If you haven't noticed, I have a lot of felt projects on my blog. I really love felt. So far, I've just been using acrylic felt from the craft store because it's cheap, and honestly I didn't know very much about the other options. It's fine to use for things like advent calendars that will only be touched once a year. For toys or things that are going to be shoved into the bottom of a dress up bin, I wanted to find a better option. Everything I've made is still holding up just fine, but I hate the way that the felt pills or fuzzes when it's handled a lot.
I got several different samples of felt to play around with so I could decide what kind I liked the most. I tried out a 100% wool, a wool/rayon blend, a polyester "eco" felt made from recycled plastic, and just the craft store acrylic (also made from plastic) to compare. I took each of my felt samples, embroidered on them, cut them, pulled them, rubbed them, and crumpled them. And no, I was not being very scientific when I did my "tests".
You can't really see much with my horrible photography skills. In the end, all of them pilled (fuzzed). Surprisingly the wool/rayon blend seemed to pill the least. The acrylic, as expected, pilled the most. When I tested their strength by cutting off strips and pulling, the 100% wool performed the best, the acrylic was the worst, the polyester and the wool/rayon blend were about the same in the middle.
I wanted to take into account not only the durability, but also the cost of the felt. Although 100% wool is very nice and supposed to be the best, it's super expensive. Not really worth the cost since the other options seemed fine to me. Just my opinion of course. The polyester felt is definitely a lot nicer than the acrylic, and I do like that it's made from recycled plastic. The price is really great too...in the end, however, I decided that I like the wool/rayon blend made by National Nonwovens the best. There's something about the wool felt that gives it a warm, not shiny, feeling. I also really love that it is manufactured right here in the USA. I like that I'm supporting a US based company. It's reasonably priced, and they have some really beautiful colors to choose from. The deciding factor for me was the way the fabric pilled the least when I handled it a lot. I've been using it to make birthday crowns for my etsy shop, and I love it!
I wrote this post, not because I want to advertise a product to you, but because I really want you to know that there are other options out there besides the craft store. I did, however, become a Joggles.com affiliate because they sell National Nonwovens' felt at a great price. Just type "National Nonwovens" into their search bar and look for the 20/80 or the 35/65 blends. If you click any of my links to their store and buy something, I get a small commission. I became an affiliate AFTER falling in love with this felt. I'm giving you my honest opinion about the felt product that they sell, if you click my links and buy, that's just a little extra bonus for me. To see all of the colors laid out, I recommend going to the manufacturer's website here.
I am not currently affiliated with National Nonwovens. I really LOVE
this product, and I will be using it for a lot (if not all) of my felt
crafts from here on out. Hope this helps someone out there!
Other options for buying:
-Joann's usually has a VERY limited selection of colors of this brand (mostly earth tones).
-Go straight to the manufacturer's website to buy large quantities at wholesale prices.
-I shop at Prairie Point Junction if I don't want to buy whole yards.
-And of course Joggles has really great prices and usually a coupon code. You have to buy whole yards with them though.
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