibre


  • Origin: Derived from Merino sheep, believed to have originated in Spain. In 1797, the first Merino sheep, derived from the famed Royal Merino Flocks of Spain, were introduced into Australia.

  • Wool Characteristics: Known for its fine texture, with micron counts ranging from 15 to 25 microns.

  • Versatility: Used for high-end clothing, accessories, sportswear, and more. In feltmaking, it is used for nuno felt, fine felt and garments making mainly. Other uses are felted bags, hats, socks and decor pieces.

  • Natural Insulation: Regulates body temperature, offering warmth in cold weather and moisture-wicking in warm conditions.

  • Moisture-Wicking: Absorbs moisture while feeling dry to the touch, making it ideal for active-wear.

  • Odor Resistance: Naturally resists odor due to its antibacterial properties.

  • Sustainable: Merino wool is a renewable resource and has a lower environmental impact compared to synthetic materials.

  • Craftsmanship: A favorite among fiber artists for creating soft, luxurious felted items.

In essence, Merino wool is a versatile and eco-friendly fibre known for its softness, making it a top choice for both fashion and crafts.


1. Merino Wool (18.5-19 Microns) for Soft and Luxurious Wearables

When it comes to crafting scarves and other wearables, Merino wool in the range of 18.5-19 microns is my top choice. The reason is simple – its properties make it the ideal candidate for creating soft, fine, and silky felt that feels comfortable against the skin. The fineness of the fibres ensures that your scarves and wearables will be not only stylish but also a joy to wear.





2. Merino Wool (21-23 Microns) for Durability in Wall Hangings and More

For projects that require a bit more resilience, such as wall hangings, bags, cushions, and coats, I consider using Merino wool in the 21-23 micron range. This wool is slightly coarser, which adds durability to your creations. The resulting felt is sturdy, making it suitable for items that may undergo more wear and tear while maintaining a degree of softness.







3. Bergschaf Wool: The Ultimate Choice for Durability

When it comes to crafting exceptionally durable items like bags, slippers, and rugged rugs, Bergschaf wool is your go-to option. Known for its toughness and long-lasting quality, Bergschaf wool can withstand heavy use and still maintain its form. It's the perfect choice for items that need to be not only beautiful but also built to last. Bergschaf wool is so easy to felt, especially natural collours.







  • Origin: Bergschaf sheep are native to Alpine regions in Europe, such as Austria and Germany.

  • Wool Characteristics: Bergschaf wool is coarser, with a micron count typically ranging from 27 to 33 microns.

  • Durability: It's known for its exceptional durability, making it ideal for crafting items like bags, slippers, and rugs.

  • Versatility: Suitable for both wet felting and needle felting projects, it offers strength and resilience.

  • Collour and Texture: Natural collours range from brown to gray, adding a rustic element to projects.

  • Sustainability: Bergschaf wool is a sustainable and ethical choice, sourced from sheep adapted to mountainous environments.

In a nutshell, Bergschaf wool is a rugged and sustainable option, perfect for creating long-lasting, sturdy felted items.


In conclusion, the type of wool you choose for your felting projects can significantly impact the final result. The softness, fineness, and durability of the wool are key factors to consider when selecting your materials. With Merino wool ranging from 18.5-19 microns for delicate wearables to 21-23 microns for sturdier items and Bergschaf wool for maximum durability, you're well-equipped to tackle a wide range of felting endeavors. Your studio may only have two types of wool, but with these options, you can create an impressive array of beautiful and enduring felted projects. So, go ahead and let your creativity run wild with the perfect wool for every purpose!


If you're looking to explore new ideas and learn more about feltmaking techniques, be sure to check out my online school, Felt With Lena, at www.felt-with-lena.thinkific.com.

For those who seek consistency in their feltmaking practice and want to expand their knowledge at a fraction of the price, consider joining our Felt With Lena Club membership at www.felt-with-lena.thinkific.com/bundles/Felt-With-Lena-Club.


Best Wishes

Lena


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