Using Felt in Craft Making
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Using Felt in Craft Making

Felt is a type of fabric which does not fray and is used for an extraordinary amount of things which range from accessories to appliqués on garments and anything else you can think of. It comes in a large amount of colours so the colour combinations can be many. It can be sewn or glued onto almost anything.

Felt is an ideal material to use in handicraft projects as it does not fray. It is particularly suitable for children to work with as it is easy to handle and can be glued or sewn equally successfully. It is also very attractive - the darker shades are extremely luxurious and deeply coloured, but even the paler shades have a depth and richness of colour found in few other fabrics. 

If you are thinking of using felt to make a garment, remember it cannot be washed very successfully and needs to be dry-cleaned. So the maintenance of a whole garment will prove to be rather expensive. This makes it suitable for bright fashion 'extras' like a special waistcoat, or accessories, such as hats, belts and bags, but it is not really suitable for trousers or a dress! Felt can also be used most successfully in home furnishings, for cushions, wallhangings, to make an applique' design on nursery curtains, or as a fringed table cover to completely conceal an old circular table-giving it a new lease of life.

You can purchase felt in a number of different forms.  It is sold by the metre in various widths and is available from craft shops and some department stores. For small crafts, it is also possible to buy small pieces of felt in bright colours. They are about 30cm by 23cm big (12in by 9in) and inexpensive and are ideal for making small flowers or for applique' onto larger items. Sharp dressmaker's scissors are necessary for cutting large pieces of felt but a pair of small scissors must be used to cut smaller and more intricate shapes. Pins tend to leave a mark in felt so it is wise to just mark the felt with tailor's chalk and cutting out and using pins only when it is really necessary.

Special fabric adhesive can be used for sticking felt but it can also be hand or machine stitched. Blanket stitch is very suitable to attach felt and it also gives a decorative effect to the edge. Some of the stitches on automatic sewing machines give a similar effect. This type of fabric is used a lot during the Christmas season for Christmas decorations. However the uses for it are many and it is used for various other occasions like Easter and Valentine's Day. Creativity with this fabric is limitless!

One point which must be borne in mind when planning to use felt is that it is a rather thick material. While this can be used to a great advantage, it may be a problem if you are planning to use felt on a design requiring fine seaming. Inevitably felt will give a slightly bulky seam. It is therefore perhaps best used in a design which retains the cut edge since it does not fray and so it will still be neat.

image source: http://cdn-needlework.craftgossip.com/files/2009/11/birdies.jpg

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