Thursday, August 6, 2015

Making the switch from Eco-fi felt to 100% wool felt.

LEFT: 100% wool felt.  RIGHT: Eco-fi felt.

When I first started making felt puppets, I used Eco-fi felt. Readily available, Eco-fi felts are polyester fibers made from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. Not only is it cheap to buy, but it is made from plastic bottles that would otherwise end up in landfill.

But it wasn't until I came across an old puppet I made for my niece that made me search for a higher quality felt. You see, her puppets have worn out from play. The felt has fuzzed up like a used kitchen sponge. It hurts even more when I think about the hours spent hand sewing her puppets! I came across 100% wool felt when I was reading through craft books, and I decided to look into it.

It turns out that not only is 100% wool felt really expensive, but I have to order it on-line. After searching on-line for a supplier, I placed my first felt order and made the switch.

LEFT: 100% wool felt.  RIGHT: Eco-fi felt

Since making the switch from Eco-fi felt to 100% wool felt, I have noticed a huge difference in quality. Wool felts are softer, smoother, and cut cleaner. 100% wool felt comes with bonus benefits too! Some of my favourites include:
  • Wool felt is wear resistant. Play after play, wool felt will not pill and fuzz.
  • Wool felt has anti-bacterial properties.
  • Wool felt is fire resistant. It self extinguishes itself making it kid-friendly and baby-safe.
  • Wool felt is a natural and sustainable resource. I used to believe that by using Eco-fi felt I was being environmentally friendly. When in fact, I am encouraging the use of plastic bottles...which is not very environmentally friendly at all.
So even though wool felt is expensive and I have to wait a week for it to arrive, I am happy to make the switch. I am happy to know the puppets I make (to the best of my knowledge) are safe for children, environmentally sound, and a step closer to "heirloom" quality.

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