There are many kinds of felt. At Graf Lantz, we are only interested in the world’s best kind, merino wool felt, and we use it exclusively in all our felt products. Being the world’s best felt requires a combination of two specific factors: a singular Bavarian technique and an ultra-fine wool fiber from a specific breed of sheep called merino. The merino fibers we choose to use are the thinnest, strongest, and most elastic of all wool varieties. Nature has optimized merino fibers for thermal protection, water resistance, and antimicrobial properties. When individual fibers with those qualities work together in the millions, interesting things begin to happen.
Properties that promise:
- All Natural
- Not An Allergen
- Soft to the Touch
- Naturally Odor Resistant
- Stain Resistant
Take a closer look at the benefits of Merino wool felt:
1. Wicking that works
Nature knows what it’s doing. Water does not hurt felt. In fact, wool is the most hydrophilic of fibers. Felt can absorb up to 30% moisture and still feel dry to the touch. First, merino felt quickly absorbs moisture away from the surface and into the body of the felt. Then, through a natural process called wicking, moisture is continuously drawn outward along the fibers where it turns to vapor in the tiny air spaces created in the felting process (more on that below). From there is a short trip back to the surface where it evaporates away.
2. Stain and dirt resistant
Our merino fibers are sealed in the dying process to create a natural barrier against stains. Fortunately, most common stains are actually not stains at all, they are residue that has become trapped between the fine merino fibers as water moisture is pulled away by wicking. No problem, spot cleaning is easy. With a simple mix of warm water, light detergent and a little massaging, the trapped residue lifts and washes away with a thorough rinse. Remove excess moisture with an absorbent towel, lay flat and let the natural wicking process do its thing till dry. Here’s more on how to care for your felt products.
Our merino fibers are extra curly and spring-like. When you put a lot of them all together and interlock the curls tightly, you get a strong, lightweight felt. But here’s what’s most fascinating: merino felt is classed as a lightweight textile because much of its bulk is actually empty space. Yep, it’s true. The irregular spring-like shape of the curls prevents individual fibers from aligning too closely. The separation creates a lot of empty space in between, which means, the more empty space, the lighter the textile. All without losing structure or strength.
4. Strong and durable
We chose felt as our signature textile for its simple, natural beauty and endless utility. With millions of years in the test labs of nature, it’s not surprising that many tech fabrics are modeled after the natural benefits and attributes of merino fibers. Their tensile strength and spring-like flexibility give felt unmatched strength. It can be fully bent 20,000 times before failing. Merino wool felt can take temperatures up to 450ºF for long periods without damage and they are impervious to cold. The fibers are also completely water-safe and clean easily. They take on rich saturated color while maintaining a natural antibacterial coating, they can even neutralize formaldehyde (your body will thank you). The list goes on – literally, keep reading.
5. Soft and scratch-free
Many types of wool are itchy, we don’t use those. That’s because some wools fibers are so course the cut ends actually poke the skin causing itchiness. The secret to merino’s soft touch is simple: the thinner the fiber, the softer the felt. The average diameter of merino fibers makes them naturally flexible allowing them to softly bend and give way when they come against the skin.
6. Odor resistant
Merino wool is known and prized for its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. The thin waxy coating on wool fiber contains fatty acids that naturally inhibit the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria. This means that woolen items do not need regular washing and will remain fresh after repeated use, unlike many synthetic fibers.
7. Sustainable and renewable
Merino wool is rapidly renewable, biodegradable, recyclable and can be produced naturally with minimal negative impact. But all that is just half the story. Sustainability is about more than where things come from. It’s also about where it goes, its purpose, and how it stands the test of time. Things built to last do not require constant replacements. Less is more.
8. Oeko-Tex® natural, non-toxic dyes.
It’s more than just the rich beauty and saturated color, it’s what goes into it. Oeko-Tex®natural dyes are the forefront of natural sustainable color technology. All Graf Lantz felt is certified to Oeko-Tex® International standards. No toxins, no residue, no odor, no yuck. No worries!
9. No Pilling!
Nothing says low quality felt like pilling. Graf Lantz merino felt does not pill. That’s because the fibers we use are very long. Felted fibers don’t separate easily in the first place, but longer fibers hold everything together over a much broader area preventing migration. No migration, no loose fibers, no pilling.
10. Great for all season weather
A common perception for felt is that of a winter-only textile, that’s understandable. When most people think of wool they usually stop at big, heavy, warm, itchy sweaters. But not so fast, 10 out of 10 merino sheep would strongly disagree. The points above show how felt is tough and adaptable with utility in every season. Obviously, a felt wedding dress in August might be a bad call. But for just about any other purpose felt does its job well no matter the weather.
The beauty of utility is why we design. Heavy gauge canvas has been a workhorse for centuries. That deserves respect. It also deserves some time off. Our canvas collection is what 24oz cotton canvas feels like on vacation. Hand dyed hues capture the changing light of warm afternoons. Triple wash techniques bring out relaxed sun-kissed softness while carefree edge frays remind us to let our hair down.
- Industrial weight 100% cotton canvas
- Sun-kissed color perfection that softens with wear
- Extra strong for everyday use
- Hand-dyed hues triple washed and dyed in Los Angeles
From the moment you meet our vegetable tanned leather it will begin to change and tell your story. Veg tan leather is always on a journey to find a perfect patina that is unique to you. With sunshine, rain and the warmth of your hand it will begin to darken and glow in deep amber as a slowly blending mosaic of the bumps, scrapes, spills and spots of everyday life. But not to worry. All is well. Nothing ages as gracefully as veg tan leather.
We use top quality, completely natural vegetable tanned leather in this product. It is natural untreated. It’s appeal to us is how it will slowly darken and patina through time and use. Here are some trick to keep your leather in great condition as well as general care.
Leather professional - The easiest and most sure way to take care of stains and scrapes is to ask a professional like your favorite shoe repair spot.
Waxes, creams, and oil treatments - When applying oils, waxes, creams or soaps the leather will naturally begin to look darker. Waxes and creams darken less because they are mostly surface treatments and tend to lighten with time. Oils go in deep and stay.
Even coverage while treating - Whether it’s a simple wipe down with water and a damp sponge or the application of waxes, balms or oils, consistent coverage and distribution across the full face of the leather panel is key for even blending in the final look. Do not spot clean or spot apply.
Surface stains, smudges and dirt - Use a simple lime juice solution. A lime water treatment is the best way to clean light surface stains, but it is also used to maintain the original light hue for a longer time. Directions: Mix 1⁄2 cup water, fresh-squeezed juice from 1 lime, 2-3 drops of bleach. Dampen a sponge or cloth with the lime solution and wipe evenly over the entire face of the leather panel. Do not spot clean. Let dry. Repeat as needed.
Washable, lightweight, strong and biodegradable - we choose 100% cotton netting to replace plastics and stand up to a heavy haul – reusable and ultra-versatile.