Published on November 3rd, 2009 | by Becky Striepe14
Fab Fabrics: Recycled Wool Felt from Feltwerker
Fall is officially here! It’s cool and blustery, and we’ve got cozy fabrics on our minds. What better way to welcome in the lovely changing leaves and chilly weather than with some beautiful recycled felt? Feltwerker, a Chicago fiber artist, offers beautiful recycled wool felt scraps that you can incorporate into your Fall and winter projects!
Wool felt is an awesome, versatile fabric and great for making things like super-warm hats and fingerless gloves. You could also incorporate Feltweker’s scraps into projects like pot holders, trivets, or as patches or pockets for bags and clothing.
Many folks swear by wool felt rather than the synthetic sort. Using recycled versus new felt can help reduce your crafty footprint in a few different ways.
First, when you use a recycled product, you’re helping divert that material from the waste stream while simultaneously not supporting the introduction of new materials which require a lot of resources to create. Wool felt involves raising those sheep and all of the energy that goes into that, from the feed they’re eating to the land they live on. If you are in the market for new felt, you might consider looking into organic alternatives, which are easier on the planet.
If you’re into animal rights, recycled felt is the way to go, too. In a conventional setting, sheep raised for wool don’t live such happy lives. You can read more about wool production and its animal rights issues over at PETA.
Not only is recycled wool felt easier on the planet, Feltwerker’s wool pieces are completely gorgeous! Proprietress Denise says she’s not certain what draws her to reclaimed materials but:
I think two of the influences are: my mother who is a trained frugalista being born the year the great depression started and all that I have learned from gardening. Gardeners are great reusers of materials, lovers of nature and preservers of the earth (at least that’s what I think they are!) I also love having a reason to go to a second-hand store!
I love the intensity of color and the texture of felt. Each time I wash a sweater I can’t wait to see how it will be transformed. I like that felt lends itself to a kind of free-form construction. I like that the shapes of the sweaters, including the moth-eaten ones, give me constraints that I work within and around. I have so many ideas of more things that I can make with felt, and can only hope to get to all of them.
My goal is to not waste any part of the sweaters, to that end I save all the scraps I can. Which then inspires me to look for more and more uses of even the tiniest scraps.
I just love that by supporting her business, you’re not only wasting less yourself but helping her to close her own production loop! You can check out Denise’s shops over at Feltwerker.com. She’s got great sets of felt for crafting, and I’m totally in love with her felt flower kits! How fun do those look?