How felt is made Private8 months ago - Apparels & Accessories - Biratnagar - 147 views
How felt is made
Most fabrics are woven, meaning they are constructed on a loom and have interlocking warp (the thread or fiber that is strung lengthwise on the loom) and weft (the thread that cuts across the warp fiber and interlocks with it) fibers that create a flat piece of fabric. Felt is a dense, non-woven fabric and without any warp or weft. Instead, felted fabric is made from matted and compressed fibers or fur with no apparent system of threads. Felt is produced as these fibers and/or fur are pressed together using heat, moisture, and pressure. Felt is generally composed of wool that is mixed with a synthetic in order to create sturdy, insulating felt for craft or industrial use. However, some felt is made wholly from synthetic fibers.
Today, hats are associated with felt, but it is generally presumed that all felt is made of wool. Originally, early shockproof felt was produced using animal fur (generally beaver fur). The fur was matted with other fibers—including wool—using heat, pressure, and moisture. The finest hats were of beaver, and men's fine hats were often referred to as beavers. Beaver felt hats were made in the late Middle Ages and were much coveted. However, by the end of the fourteenth century many hatmakers produced them in the Low Countries thus driving down the price.
The North American continent was home to many of the beaver skins used in European hatmakers' creations in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. North American Indians' second-hand skins, replete with perspiration, felted most successfully and were in extraordinary demand for hatmaking in both the New and Old Worlds. The beaver hat was surpassed in popularity in the second half of the nineteenth century by the black silk hat, sometimes finished to resemble beaver and referred to as beaver-finished silk.
Quality control begins with the arrival of the materials. Materials are checked for quality and weight. Some companies purchase wool that has been scoured and baled; the purity of the bales is examined upon entry. Other important quality control checks include continuous monitoring of the carded webs, since the web sizes are important first steps in producing the desired length and width of the felt. Once the batts are shrunk in width and length, the company checks the weight, density, width, length, and evenness of the batts. When production is complete, visual checks may reveal that the surface of a batt is slightly uneven and additional pressing may occur to even out the surface. The acid baths are also very carefully monitored. The amount of time the fabric is in the acid bath is precisely calculated by weight and length of yard good, lest the piece is ruined. Finally, the company producing industrial felt has to check its goods against a governmental standard for the product. The government has determined that 16 lb (7.3 kg) density felt must be 1 in (2.5 cm) thick, 36 in (91.4 cm) wide, 36 in (91.4 cm) long, and weigh 16 lb (7.3 kg). If the felt weighs less than this, the fabric is not dense enough and does not meet government expectations for that grade of felt.
But first, what is felt? Felt is the short word for a variety of material that is made by the combining of fibres without knitting or weaving. The fibres are matted by some method of twisting or vibrating until they become so entangled with each other that they hold strong. It’s really the same as how one turns their hair to dreadlocks. Original machine parts felt dates back to as much as 6,500 BC. It can be hand made, manufactured or even made by having huge rolls dragged behind horses to matt the fibres.
Both types of sealing pad felt are nonwoven textiles and can both be clean-cut without fraying. That is why they do not need finishings such as hemming.