In wet felting, natural fibres (such as unspun wool) are teased apart before being moistened with soapy water and stimulated by friction. The friction causes the natural ‘scales’ on the fibre to lock together and bond. The action is usually carried out by hand, but steam-rollers or other tools are sometimes employed.
Another popular felt making method is needle felting, in which unspun wool fleece is pressed into shape on fabric with a barbed needle.
Felt is used by craft makers around the world in jewellery, art, clothing, hats, slippers, rugs and even tents such as traditional yurts.
Watch a BBC film of Ray Mears as he helps to make felt in the traditional Mongolian style.
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