Q:

How is felt fabric made?

A:

Quick Answer

Felt is produced by a process that uses heat, moisture and pressure to combine a series of fibres or fur. Unlike other materials, the fibres are not woven together and are usually produced from a selection of natural (such as wool) and synthetic fibres.

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Full Answer

The process begins by combining raw materials into a mass by using a machine that has two cylinders studded with nails. The 'carding' process - the matting of fibres into a web - uses wires to pull the fibres so that they run parallel. This process is completed twice to create a thick, dense material.

Four rolls of this webbed material are then layered across one another in different directions to create 'batts'. These batts are then hardened or matted together using steam to add heat and moisture. This also adds to the thickness of the material.

Next, a plate-hardener is used to add pressure to the wet batts before they are run through a 'fulling' machine to shrink them to a specific size. This machine is made up of two steel rollers with a car tyre-like tread on them to pull the material through. The material is run through a final pressure machine to smooth out irregularities in the material before being dried and cut to size ready for use.

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