Wool & Fibre Guide
We're always being asked which type of wool and fibre is good for which type of projects and in particular in relation to felting projects. So we thought it would be useful to put together a basic guide for some of the most common fibres and wools so that you can see which are the best for your felting and needle felting projects.
At the present time, we stock Merino wool tops, Corriedale wool tops, Norwegian wool tops, a New Zealand wool mix available in mini batts and Blue Faced Leicester carded batts. However, our range is expanding all the time and we are happy to add new wools and fibres to our site if there is enough demand for them. Please note that all of our wool is sourced from non-mulesed sheep. This is extremely important to both us and our customers.
Please visit our "Guide to Felting" and other pages within our "Hints & Tips" section to read more about the terminology in relation to felting and needle felting. We also have a handy guide to Felting Needles.
Merino wool is one of the most popular types of wool to use in felt making. The Merino sheep orginated in Spain and is now also found in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and The Falkland Islands.
The wool from merino sheep is very soft and silky. This is because the scales on the fibres tend to run in the same direction. Because of this, it is actually quite difficult to needle felt with merino wool. Whilst it's not impossible to needle felt with merino wool, we tend to recommend using a coarser wool, where the scales on the fibres run in different directions, making it easier for the barbs on your felting needle to catch on them. Merino wool is, however, perfect for wet felting, producing a beautifully soft finish.
As with all wools and fibres, merino wool is graded in microns. Here at Blooming Felt, we stock merino wool that measures 23 microns, which is a good fine to mid-range merino wool.
Merino wool is perfect for wet felting. Needle felting and spinning with merino wool will require a bit more time and patience.
We sell merino wool tops in 25g and 100g weights and also in 125g colour co-ordinated sets / blends.
Corriedale sheep were created after a New Zealand sheep farmer crossed a merino sheep with a Lincoln sheep. This produced the Corriedale sheep which provides us with a great wool for felting with.
Corriedale wool typically has a micron count of between 25 and 35. This means that it is slightly more coarse than, say, merino wool but is still very soft. Because of this, the fibres will catch more easily on the barbs of your felting needle, meaning you'll still get a great soft and smooth finish on your project, but in a quicker time than were you to needle felt the same project with merino wool.
Corriedale wool is perfect for wet felting, needle felting and spinning.
We sell Corriedale wool tops in 25g and 100g weights.
New Zealand Wool
Our New Zealand wool is a mix of New Zealand sheep breeds. It has a micron count of around 30 microns and we highly recommend this wool for needle felting. Because of its coarseness, the fibres will catch well on the barbs of your felting needle meaning the project will felt up much more quickly. It will, however, leave a slightly more "fuzzy", less smooth finish than merino wool. It is also possible to wet felt with our New Zealand wool but you will end up with a rougher finish.
We sell our New Zealand wool in mini batts in 25g weights and in 125g colour co-ordinated sets / bundles.
Blue Faced Leicester Wool
Blue Faced Leicester sheep are another very old breed, dating back to the Roman occupation of England.
Our Blue Faced Leicester batts measure around 25-26 microns, making them a fine wool. They are perfect for wet felting, spinning and also needle felting. Although needle felting with Blue Faced Leicester fibres will take slightly longer than with a coarser wool such as Norwegian or New Zealand.
We sell Blue Faced Leicester batts in 200g weights.
Norwegian sheep are one of the oldest sheep breeds in the world, with records showing evidence of their life in the neolithic or "new stone age" period.
Our Norwegian wool has a micron count of between 30 and 36 microns which means it is more coarse than merino and corriedale wool. This makes it perfect for both needle felting and spinning. It also wet felts very well but due to its coarseness, will product a rougher, less silky finish.
We sell Norwegian wool tops in 25g and 100g weights.