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felt,fabric made by matting or felting together woolwool,
fiber made from the fleece of the domestic sheep. Composition and Characteristics
Wool consists of the cortex, overlapping scales (sharper and more protruding than those of hair) that may expand at their free edges causing fibers to intermesh; elasticum, the
..... Click the link for more information. , hair, or fur, most of which have a natural tendency to snarl or cling together owing to their notched or scaly surfaces. Processes of manufacture vary according to fibers used and purpose intended. Woven felt is first made into coarse cloth, given a heavy nap by teaseling, then ironed down. True felt is made by placing the cleaned fibers in the shape or mass desired, then beating, steaming, pressing, fulling, or otherwise compacting them to the required thickness. Impregnated felts, designed for industrial uses such as roofing and sheathing, are made from waste and sometimes from paper treated with a stiffening or waterproofing substance. As an art, felt making probably preceded spinning. Felt was used in N Asia for clothing and tents, and the felt hat was known in ancient Greece and Rome. The invention (1846) of a machine for making felt first brought about the great popularity of the felt hat for men.
a lining, sealing, heat- and sound-insulating material made by a matting process. There are several kinds of felt, with different properties and uses. In addition to wool (the most common felt) and semiwool felt, there is also mineral felt, made from mineral wadding on an asphalt binding, and felt made from chemical fibers. The basic types of felt are (a) technical (coarse, semicoarse, and fine wool), with a density of from 0.09 to 0.45 g/cm3 in the form of ribbons, sheets, and ready-made pieces, used for gaskets, stuffing, shock absorbers and wicks in automobiles, tractors, combines, and airplanes, for the drive shafts and other components of textile and paper machines, for polishing tin (felt polishing pads), for musical instruments, and for prosthetic devices; (b) everyday, used in shoes, soles, and harness-making; and (c) construction, used for warming the ends of wooden beams in external stone walls and the seams of boards in prefabricated buildings.
a wool or wool-blend fabric made from yarn, whose face is so compacted as a result of fulling that the weave is concealed. Felt usually has a plain or twill weave. After being subjected to intensive fulling, the cloth shrinks lengthwise and, especially, breadthways (up to 50 percent) and acquires an extremely high density. Felt comes in various thicknesses and is distinguished as being fine, semicoarse, or coarse. It may be napped or napless. Felt is used mainly for winter coats, suits, and uniforms. It is used industrially for filters, packing, and automobile and furniture upholstery.
Cotton felt fabric resembles felt made of wool and is often used as a substitute for the latter, especially for school uniforms, quilted coats, and ski suits. There are a number of other fabrics besides felt that are made from yarn subjected to fulling, for example, cheviot, tricot, broadcloth, castor, and baize.