Published on November 8th, 2008 | by Julie Finn60
Wool Comes from Sheep and I’m Cheap: Why I Craft with Acrylic
Oh yeah, I know that wool felt is da’ bomb. It’s thicker, feels better on the skin, holds its shape better, flies around on little wings and gives you kisses when you’re feeling sad. Wool felt rocks, seriously. I admit it. Know what else I admit?
I craft with acrylic felt.
That’s right–acryclic. Made of PLASTIC! Plastic comes from the devil, you know, and yet I put it on my daughters’ felt board, I make their birthday crowns out of it, I applique it onto my holiday buntings:
My name is Julie, and I’m an acrylic felt user.
My use of acrylic felt for my work may result in a slight loss of quality over the admittedly superior quality wool felt, but I firmly believe that it is the more eco-friendly choice.
Wool, my friends, comes from sheep. As my manifesto dictates, I craft without exploitation of the world’s creatures. Unless I am confident that the sheep was humanely treated, which I am not with most commercially available wool felt, I will not use it, no matter that it might make my daughter’s felt birthday crown look slightly swankier.
Of course, organic and/or locally-produced wool felt are two viable options. If you have a local producer of wool products, perhaps one who leaves her happy farm full of sheep to come sell at your farmer’s market, or if you’re so monetarily successful that you can afford beautiful organic wool felt from online stores such as La Lana Wools, and still feed and clothe your children, you’re awesomely lucky and I totally want to be you–both those options are out of my league.
Instead, I craft with a material that is both cruelty-free and has a positive effect on our environment: I use acrylic felt made entirely from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. It’s priced competitively, locally available at my regular craft store, and I’m happy with its quality. Ecospun is the brand I use, but perhaps there are others?
For projects in which acrylic felt really doesn’t hold up well, such as sewing stuffies, I use felted wool from thrifted sweaters–by the time they reach the second-hand stores, they’ve likely been partially felted in the washing machine anyway, and a second life as a child’s beloved stuffed animal is, I consider, a respectful retirement for a material that an animal had to sacrifice to produce.
For me, materials matter. What’s your take on the issue?