Felt is the oldest form of cloth and the art of matting appears to be older than weaving. It was done by the Mongolian tribes long before the Greeks and the Romans. The nomads of central Asia were among the first to make this compact cloth by beating carded and wet wool with which they made tents and clothing.
Felt may be made from wool, (sheep, goats, shearling and camels) or fur, (hares, beavers, otters and rabbits). Wool felt is rougher, heavier, thicker and less resistant, but also less expensive. Fur felt is strong, soft, fine grained and smooth.
Although felt is considered a fabric, its production process has no relation with loomed cloth. Felt is the result of the matting of animal fibres, and after being treated, connect tightly with each other.
The smoothness and pliability of felt is perfect for hatmaking. Particularly gentlmen's hats. However ladies, feel free to don a fedora as it is quite stunning!