About Sustainability

Sheeps are the best

Wool is an entirely natural fiber that is produced by sheep. Sheep wool is much loved because the elastic, curly fibers felt easily to create a textile that is both strong and beautiful. Wool felt is durable, easy to dye, and highly resistant to flame and compression. It also makes excellent thermal and sound insulation. Moreover, wool is a fully renewable resource since sheep do not have to be killed and grow a new fleece every year. To top it all off, wool felt is 100% biodegradable.

Our felt is made from wool produced by merino sheep, which are primarily farmed in Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand. These sheep are loved for their very fine fleece, which is regarded as the highest quality wool available. The sheep are usually sheared once every year as the fleece follows a seasonal growing pattern. Shearing season comes in spring or early summer.

So what is felt, really?

The term “felt” covers a huge variety of materials. In addition to natural fibers, it can be made from synthetic materials. Woven wool can be felted, too. Industrial felts are used for many purposes, for instance the construction industry. We can define felt as a non-woven textile that consists of loose fibers matted together to form a mat.

 

One example is needle felt, which is made from wool using barbed felting needles. Mixed content felt contains wool, which allows for water-based natural felting as described above, mixed with synthetics. Craft felt is often made from acrylic, a synthetic material, as is recycled PET, which is made from post-consumer plastic (such as bottles and packaging materials). Industrial felt is made from lower quality wool or contains a mix of natural and synthetic fibers. which is produced specifically for industrial purposes. And finally, there is Wool Design Felt made from 100% merino wool. It is thick and durable and dyes beautifully with highly saturated colors.

About wool design felt

Wool felt is among the oldest textiles produced by man. Remains of felt have been found in Turkey that date back to at least 6500 BC. Felt is produced by submitting raw wool to a wet felting process in which the fibers are wetted with hot water and then pressed and manipulated. It is a natural characteristic of animal fur to tangle and matt together.

Sheep wool is particularly suitable for felting, resulting in a felt that is clearly superior to felt made from synthetic fibers. It is extremely durable and resilient because the crimp (curl) in the fibers lends it a natural elasticity. It is also highly abrasion-resistant, and lanolin, the naturally occurring waxy coating on sheep wool, makes it water and dirt-resistant. Wool dyes beautifully as the dyes can penetrate to the fiber core, resulting in strong and saturated colors. Because wool absorbs water readily, it is naturally fire-resistant without requiring chemical treatment. Instead of burning, wool chars and self-extinguishes.

Due to these natural characteristics of wool, Wool Design Felt is high quality, sustainable, comes in highly saturated colors, and is perfect for demanding design applications. This nonwoven textile has unique characteristics that include:

  • The felt is non-directional, has no right side or wrong side, and the color is consistent throughout
  • The widths can be up to 180 cm (70 3/4 in)
  • Highly saturated colors that are lightfast
  • Naturally repels soiling and moisture
  • Since it’s a nonwoven, it can be cut with the edges left raw. No fraying!
  • The felt’s thickness and density also give it a structural quality that allow for hanging installations that do not require any additional support
  • Self-extinguishing and inherently flame retardant
  • Thermal and acoustic insulating properties
  • Renewable resource!

Sustainable & Renewable

Wool felt is sustainable, renewable, and 100% green! Wool felt is a natural product and its manufacturing process has a very low environmental impact when compared to other man-made or natural fibers. Its lifecycle significantly exceeds that of other materials, for instance in upholstery applications. And because wool felt is made from sheep wool, it can be safely removed after use since it is 100% biodegradable.

Wool Design Felt qualifies for LEED® certification as an MR Credit 6.0 Rapidly Renewable Resource. This is because sheep wool grows back after being sheared in a sustainable manner!

Moreover, FilzFelt felts are tested and certified as compliant with Product Class II of the Oeko-Tex® 100 Standard, complying with the requirements for direct skin contact under this standard.

Felt is 100% natural

Sheep are free-roaming animals and because they live among the plants, their fleece may contain dirt and bits of vegetable matter. While the washing and carbonizing process removes part of these inclusions, color variation and small natural fibers on the surface of the felt demonstrate its 100% natural origin. Variation of color and thickness between production and dye batches are due to the raw wool’s natural color and its absorption rate of dyestuffs.

 

Sometimes sheep are marked with paint to denote ownership, illness or breeding purposes. You may find some pink or blue dots in felt colors that contain washed wool that has not been carbonized (washed). While this is most clearly visible in natural colors, it may also occur in blended or single colors as lighter or darker spots.