Felt is one of those under-used but “designers’ favourite” materials. And as one of the earliest fabrics created, it has been for a very long time. Natural felt is made using wool in a wet or dry process and utilises the wool fibre scales and kinks to bond or matt the fabric together.
For me, it’s the density of the fabric and its ability to be cut without fraying that make it so versatile. It’s used in everything from the automotive industry through to clothing, furniture and even children’s toys (which means you know it can take a beating). But best of all, being made of wool, natural felt is a replenishable and sustainable material that we should be making more use of. There are some fantastic contemporary felt Â products, check out my favourites below.
The wall panels produced by Anne KyyrÃ¶ Quinn Studio resemble works of art more than conventional fabrics. But, all made by hand, these felt wall panels are a really unique and interesting way to add some harmonising texture and colour to the walls of your home, not only that they are great atÂ softeningÂ theÂ “live”Â acoustics of a space.
Ever wondered what would happen if you crossed a woolly jumper and a chair? No? Well, neither had I in all honesty but I certainly wouldn’t have imagined it to turn out as elegant as Jumper by Studio Bertjan Pot for Established & Sons. The chair consists of a seamless woollen cover run through a high temperature wash to create this stylish, soft and yet durable felt cover. So now you know, but it does look like it’s just stepped out of a Dr Seuss book don’t you think?
Sticking with the sedentary, this felt stool collection, Ewe, by Yu-Hun Kim is made by laminating felt either side of a plywood frame. The collection has a lovely playful but contemporary feel. I love the way theÂ differentÂ colours of natural wool felt are layered up, keeping a connection with the breed of sheep.
Benjamin Hubert’s pressed felt acoustic privacy chair, Pod, is another really stylish use of felt as upholstery. Its high sides protect you from excess noise and distraction, great for public spaces where a little privacy is needed.
Speaking of which, because kids need to sit down too (although sometimes it doesn’t seem like it), have a look at this bent hardwood chair with felt cover from Bookhou. And because it’s felt, it’s going to be able to stand up to the punishment that kids specialise in dishing out.
Sometimes it feels like you have to make everything out of stone to make them childproof. Which was perhaps the thinking behind the Living Stones collection by Smarin. These surreal, yet soft felt stones are a really fun and creative way of keeping the little ones comfortable. Sorry if the picture looks aÂ littleÂ like a landslide’s just taken place …….
As you may know, lighting in the home is something Iâ€™m really passionate about. Â Made Â by Japanese and British designer duo, Mixko, thisÂ elegantÂ butterfly lampshade is fabricated from white felt. It not only looks like the butterflies have been attracted to the light but the folded out butterflies allow light to filter out Â and into the room. Im a big fan and have a couple of these at home.
And finally, how about some felt for the bathroom. These beautiful woollen soaps from OLOOP make the perfect ‘little luxury’ to adorn your home. They might also make a great present for ‘you know what’ in a couple of months time. Simply moisten and let the lather and felt gently massage and peel the skin – wonderfully tactile. Then when the soap is gone simply wash and dry. Brilliantly simple.