Hey, what is felt, anyway?
A: Felt is a fabric made of wool fibers or animal hair held together without spinning, weaving or knitting. Fibers that will "felt" include wool, fur, and certain other hair fibers that hold together under appropriate conditions because of their peculiar microscopic structure.
How these trivets produced?
A: After carding (a kind of combing that gets all the wool fibers going in the same direction), the wool is dyed and dried. Then, skilled laborers compress the raw material by hand with the help of soap & hot water. While still wet, the felt is rolled into the ball shape. The shaping is done by hand without sewing or patching.
Hand manipulation and rubbing in combination with the application of hot water achieve the desired shape. The felt balls are then sun-dried.
These trivets and coasters are produced for us by a women's development aid project in Kathmandu that is dedicated to enhancing the dignity of severely disadvantaged Nepali women. The project helps these women develop the skills necessary to earn a living as well as providing benefits such as welfare and retirement programs, warm meals, bonuses, and a girl-child education fund.