by Pat Spark

Return to feltmakers list FAQ

Not all wool will felt well. Some types of fleece take a very long time to form into a cohesive unit which can be fulled. Some types of fleece will never make a strong, tight felt. This chart lists some of the types of wool I (or my felting friends) have successfully used for felting. Remember that not all wool is good for every type of felting. While a coarse fleece makes a good carpet felt, it would not be flexible enough for a garment. While a fine wool is soft and flexible, it would pill too badly if used in a carpet on the floor.

(In the following chart, Bradford count refers to the number of hanks of yarn (each 560 yards long) that can be spun from one pound of wool top. Wool with the high counts are finer and can be spun into longer, finer yarn.)
Fine type wool ranges from 64s - 80s (or finer than 80s) = less than 22 Microns Medium-coarse wool ranges from 48s - 50s = 32 to 30 Microns
Medium-fine wool ranges from 56s - 62s = 27 to 23 Microns Coarse wool ranges from 44s - 48s = 39 to 35 Microns
Medium type wool ranges from 50s - 55s = 30 to 27 Microns Very coarse wool ranges from 36s - 40s (or coarser than 36s) = 40 or larger Microns

For more information on wool sizing systems see the excellent web page by Gleason's Fine Woolens.
Fine and Medium Fine Wools Medium and Long Wools  
Merino 60-80s 22-18 Icelandic –Dual Coated    
Rambouillet 60-80s 25-19                        Outer Wool (Tog fiber) 56-60s 30-27
Delaine 64-80s 25-19                       Under Wool (Thel fiber) 64-70s 22-19
Debouillet  (Delaine x Rambouillet)   62-80s 25-19 Blue Faced Leicester 56-60’s 30-27
Cormo (Corriedale x Saxon Merino) 60-64s 25-22 Polypay (Targhee/Dorset x Rambouillet/Finn) 48-58s 32-26
Targhee (Rambouillet x Corriedale) 58-64s 26-23 Pälsul (Also known as Götland) 48-52s 32-28
Polwarth (N.Z. Merino x Lincoln/Merino) 58-64s 26-22 Perendale (Cheviot x Romney) 46-52s 34-28
Finn (American imported Finnish Landrace) 50-60s 32-25 Icelandic 46-52s 34-28
Finull (Fine Wool) (Swedish Landrace x Finnish Landrace) 50-60s 30-25 Jacob 44-56s 36-32
Columbia (Lincoln x Rambouillet) 50-50s 31-24 Leicester Longwool 40-46s 38-32
Panama (Rambouillet x Lincoln) 56-58s 28-26 Romney 44-48s 36-31
Shetland 54-58s 27-26 Coopworth (Border Leicester x Romney) 44-48s 36-31
Corriedale (Leicester/Lincoln/Merino) 50-58s 34-23 Cotswold 44-48s 36-31
Falkland Island (Corriedale family) 46-58s 34-26 Wensleydale 44-48s 36-31
N.Z. Half-bred (Leicester/Lincoln/Romney x Merino) 50-58s 30-26 Border Leicester (Leicester x Cheviot) 44-46s 38-33
      Lincoln 36-40s 40-37
      Ryaul (Rya Wool) ? ?
      Spelsau ? ?
      Coarse Wools  
      Karakul 36-50s 40+-30
Navajo Churro-Dual Coated    
                                  Outer Wool 36-40s 40+-40
                                  Under Wool 62s 23-22
      Mongolian ? ?
Scottish Blackface 28-40s 43+-40

To check to see if the wool you have is a good felting wool, see testing a fleece.

Patricia Spark copyright 1994, 2006