Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Why I Love Sewing With Felt


I love sewing with felt!

Especially when it comes to one of my favourite activities, sewing with kids.

Felt has qualities that are really great for kids who want to sew ... or adults, for that matter.

One of it's best qualities is that it's such a forgiving fiber, and by that I mean it is supple, easy for almost anyone to sew and looks charming paired with the perfect imperfectness of beginner stitches.

Here are 5 more reasons to love it.



5 reasons to love sewing with felt


1) The raw or cut edges of felt don't fray, therefore you don't need to hide the seams, and projects can be sewn right-side-out. This is great for kids because they don't have to wrestle with turning a project after it's finished.

2) Felt is easy to push a sewing needle through. (I use chenille or embroidery needles in sizes 18 to 22 for beginners.)

3) It is attractive. The colours are vibrant and beautiful! It comes in fun prints, too, although these are stiffer and therefore hard for really little people to sew.

 4) It is firm enough not to droop or flop about too much while being sewn. Yet, it's soft to touch. Which brings me to reason number 5.

5) It feels nice which is especially true of felt made from natural fibres. 

My felt preferences for sewing projects

I like using natural fibres for kids whenever possible, so my top choice is a light-weight, wool, craft felt. 

Following that, in descending order my choices are bamboo, eco-fi recycled pop bottle felt (acrylic) and non-recycled acrylic felt. 

Sometimes acrylic felt has thick spots that are hard to poke a needle through, or thin spots that tear under stress; but it is easy to find at my local fabric store, so I use it sometimes. 

If you decide to use acrylic too, remember to look for inconsistencies in the felt and cut your projects around them.

As I mentioned before, I purchase eco-fi felt at my local fabric store, and I get wool craft felt at a lovely family shop called Nurtured.  

Which kind of felt is your favourite? 

EDIT, September 2015: Since originally writing this post in 2011, I've found a beautiful felt for kids to sew. It's 10 ounce wood fibre, rayon/viscose blend. Whenever I find a felt blend that I like, I will keep updating this page for you. :)

EDIT: For your further information, the felt that Winky Cherry recommends in her book, My First Sewing Book (this is the method I use to teach kids), is 9 ounce wool-blend, 40% wool and 60% rayon. I haven't found this particular felt in Canada yet, but remain forever hopeful. :)

EDIT: I've learned that 100% wool felt actually doesn't feel as nice as I used to think. It's rather scratchy. There are other, more touch-friendly felts available.


Happy stitching!

6 comments:

  1. I love sewing with felt, I think wool would be the best choice for kids learning. the bamboo felt feels like butter in my hands & I love to sew with it, but it is very soft & flimsy & might be a bit harder for kids to handle... wool seems sturdier to me

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  2. Oooo! I haven't actually tried the bamboo, but use the recycled bottles felt. Bamboo felt sounds heavenly for more advanced sewists. Thanks so much for your comment!

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  3. I was just getting ready to make a felt pouch with my daughter and thought I'd look up sewing felt with kids just to see if I was missing anything... I found your site and I'm so happy!!! We're just starting a Waldorf school and I'm like you in just liking the natural fibers for her... I will be getting your feed and I can't wait to explore here more!

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  4. Teresa, I'm sure your pouch has turned out beautifully, and that you have made many projects with your little girl since leaving this message. I love the lean toward art in the Waldorf cirriculum. Best of luck starting the new school!

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  5. I love the idea of bamboo felt! So far I hadn't known about any kind other than acrylic, and I'm allergic to wool, so this is exciting!!! Fyi you know if I can get it at my local Micheals or Joanns?

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    1. Hi, Christine. Did you find a source for bamboo felt? I'm sorry, but there isn't a Joannsor Micheals where I live so I can't answer your question. I just hope for the sake of your allergies that you were able to find the bamboo felt.

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