Who doesn’t love colorful felt? Craft, sew, glue, stitch, cut and shape from kid’s crafts to trendy home decor and holiday splendor, sturdy and non fraying, it is a dream to work with. Now for a little history, mine and Kunin’s of where it all began. I have been sewing and crafting all my life. My earliest memories are at the age of five with my little sewing machine making doll clothes from scraps alongside my Mom in a little town on the east coast of Canada. In those scraps were also bright pieces of felt. I knew nothing of Stephen Seymour Kunin further south in eastern US who was considered the “Father of Craft Felts”. During the 1960s, he began making and selling colorful craft felt created from scraps of fabrics.
Throughout the 1980s and early 90s I happily crafted and friends began to want to buy my pieces, my whimsical snowmen and teddy bears. I had also discovered Kunin’s wonderful plush and shaggy felt along with their regular craft felt. I did local craft shows and was sold out almost instantly. Being in Atlantic Canada, before my computer days I knew nothing of the man and the company I should thank for the versatile products which allowed me to create successfully. In the 1980s Foss Manufacturing became the sole supplier of fiber to Kunin for his felts. In 1990 Foss acquired Kunin Felt from S. Kunin, changing the name later to the Kunin™ Group.
In the late 1990s a friend suggested I think about creating patterns from my designs and attend a trade show in the US. So in the summer of 1998 I headed off to Chicago with five cardboard boxes and thirty patterns all using Kunin felts. English distributors introduced me to the Kunin people, I was thrilled. From that show I went on to have distributors in seventeen countries, design patterns for Butterick/McCalls and write books and hundreds of magazine articles. Meanwhile the Kunin™ Group, a division of Foss Manufacturing Company, LLC was developing more products, a premium Eco-friendly non-woven product available in a wide range from adhesive backed, die-cut to stiffened and embossed. The color and pattern selection offered is varied, something for every individual taste and crafting season. In my design career I have designed not quite with the whole collection but very close to it!
A few years ago while writing a Make it Green column for Creative Homearts magazine I interviewed the Kunin™ Group and wrote an article on their Eco-fi brand and the process “of creating the high-quality polyester fiber made from 100% certified recycled plastic PET bottles. It can go into any textile product such as clothing, blankets, carpets, wall coverings, auto interiors, home furnishings, and craft felt. Eco-fi can also be blended with other fibers, such as cotton or wool, for enhanced qualities. AN EASY GUIDE: 10 bottles = 1 pound of fiber. To learn how they make fabric from recycled plastic bottles, visit www.eco-fi.com.”
Now we come to today where “Kunin products are sold in retail outlets worldwide, packaged for retail display.” And today I am very pleased to be joining Kunin on their new blog sharing their wonderful products which I have worked with my entire creative career. I will be connecting with other felt crafters, sharing projects, tips and techniques. We will have contests and giveaways, spotlight celebrity designers and of course You! Looking forward to seeing how all of you use Kunin products. It feels like coming home and coming full circle with Kunin. Knowing their responsibility to the environment, we will be combining crafting with eco-friendly community projects to make a difference.
I am excited to begin this next chapter with the Kunin™Group, Thank you Stephen Seymour Kunin! Check back Thursday for a quick versatile project to create for yourself or as a last minute gift! Debra