Industrial felt vs natural wool felt: Which felt best serves your application needs?

Discover what makes natural wool and industrial felt such versatile, durable materials that serve numerous applications across multiple industries.

Believed to be one of the oldest materials ever made with archaeological evidence dating back to 6500 BC, felt has stood the test of time in being a versatile and reliable material still used widely today. 

With two distinct types of felt having their own characteristics and advantages, natural wool and industrial felt differ across composition, properties, and applications. So, which felt best meets your requirements?  Find the ideal felt type for your needs in this blog, with detailed qualities, features and industry insights.  

Discover what makes natural wool and industrial felt such versatile, durable materials that serve numerous applications across multiple industries.

What is industrial felt?

Industrial felt is defined by a mechanical property performance based on hardness, thickness, and blend of materials, making it well suited to handle heavy-duty industrial purposes and applications.

As a generalised term, industrial felt fabric is also known as “pressed felt”, “technical felt”, and “fulled felt” and is manufactured through a process of blending, pressing, fulling, and drying. This creation process helps produce a non-woven fabric used across an extensive range of industrial applications.

Therefore, rather than its material composition, which can be varied, industrial felt is defined by its function as a dynamic material engineered to perform in industrial applications and environments. Industrial felt can be customised across the material composition, density, and thickness to satisfy the specific requirements of your needs. The following defining properties are what make it such a valuable material solution used across multiple industries:

Industrial felt fabric can come in a mixed blend of materials and compositions, such as carbon, synthetic, and graphite felt, with the latter market size alone valued at $730 million in 2021 with a 6% CAGR forecast to 2027.  

What is industrial felt used for?

Industrial felt is prevalent across a wide range of industries, including:

Firstly, due to its prevailing durability properties, industrial felt can withstand heavy industrial settings with exposure to the elements. As a result, the material provides an ideal solution for industrial padding and cushioning.

The versatility of industrial felt is probably best seen by its dynamic role in the automotive industry. From vehicle interior noise reduction to engine gaskets and seat padding, industrial felt provides numerous properties for various automotive parts, equipment, and general applications. Industrial felt is also highly resistant to moisture, chemicals, and temperature. This resistance feature makes it an ideal solution for machinery lubrication. Machinery lubrication ensures moving parts remain lubricated to avoid friction, wear, and eventual damage. As a wicking material, industrial felt can help distribute lubricants, oils, and other fluids evenly and consistently across your machine.

Other common products for industrial felt are gasket and seal manufacturing. Due to its density, industrial felt provides a reliable sealant by preventing liquid and gas leaks across various industrial applications, such as pipes, engines, and other industrial equipment. Industrial felt gets employed as noise insulation and dampening solution for loud industrial equipment and machinery too. And the applications don’t stop there!

Industrial felt is used as a polishing and buffing solution in metalworking and woodworking. Thanks to its soft yet durable characteristics, industrial felt works well as an abrasive surface to accommodate the polishing process.

Finally, you have its filtration capabilities with oils because felt can work as a filtration medium to remove contaminants and impurities. This feature can help ensure fuel and oil quality standards stay high while your equipment is protected. In having so many properties and uses, industrial felt is available across a dynamic range of products for industrial purposes:

From packaging fragile items in transit to cushioning material handling equipment and providing filtration, industrial felt is a dynamic and versatile material ideal in most industrial settings.

What is wool felt?

Wool felt is made from natural wool fibres and is distinguished for its soft texture and natural insulation properties. Different variations of wool felt are available based on its woven or non-woven composition characteristics. Wool felt is a non-woven textile which involves no thread or weaving. Like industrial felt, it gets created through heat, moisture and agitation. 

On the other hand, felted wool is a woven textile where thread and weaving are prevalent in production. Felted wool creates a thicker and puffier texture that’s soft and fluffy. However, the texture quality you receive when felting wool depends on the fabric weave. 

With a long and prosperous history, the wool felt market remains prominent worldwide, forecast to reach a global value of $26450.86 million by 2027 (5.03% CAGR). 

What is wool felt used for?

The versatility of wool felt is like industrial felt in that it supports an extensive array of applications and products. However, its softness and insulation properties make it particularly ideal for clothing and comfort products. For example, boot liners, coats, jackets, scarves, and gloves are all ideal clothing items that feature wool felt due to the overall comfort and warmth.

Natural wool felt is also used in accessories for its comfort and aesthetics. Due to its soft textures and ability to sustain shape, wool felt gets used on handbags, purses and wallets, while lining materials like bags and cases is an effective way of cushioning fragile items like musical instruments. 

Wool felt is useful for interior décors like carpets, rugs, and blankets, utilising its softness, insulation, and durability with homely comforts and dampening properties. Then we have further sectors, such as art and design, crafts, toy making, and sound insulation, benefitting from natural wool felt properties.

Industrial felt vs wool felt: The verdict

In summary, while both types of felt offer various uses and benefits, choosing between industrial felt and wool felt depends on your specific needs. Industrial felt will provide greater durability and resilience to accommodate and support applications in industrial settings. On the other hand, wool felt offers comfort, warmth and softness.

Both felt options share insulation and noise-dampening qualities, with industrial felt suited to machinery NVH (noise vibration and harshness) and wool felt more suitable to interior noise dampening in theatres and music studios.

Invest in high-quality bespoke felts and fabrics

As a leading UK manufacturer, Ramsay Rubber continues to supply various high-performance felt and fabric solutions for industrial purposesWe provide our clients with the option of customising their ideal industrial felt samples to support their product development and ensure they receive the perfect solution for their needs. 

All our industrial felt products comply with the appropriate regulations and aim to sustain the highest quality performance, regardless of the application or environment. Our product development and technical support project management team are all approved across Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP)Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)and the Production Part Approval Process (PPAP).   

And if you have a few industrial felt options in mind, we can send a sample pack to ensure you receive the ideal solution. So, for more information on how industrial felt solutions can support your industrial application needs, get in touch today and receive your industrial felt sample pack. 


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Ramsay Rubber & Plastics Limited
Vulcan Road, Bilston
West Midlands WV14 7HT
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