The Dutch can be so nice and direct. But you can also learn from it. For example, when I was still on markets and fairs with my felt bags and covers, I regularly hear comments on the lines of "such a felt case I buy at the Hema for 5.00 euros."
Because I always work alone with pure wool, this was almost unimaginable for me. But on a picture, via the internet, it looks a bit the same. But that is the only thing, because you compare a sheep with a coke bottle. Yes, the difference is that big. Via a picture you cannot convey texture, the feeling (the "touch") and firmness of Wolvilt. So .. high time for an explanation! There is of course a huge difference between felt from the Hema (or other store such as Action, Blokker etc.) and that of Westerman Bags. In this blog I explain exactly what that difference is in. Read more about sustainable wool felt, plastic wool felt and historical textile below.
Felt - Hip or old -fashioned.
Felt and wool felt is completely hip, but did you know that felt of sheep wool is the oldest known textile type? It was used long before our era for socks, shoes and hats. This is of course about wool felt, because long only natural fibers were available. In Mongolia they still make tents of it:
From sheep wool to felt - how then?
Fiber of wool will open when they get wet and treated with (natural) soap. The fibers then grab each other and thus form a larger whole. You call this Natvilden. You can read more about this free (art) form of felting on us Inspiration Pinterest Board About hand felt.
By hand or machine.
With hand felt or natural felting you can combine beautiful shapes and colors as an art form or you can transform it into a user item. You can clearly see that the whimsical and organic shapes are still a great contrast with the sleek shapes of the felt westerman bags bags. That's because we buy our felt from a viling. There the felt is mechanically felted and thus forms a tight piece of fabric. The process is exactly the same as handles, only a large part of the process is done by a machine. This felt arrives in large roles of 2 meters wide in our studio and thus forms the basis of each design.
Natural vs synthetic
Of which are the cheap felt covers made? Made of plastic! Because you can also felt plastic fiber. Synthestic felt is made of polyester or acrylic. This is not biodegradable and if your case has become waste, it will be waste forever. If it is not collected on a garbage dump, it will end up in the plastic soup. Wool, on the other hand, comes from a sheep; A renewable source because a sheep always makes new wool. The basic colors of our collection are 100%biodegradable; They are made of pure wool, without dyes.
An intermediate form is polyester felt; This synthetic felt is made from recycled material, such as PET bottles. I've been a fan of for years Patagonia† As a clothing brand, they already started using recycled PET bottles for their fleeces in the 90s and recently also have a clothing line of recycled wool.
What makes wool so expensive?
Shaving sheep is a time -consuming job. A relatively large area (read grassland) is also needed per unit of wool. The demand for wool has risen enormously in recent years, which has already increased the high price.
The challenge for Westerman Bags!
We recognize our challenge in this; our striving for a good product. Because a material as precious and beautiful as wool felt, only deserves a well -considered design and functional product so that the special properties of the wool can come into its own as much as possible.