If you turn the collar up on a high quality coat or jacket you will see on the underside a thin, usually about one millimetre thick, piece of felt that has been sewn on. Why? Because a kind of crumple zone (like the passenger compartment in a car) is necessary at that point to prevent creases from developing as a result of the many different movements pulling the cloth in different directions. The felt works against that eventuality because it is a very stretchable material and it also can be formed into a desired shape when heated. Another typical attribute of collar felt is that is has two sides with different colours. This allows one roll of felt to be used with different coloured clothing because one has two choices of colour that can face outwards when seeking a good match. This two-tone attribute also makes it interesting for use with cases, bags and anything else that has both an inner and outer side.
100% wool felt is made out of sheeps wool, is UV-resistant, tear-proof, temperature-proof from about -40 °C to +110 °C, will not burn and carbonizes at temperatures over 200 °C. For larger orders we can also have the wool felt treated to make it flame-resistant. Its elasticity, its permeability to air, its great insulation qualities against heat, cold and sound, its pH neutrality and its dimensional stability make this a material with a wide variety of possible uses.
The relatively high price of wool felt comes about primarily from the quality of the raw material used and the fairly elaborate production process. First, the wool must be cleaned and teased in a succession of steps to remove vegetable matter, dirt, sweat, etc. Sometimes a few tenacious plant fibres are able to withstand all the cleaning processes and end up appearing on the surface of the finished product. Much in the same way as colour variations and small differences in the thickness of the material, this is not a grounds for a customer complaint but rather serves to emphacise the unique character of the natural product called felt!
After the cleaning and teasing, the material is carded, that is, the wool fibres are aligned in one direction. After that, the ability of wool to mat and press together (to “felt”) under the influence of leaching, heat, movement and compression is put to use. For this purpose the fibre blanket is compacted between moveable plates whereby the wool fibres already link up into a relatively firm bond. This mass is then introduced into the so-called planker where, through crushing, pounding and compressing, the final density of the felting process is achieved. As a result of the milling and the storage of the heavy, wet felt lengths between the various steps in the production process, horizontal markings are generated in the merchandise. The lengths are then subsequently stretched, dried and, through the use of large warm plates, flattened. Despite this last treatment, one or more markings remain and will appear in irregular intervals along the roll. As the felt is used more and more, its surface becomes more texture and the markings are no longer so noticeable.
Please note that felt should not be washed in the washing machine. The high proportion of grease in the wool together with its density impedes the intrusion of dirt so that spots or stains can usually be removed by means of dabbing or brushing with soapsuds made with a wool detergent. Any residual fluid during this process should be absorbed by means of a dry cloth. If the spot or stain remains, we recommend dry-cleaning.