The felting propensity of different animal fibers, particularly alpaca and wool, has been examined. The Aachen felting test method was employed. 1 g of each type of fiber was soaked in 50 ml of wetting solution and agitated in a dyeing machine to make felt balls. The diameter of each ball was measured in nine directions and the ball density was calculated in g/cm3; the higher the density value of the ball, the higher the feltability of the fibers. The effects of fiber diameter and fiber length on the felting propensity of these fibers were investigated. The results show that the alpaca fibers felt to a higher degree than wool fibers, and short and fine cashmere fibers have lower felting propensity than wool fibers at a similar diameter range. There is a higher tendency of felting for bleached and dyed alpaca fibers than for untreated fibers. Fiber length has a remarkable influence on the propensity of fiber felting. Cotton and nylon fibers were also tested for felting propensity to verify the mechanism responsible for the different fiber felting behavior.
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