Felt and Finances

Felt and Finances

Yesterday I wrote about the fabric you might like to work with when creating one of my dolls. Today I would like to discuss working with different types of felt. My company is called "Heart Felt Doll Patterns." I purposely used the word "felt" because it has a double meaning one of which is that I really do use felt in each doll design. I personally LOVE felt! It is easy to use, and it comes in a wide variety of colors, and I just love the feel of working with it. While there are so many amazing things I love about felt, I must admit that all felts are NOT created equal. 

There are two types of "Felts" I am going to discuss today. Natual and Manmade. Generally speaking, felts are either wool or acrylic.

When creating one of my dolls I recommend using a wool felt or a wool felt blend. Both are very nice and the wool blend is easier on the pocketbook. A 100% Wool felt is quite expensive and it can be a tiny bit hard to work with sometimes because it sheds a lot. Also in many towns (like mine) wool felt simply is not available. If I want wool felts I must order them online. Still they do last a for a very long time and I think they are lovely and the color variations are basically endless. 

There are also acrylic "wool felt" that are suitable to use when making my dolls. Acrylic felts are manmade and come in a variety of quality. Some are so thin they are hardly usable....avoid these at all costs! They won't last and they are really hard to sew with. These thin acrylic felts are mainly used for crafts that are not made to last very long. There are however thicker acrylic felts that work great for my dolls. They are generally about twice to three times the price of the thinner felts and well worth the price! Acrylic felts are way cheaper than wool felts to begin with so paying the higher prices for a better acrylic felt is still an inexpensive way to go. 

My dolls each have facial features that require felt. Also many of my accessories like my doll shoes and baby carriers are made of felt. Some of my child dolls also have their own "toy babies" and these baby dolls are made of felt. Even with these felt items the yardage is very minimal. I am of the opinion that children fall in love with their dolls and using a solid high end to midrange felt is a good place to spend my time and money because the "doll owner" can love the doll and play with is while still have a quality that lasts and can endure the child's "love." I do not spend money on felts that are literally almost see-through and I have seen many of them! I love the look of thicker felts especially when I am doing applique work. 

Where can you purchase a good midrange acrylic felt? If I am picky and look through the felt stacks, I can usually find something at Hobby Lobby, Michael's and also JoAnn's Fabric. I do stick to the higher quality felts when shopping at these locations. I have also found some suitable acrylic felts at Walmart. Besides the price point there are other reasons a person might wish to choose acrylic felt over wool felt and one is for ethical reasons. Vegans for example do not use any animal products so choosing a good quality acrylic felt is the direction they will go. 

My purchases of wool felts and wool blends have been on the internet. As I said, I live in a small town and my shopping here is somewhat limited. The internet is fast, and you can comparison shop. If shopping online, be sure to check the comments and the reviews so you see what other customers experienced when purchasing the felt. 

I hope this helps you in deciding which way to go when sewing one of my dolls. Felt is soft and cuddly and is so fun to work with especially for beginning seamstresses. I want each of my doll makers to have a wonderful experience, and choosing the right felt is part of that experience. Don't shy away from acrylic felts because they can be in some ways easier to access and to work with just be sure to purchase the higher end acrylic felts. Also don't feel that wool is the only way to go. I certainly work with both, and I mix them together all the time! 

Happy Doll Making! 







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