Which Felt is Best for Machine Embroidery?

Machine Embroidery on Felt with SewInspiredByBonnie.com

Felt image from BenzieDesign.com

Whether it is ornaments, banners, or embroidered cards, these tips will help your felt projects stand out! We are rapidly approaching the most wonderful time of the year for makers. I have several Christmas project blogs planned that involve embroidering on felt, one of my favorite mediums.

You may have seen some of our tutorials on making ornaments using Bonnie’s Christmas Cookies designs as well as Gingerbread Buddies and Santa Buddies. There are a couple of things to consider when purchasing felt.

Not All Felt is the Same

Most felt you buy at big box stores is acrylic felt or a blend thereof. When you hold it up to the light, you can see areas that aren’t solid; some light shows through. Although you can stitch on these, you will get much better results with 100% wool or a higher wool blend.

My favorite felt was Marcus Brothers. They had a 70/30 blend of wool felt that was both dense and soft. Unfortunately, they just make a 100% wool felt now. Had I known that they would change the blend, I would have bought a bunch more.

I did recently find a lovely 100% Bellwether felt from BenzieDesign.com (no affiliation) that is made from pure merino wool. It is soft and comes in a variety of colors. They also offer wool shapes that are fun and will be incorporated into a couple of upcoming Christmas projects so stay tuned!

Felt vs. Felted

There is a big difference between wool felt and felted wool.

Wool felt is smooth, flat, and great to work with. Felted wool is when you take wool fabric or felt and wash it in hot water (or boil it), followed by a cold rinse and drying on high heat in the dryer. This type of wool shrinks a lot and is thicker with a tighter, rough finish.

I most often like to use wool felt for freestanding ornaments or for banners. The kind you use in your machine embroidery projects will likely depend upon the desired final result.

Debbie Henry
Sew Inspired by Bonnie

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  • Astyork - March 26, 2024

    Thank you for your insightful comparison of felts for machine embroidery! Your blog post simplifies the selection process, ensuring excellent results for embroidery enthusiasts.

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