One of the world’s oldest textiles, felt is created from wool or other animal fibers that are densely matted together. It is ideal for protecting against cold and insulating against heat, thus it has long been used for yurts, blankets, rugs, hats, boots and clothing. “Needle felting” is a term for using one or more felting needles by hand to create flat felt or felt sculpture; it does not involve knitting, and is a dry process of interlocking fibers. Museum Educator Lola Chen will introduce the subject as the kids create a needle felted animal friend. Children will help prepare their snack, apple roses.
Suggested for ages 6 – 12. Wilton Historical Society Members $10 per child, maximum $25 per family; Non-members $15 per child, maximum $35 per family. Please register: email@example.com or call 203-762-7257.
Did You Know?
Making felted hats, Danbury was known as “Hat City”
“The origins of Danbury’s hat-making industry date back to the late 18th century. It was then that Zadoc Benedict, having stumbled upon a way to make felt by adding heat, moisture, and pressure to animal pelts, began using his bedpost to mold felt into hats. He then hired a journeyman and two hat-making apprentices and started producing three hats per day. Danbury proved an ideal location for hat making thanks to its abundant populations of beavers and rabbits for pelts and thickly wooded forests for firewood. . . . In the early 1800s, Danbury produced mostly unfinished hats. Hatters softened and dyed the felt through an 18- to 20-hour boiling process, and molded the pieces into their proper shape. They then rolled the hats up by twos into paper and placed them in a linen bag, and from there, into a leather sack for shipment to New York by coach. Once in New York, craftsmen trimmed and finished the hats.” – ConnecticutHistory.org, a program of CT Humanities