ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What is felt used for?

Updated on December 1, 2016

Felt is a fabric made directly from wool or other hair fibers, or mixtures of these fibers with other natural or synthetic fibers, without spinning, weaving, or knitting. The loose fibers, which have a crimp and surface scales, interlock and compact when they are subjected to moisture, heat, agitation, and pressure, forming a dense cloth.

More than 150 different types of felt are produced for uses such as thermal insulation, sealing, soundproofing, shock damping, vibration isolation, cushioning, and packaging, and for hats, clothing, and trimming. It is made in many thicknesses, ranging from 0.08 to 7.6 cm, and in many weights, ranging from 3 ounces to 65 pounds per square yard (100 grams to 36 kg per sq meter).

Felt is one of the oldest types of fabrics. Caps of thick felt dating from the Bronze age in Europe are displayed in the National Museum in Copenhagen. References in Homer indicate that felt was used in Greece for slippers, pads, and capes by 1000 B.C. The floors and walls of the Kurgans (Scythian graves of the 5th century B.C.) in Russia were lined with felt. Special workshops for making felt hats and gloves were discovered in Pompeii.

Photo by Agata Urbaniak
Photo by Agata Urbaniak

Felt Manufacture

For centuries felt was handmade by washing wool, spreading it out, moistening it with water or whey, and beating it with sticks, or rolling it in a blanket prior to pounding. Mass production of felt was made possible by the invention of the wool-carding machine in the mid-18th century and further implemented by the invention of the hardening machine in the mid-19th century.

In modern felt manufacture, raw wool or fur, or a mixture of these fibers with other fibers, is blended in a mixing or picking machine. It is then carded; carding arranges the fibers into a thin web. The gossamer webs are removed from the card and assembled in layers, forming a thick batt. The batt is then moistened and moved through a hardening machine. In a plate hardening machine, the batt is steamed and drawn onto a plate under a heavy, heated platen that vibrates in a horizontal plane as it presses the batt, forming the fabric. In roller hardening machines, the batts are pressed by rollers rather than by plates.

From the hardening machine the fabric (except cushioning and padding felt) is sent to a fulling mill, where it is shrunk up to 50% in both length and width. After fulling, the felt is washed and finished in several ways. Finishes include those designed to make the fabric water-repellent, flameproof, or mothproof. The final finish is calendering, or tentering, which stretches the fabric to shape while it dries.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)