- Wool is a Natural Fiber
- Rayon is made from Cellulosic Fibers (made from cotton or pine wood). Rayon is one of the most peculiar fabrics in commercial use today. Rayon is a manufactured regenerated cellulose fiber. Because it is produced from naturally occurring polymers, it is neither a truly synthetic fiber nor a natural fiber, it is a semi-synthetic fiber. Strictly speaking, it is not an artificial fiber, because it is derived from naturally occurring cellulose. It is not, however, a natural fabric, because cellulose requires extensive processing to become rayon. Rayon is usually classified as a manufactured fiber and considered to be “regenerated cellulose”. This complex process results in a great deal of environmental pollution. Courtesy: wisegeek.com
- Stronger than polyester, doesn't stretch.
- Renewable & environmentally friendly resource.
- Highly resilient, retaining its strength & unique properties for decades.
- Dry Clean Only
- Allergy Risk for those with wool allergies.
- Expensive - around $8 a yard (36"x 36") - or $16 a yard when compared to the 72" yard of eco-felt.
- Ecospun is a polyester fiber made from 100% recycled plastic bottles.
- Ecospun enables billions of plastic containers to be recycled each year, instead of them being buried in landfill. 10 bottles = 1 pound of fiber or 2 yds of felt
- Recycled Eco-Felt is compliant with the Consumer Product Safety Act, including lead limits, making it a great choice for children.
- Machine washable
- Inexpensive - $6 a yard for a (72"x 72")
Fabrics made from Eco-fi fiber are chemically and functionally nearly identical to those made from non-recycled fiber. The difference is that Eco-fi fiber is made without depleting the Earth’s natural resources. With properties such as strength, softness, shrinkage-resistance, and colorfastness, market applications for Eco-fi are expanding every day. Courtesy: Eco-fi.com
Here’s how the Ecospun process goes:
- Plastic containers are collected from curbside and community recycling centers
- The containers are sorted by type and color
- All labels and caps are stripped off
- The plastic containers are then washed
- Then they’re crushed
- Then they’re chopped into flake
- The flakes are then melted and extruded to create fiber
- The fiber is crimped, cut, drawn, then stretched into the desired length (based on its strength), then baled. Courtesy: Eco-fi.com
After working with wool felt exclusively for a rather large wholesale order for Palumba toys, I am seriously considering offering wool felt food in my shop as well. I am enjoying the feeling of the wool, its strength, its softness & the beautiful colors available (though I have to order it online). I greatly dislike paying almost twice as much per yard as the Eco-Felt, but I think there are people out there who love the feeling of wool despite its price & non-washability.
So for me, I think I am going to enjoy the best of both worlds & use Eco-Felt & Wool/Rayon Felt interchangeably throughout my sewing, enjoying the benefits that each material has to offer.