New Synthetic Felt Added To USA And NZ Catalogs
When you think of felt, you may remember fun afternoons spent making arts and crafts in elementary school. And while felt is amazing for making those cozy crafts you remember from childhood, you may be surprised just how awesome felt is when used with laser cutting.
What makes felt so stunning? It’s dense yet soft, durable, stable and non-fraying. It has a consistent texture that laser cuts beautifully and ages gracefully. The colors are vibrant, making felt ideal for bookmarks and book covers, jewelry, clothing labels, hang tags, accessories (such as bags, purses and wallets) and home décor.
Although we’ve offered 100% merino wool felt for some time, there is one little, tiny drawback: It’s a bit stinky when first laser cut since the laser is technically burning the wool. Even though this smell fades over time with exposure to fresh air, it does require some advanced planning if you’re making products to sell or promote your business.
So while we love our homegrown wool because it’s a rich natural material that is a renewable and environmentally friendly resource, we want to give you an option with a little less post-laser-cutting fragrance. So we’re now offering synthetic felt options in both the USA and NZ materials catalogs.
Three Reasons You’ll Love Synthetic Felt
Synthetic felt has some great benefits. First, it’s vegan friendly; there’s no shearing of animals required. Second, it also laser cuts cleaner than wool (which has a darker and more burnt appearance when cut or engraved.) Just check out these edges!
Finally (and the best part!), synthetic felt is MUCH less expensive than wool felt. Who doesn’t like saving some cold, hard cash!
Get Inspired: What You Can Make With Synthetic Felt
Can felt be both cozy for those who want a hygge vibe as well as sophisticated for those with a modern aesthetic? You bet! Check out these five designs we tried out.
Felt is ideal for coasters because it is absorbent. And the geometric shapes laser cut beautifully while giving different optical illusions based on the orientation.
Because of its flexibility, felt is great for making wallets and purses. This simple pouch is super cute! Make small ones as jewelry packaging, medium size ones to hold credit cards and cash, and large ones to hold paper documents.
Felt bookmarks make you want to curl up and read a good book. Combine them with coordinating book covers and you’ll have a great birthday or holiday gift idea for bibliophiles.
Because felt is soft, it makes great cases for protecting mobile phones, tablets and laptops.
Felt’s texture also makes it an interesting choice for jewelry. You might think of a more boho feel for felt jewelry, but these geometric shapes prove you can have sophistication with felt.
Need more inspiration? Check out these 39 ideas via Martha Stewart. It would be pretty easy to translate many of these felt projects from handmade to laser cut, which offers greater precision—an important consideration, especially if you’re planning on making a large quantity and/or selling your creations.
Now Available: Synthetic Felt
Because we have different suppliers in the States than in NZ, there are a few technical differences in the synthetic felt available in each of our making studios.
In the USA, the synthetic felt is a premium blend of 72% polyester, 18% nylon, 10% rayon and has a dense and rich texture.
In NZ, the 100% acrylic has a soft fluffy felt texture—and an even more affordable price point.
Both synthetic felt offerings are 2mm thick. When laser cutting, heat from the laser melts and seals the edges for a crisp finish. Laser engraving also melts the material, which creates a harder texture in the engraved areas.
Are you ready to make with synthetic felt?
For makers in the USA, get all the details about Grey Premium Synthetic Blend Felt here and pick up a sample here to check it out for yourself. If you’re in NZ, you can get details about the Grey 100% Acrylic Felt here and grab a sample here.
Maker Tips: Unlike most of our other material sheets, felt is a flexible fabric so design accordingly. It’s recommended that design features be 3mm or larger to help parts keep their shape. Because this felt is a synthetic product, it melts reasonably easy when the laser is applied, so you’ll also want to allow for a larger kerf.
If you choose to further customize via laser engraving, simple area engraved shapes work best. Detailed area engraving will get lost due to the fluffy nature of the material.
What Will You Laser Cut With Synthetic Felt?
What do you think? Are you as stoked about this new synthetic felt as we are? What would you love to make? Whatever your laser cutter project ideas, give us a shout in the comment box and let us know what you can’t wait to make. We’d love to hear all about it!