Hand-made felt and industrial felt

Hand-made felt or industrial felt ? What are their differences in terms of visual aspect, resistance over time, price...? How to choose the right material for your project?

Hand-made felt VS industrial felt

hand-made felt

Hand-made felt is irregular and sometimes looks like thick skin because of its pleats. It does not go under a press so it is not flattened. This feature added to its extraordinary thickness gives felt a primitive aspect. It is a beautiful material that I love but with which I do not work.

detail of rug in hand-made felt from Iran
irregular aspect of hand-made felt
thickness of hand-made felt

Industrial Felt

It can be found in many different thicknesses from 2mm to 2cm. It is resistant over time and has a minimal aspect. That is why I have chosen to work with it. 

Both types of felt are nonwoven textiles and can both be clean-cut without fraying. That is why they do not need finishings such as hemming. 

samples of industrial felt
flexibility of industrial felt
thick industrial felt

Photo Credits: Bernard Taboureau

direct relation between the thickness of felt and its price

For cost reasons, I have to stick to 3 to 4mm thicknesses which are actually quite interesting for textiles. Of course I'm always tempted to use extra-thick qualities but the thicker the felt, the more raw material needed to produce it and so the more expensive it will get. For example 2mm felt will cost twice as much as felt in 1mm as it will need twice as much raw material to be made.

In most of my projects, my first thought goes to how to use intrinsic and functional prorieties of felt and put them into service of my client's needs. The 3 to 4mm felt I ususally apply is perfectly adapted to the needs of most projects. It also helps keep the budget in a reasonal level. Only in artistic projects rather than practical ones, can I forget about costs and work with very thick felt. 


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