Felting Machine & Process


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Felting Machine & Process

  1. 1. Three-Dimensional (3-D) Form Felting Machine & Process By Deborah Loxam-Kohl World Wool Award Recipient: Concept, Innovation & Extension
  2. 2. The Three-Dimensional Form Felting Machine & Process: <ul><li>produces form directly from raw material </li></ul><ul><li>utilizes the natural ability of wool to felt </li></ul><ul><li>operates using the wet-felting method </li></ul><ul><li>employs heat, moisture and agitation </li></ul><ul><li>uses pure wool, or wool blended with natural and/or synthetic fibres </li></ul>
  3. 3. Qualities of felted wool <ul><li>P leasing to touch </li></ul><ul><li>H olds colour beautifully </li></ul><ul><li>W arm and comfortable </li></ul><ul><li>Consistent nape </li></ul><ul><li>Cuts without unravelling </li></ul><ul><li>Durable and protective </li></ul><ul><li>Wicks moisture </li></ul><ul><li>Retains its insulating abilities even when wet </li></ul><ul><li>Insulates against temperature, sound, and vibration </li></ul><ul><li>Softness and lightness like silk, or thickness and rigidity like leather </li></ul><ul><li>All are desirable characteristics that lend themselves to </li></ul><ul><li>domestic, commercial and industrial applications. </li></ul>
  4. 4. The quality of felt produced using the machine: <ul><li>smooth surface texture </li></ul><ul><li>uniform wall thickness </li></ul><ul><li>consistent density </li></ul><ul><li>strong fibre matrix </li></ul><ul><li>structural integrity </li></ul><ul><li>excellent surface wear </li></ul><ul><li>resistance to further shrinkage </li></ul><ul><li>concave or convex form s </li></ul>
  5. 5. Advantages for the consumer: <ul><li>expresses the warmth , comfort and ease of wear associated with wool </li></ul><ul><li>access to unique products that were previously unavailable </li></ul><ul><li>simplified care instructions and reduced fibre shrinkage </li></ul><ul><li>long wearing and non-pilling </li></ul><ul><li>made from a renewable natural resource that is non-toxic and eco friendly </li></ul>
  6. 6. Commercial benefits for the retailer: <ul><li>a unique product not found elsewhere </li></ul><ul><li>upholds the aesthetic qualities of wool desired by the consumer </li></ul><ul><li>a product requiring less maintenance and care for the consumer </li></ul><ul><li>a material with structural integrity, stability and resistance to surface wear </li></ul><ul><li>reduction in consumer returns due to shrinkage or complex care instructions </li></ul><ul><li>reduction in inventory losses and labour costs related to customer returns </li></ul><ul><li>increased customer confidence in product </li></ul>
  7. 7. Benefits to the wool industry: <ul><li>the ability to position wool within the non-wovens industry </li></ul><ul><li>the ability to compete with synthetic-fibre, non-woven products </li></ul><ul><li>a product with comparable physical properties to heat-pressed spun-polyester fibre products </li></ul><ul><li>an increased efficiency in production </li></ul><ul><li>producing felt components directly from wool batting, rather than having to construct forms from flat felt pieces </li></ul><ul><li>significant improvements in product quality and design when applying the technology to existing manufacturing methods </li></ul><ul><li>a process that lends itself to mass-manufacturing methods </li></ul><ul><li>an affordable and easy to integrate addition to existing felt manufacturing systems </li></ul>
  8. 8. An example of products made from felt: <ul><li>fashion accessories : hats, boots, shoes, and handbags </li></ul><ul><li>insulating panels in automobiles that protect against sound, vibration and temperature </li></ul><ul><li>air , oil and water filters, wicks and gaskets in automobiles </li></ul><ul><li>orthopedic insoles </li></ul><ul><li>stereo speaker cones </li></ul><ul><li>acoustic wall and ceiling panels </li></ul><ul><li>Next to paper, felt is the second most ubiquitous material </li></ul><ul><li>in our surroundings, however, it is usually hidden </li></ul><ul><li>beneath the surface of other materials. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Current methods of manufacture: <ul><li>Die - cut ting pattern pieces of flat felt, which are scored, folded, and glued or sewn together to create form . </li></ul><ul><li>Turning thick pieces of flat felt on a lathe to create tubes, which are cut and bent into circles, the ends sewn together to create ‘ o ’ ring s. </li></ul><ul><li>Injecting fibres with resin and pressing them into a mould . </li></ul><ul><li>In each case , a 3-D felted-wool form could be produced: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>simplifying the method of manufacture </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>providing a product with more structural integrity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>eliminating the need for chemical stiffeners </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Potential applications of the technology: <ul><li>Moulded luggage, computer and archival storage cases. </li></ul><ul><li>Non -obtrusive , aesthetically engineered shock-absorbent pads for protection in sports, physiotherapy, and the design of prosthetics. </li></ul><ul><li>Light weight, custom moulded packaging to fit electronic s and digital devices. </li></ul><ul><li>Shock dampening applications in computer equipment. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Innovative applications: <ul><li>Engineered pressure-point pads for astronaut suits in zero gravity environments (NASA). </li></ul><ul><li>Engineered felted-wool cuff with integrated computation device (Hewlett-Package). </li></ul><ul><li>Recycle d, macerated wool fibres in a reconstituted liquid medium, cast into forms for insulation and packaging , or components. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Blended with other fibres: <ul><li>Properties of wool are enhanced and transformed. </li></ul><ul><li>Research and testing indicate both natural and artificial fibres can be integrated into the wool felting process . </li></ul><ul><li>A new material emerges that retains the qualities of wool felt, while exhibiting new characteristics . </li></ul><ul><li>Potential exists to utilize recycled fibres from garment industry. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Benefits of the Felting Machine & Process: <ul><li>produces a superior quality felt </li></ul><ul><li>produces a 3-D form, in-the-round, directly from raw materials </li></ul><ul><li>eliminates die-cutting pattern pieces from flat felt, that are scored, folded , and glued or sewn together to produce form </li></ul><ul><li>makes the manufacture of forms more efficient </li></ul><ul><li>forms retain their shape without the use of stiffeners or adhesives </li></ul><ul><li>applicable to industries with stringent purity regulations requiring natural, non-toxic, hypoallergenic, or environmentally friendly processes or materials </li></ul><ul><li>ie: soundproof wall panels for residential, commercial and industrial uses ; garments or accessories worn on the body </li></ul>
  14. 14. The 3-D Felting Machine and Process <ul><li>an innovative solution to the production of felted-wool forms </li></ul><ul><li>represents a technical breakthrough that adds to our knowledge and understanding of the properties of wool and its applications </li></ul><ul><li>research and development will reveal its value as an innovative method of manufacture for non-woven goods </li></ul><ul><li>when applied to various industries, will initiate the development of groundbreaking new products </li></ul><ul><li>has the potential to increase the development and distribution o f wool through widespread applications in domestic, commercial and industrial applications </li></ul>