Metric Felt Co., manufacturer  of industrial textiles and non-metallic base materials
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Roll Felt Sheet Felt Synthetic Fibers

 

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An Ancient Textile with Modern Value in Hundreds of Industrial Applications

wool felt

Wool is a great fiber and wool felt delivers its properties for hundreds of industrial applications. Wool felt is one of the world's oldest man-made fabrics because it does not require weaving. It interlocks to form a useful continuous material.

The legend of felt says it was probably discovered by a shepherd who happened to repair a hole in his sandal with a wad of wool from the back of one of his sheep. He would have noticed that after walking on the repaired hole for a few weeks, the wool would harden to become more like the missing leather that the wool he first placed in the hole.

This ancient discovery led to the modern process of manipulating, hammering, and steaming wool to force scales on the surface of each fiber to engage each other forming a lasting, resilient bond.

When you examine a wool fiber under a microscope, it it appears to have scales like a fish, The outer skeleton of each wool fiber is made up of overlapping scales. This "armadillo-like" armor can be stretched up to 30% without breaking and can absorb up to 33% of its weight in moisture.

wool fiber

A microscopic illustration of a single wool fiber shows the scales that interlock to to engage one another to form a non-wovel textile capable of being formed in many densities for fashion and industrial

The microscopic photograph of felted wool fibers (below) clearly shows the scales interlocking to form a bond. The more the wool is manipulated and hammered, the tighter the fibers engage and interlock. The inset photos show the actual scales.

The scales are made of keratin, the same tough substance that grows to form horns and hooves on other animals.

keratin scales give wool fibers several advantages:

  • They trap air to make excellent thermal insulators.
  • They are extremely resistant to wear.
  • They promote capillary action for wicking liquids.
  • They form resilient bonds to absorb vibrations and shocks.
  • They facilitate homogeneous penetration of chemicals.

We provide material applications engineering with precision die cutting, slitting, adhesive lamination, and assembly of: wool felt parts, industrial textile components, non-metallic base materials.

wool felt fibers

A small cluster of wool fibers as they appear in a felt sample in an electron microscope.