I get a lot of emails asking about the felt I use (birthday crown, for example). I don't like to work with the polyester felt that I remember from my own childhood days of arts and crafts - the feeling of it drives me batty, and it doesn't stand up well at all on the projects I want felt for. I don't mind the 60/40 wool/polyester blend felt that is more readily available now at fabric stores. But what I really love to work with is plant dyed, 100% wool felt. It's sturdy, able to stand up on it's own for craft projects, feels soo good to touch, and the natural colors are just yummy. It does cost a bit more, but I think it's worth it, and I'm pretty frugal about the pieces I do buy - saving every little bit. Plant dyed felt can be found at your local Waldorf school store, if you have one, or if buying online, I get mine from A Child's Dream.
More on wool. A friend of mine recently gave me a gigantic pile (no, really) of old 100% wool blankets. I snagged them as they were headed to Goodwill, half wondering if I was crazy to be taking on an enormous pile of yellow wool. They sat and sat and sat for a bit, with me not-so-loving that color (or at least, so much of that color), until I thought of dyeing them. One Dharma Trading order and a night hanging out by the washing machine later, and I had this:
The dyeing was an experiment - easy to do (using this stuff), but funky to get the color I wanted, since I was starting with yellow as a base (not helping was the fact that I have no concept of making and mixing color). Each strip of wool was a surprise -but a pleasant surprise, with the exception of that neon yellow that was supposed to be chartruese (and has been redyed since this photo). Since the blankets were free (thanks again, Jean!), the cost of the dye was minimal considering the yards and yards (and yards and yards) of wool that I got out of it. Not to mention the entertainment value - I take a child-like amout of pleasure in putting something into the washing machine and having something different come out. Or, perhaps it's just a nice change to be so excited about what comes out of the washing machine.