When you want warmth, wool is the best natural fiber fabric to choose. It holds in heat and helps wick moisture. If you think about it, wool does the same for the creatures from whom it is derived – sheep, goats, rabbits, alpacas, etc. Their coat keeps them warm and wicks moisture in the elements.
It all started with sheep in the Middle East, raised for their wool. The Persians became profitable in the wool trade around 6000 BC. As a matter of fact, an ancient piece of wool clothing found in the Middle East dates back to about 3000 BC!
One of the first families to gain wealth from the wool industry was the Medici family of Florence, Italy. Their fame (and subsequent fortune) came from the wool guilds. Guilds were organizations of cloth dyers and cloth finishers. So as early as the 1400s, the Medici family was building its wealth in wool, which happened to be tied to fashion, finance, and religion!
But enough about the history of wool. You need to know what you can make out of wool fabric! Here are 15 great projects you can make from wool fabric:
Things You Can Make Out of Wool Fabric
1. Easy Scarf
You can literally create this easy scarf with a yard of wool and absolutely no sewing! Here’s what you need:
- 1 yard wool fabric
- Marking pen
- Ruler/straight edge
Smooth the fabric across a flat surface. Use the ruler to mark your cutting lines. Cut the length at 36 inches, the full length of the yard of fabric. Adjust the width to your desired size (18 to 20 inches is common and will give you options to fold for a narrower scarf if preferred). Trim off any selvedge so that you have four cut sides. Since wool is fray resistant, you do not have to finish your cut edges.
For decoration, pick threads loose and the two narrow cut ends to create a fringe. You can make the fringe as long or short as you like.
If you want to finish the edges, you may certainly decide to do that. Either use a matching thread to blend your stitches or a contrasting one to create a vibrant colorful contrast.
This is just like the scarf above, except you’ll cut a square instead of a rectangle. Sewing is also optional here. You will basically cut a large square from the fabric then cut a “V” shape in which to insert your head. You can finish those edges with sewing, leave them plain, or fray them as described above.
3. Dryer Balls
Dryer balls are generally made from wool yarn, but you can also make them from wool fabric. Cut the wool into long strips. Wind one into a small ball. Add another strip of wool fabric on the outside of that. Continue adding strips of fabric until the wool ball is about the size of a tennis ball. Once you have reached that size, stick the ball into a leg of old pantyhose and tie it off. Make several other balls and stuff them into the hosiery, too, making sure to tightly tie off the hose between each one. Wash them in hot water and put them in the dryer. This is part of the felting process. You may have to repeat it two or three times to keep the wool balls from unrolling.
4. Christmas Stockings
A lot of stockings are made from felt, but the homespun look is easy to achieve with wool. Design your own or make one from a kit that uses a combination of wool and felt.
5. Wool Blazer
There’s not a piece of clothing more traditional than a wool blazer. By making your own, you can pick a pattern with your favorite lapel cut and length.
Make a matching or coordinating A-line skirt to wear with your wool blazer using this free pattern. A-line skirts are flattering to most body types.
7. Rose Brooches and Hair Clips
This video shows how you can turn a strip of red wool into a pretty rose brooch. Add a clip backing instead of a pin to create a hair clip instead.
When we think of quilting, cotton is usually the first fabric we think of, but wool is good, too.
9. Wool Beret
With a few simple sewing skills and a little math work, you can create a custom beret made to give you a precise fit.
10. Christmas Ornaments
If you don’t have time for a large project, try using your wool fabric to create Christmas ornaments. Use cookie cutters for shape outlines for simple trees, stars, or bells. If you want to try making more intricate wool ornaments, try this reindeer kit.
11. Wall Art
Use your wool fabric to create wall hangings for your walls or to display on your shelves as framed art. If you’d like to try a kit, take a look at this one that features a variety of birds.
12. Greeting Cards
If your wool fabric happens to be scraps, a great way to use up those leftovers is to create your own greeting cards with them. Yes, you can take the easy way out and glue the felt to the cards, but you can also sew on cardstock. You can buy all sizes of cardstock. I like this blank greeting card set that also comes with envelopes. For birthdays, stitch on a balloon or cake. Flowers, leaves, and trees are simple motifs for sympathy, thank-yous, and decorative blank note cards. Of course, holiday motifs are perfect for holiday greeting cards. The key to adding wool (or any fabric) to cards is to keep the design simple.
13. Penny Rugs
Okay, so they are not really rugs. They are a wool version of a doily or table runner. They are made from wool circles or other wool appliques, usually sewn onto a burlap or canvas backing. Take a look at this kit that uses both applique and circles. Small versions are lovely coasters and the larger versions are a beautiful table accent piece.
14. Doggie Winter Coat
15. Shoulder Bag
Download the free printable pattern for this large wool shoulder bag. It is also great with other fabrics, like denim, canvas, and even fleece.