Making your own felt saddle pad? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 11-11-2013, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Wisconsin
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Making your own felt saddle pad?

Having passion for home grown/home made products it is about time that this crossed my mind. I have felted before, whether it was on purpose, or accidentally when processing a fleece. (Okay, the first time I cleaned my horse hair to spin I made it into little felted balls on accident..) But has anyone tried to make a felt saddle pad? Someone has to make them considering they exist. I can't afford to buy a new one, but I could easily afford high quality raw fleece to make one. Has anyone tried this or have any resource on this? It is a brilliant idea. Felting is not a particularly complex idea, just a little elbow grease and you got it, essentially 'matting' the wool/fiber together. Is it a challenge worth taking? If I can buy a felted pad for $200+ why not just spend less than half the money using the exact same materials? I think it is a magnificent idea... opinions? Experiences?
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post #2 of 6 Old 11-12-2013, 12:23 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Louisiana
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I've been looking into getting a nice Diamond wool felt saddle pad. It's not a Five Star or anything, but I've heard really good things about them and they're out there for ony $65- less than half the cost of a $200 pad.

Not trying to discourage you from making one! Just letting you know that there are decent options out there with a slightly lower price tag! I would guess that the price tag associated with the wool, your time, and the trial and error associated with getting the pad right would make it worth just buying something less expensive. You may be able to find someone that's tried it before successfully though!
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post #3 of 6 Old 11-14-2013, 11:17 AM
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Considering the amount of raw fleece I needed to make a felted scarf & felted handbag for myself (under the guidance of a friend who sells felted accessories & teaches classes for supplemental income,) I can't imagine this undertaking would save you any money.

Assuming you're talking about a western pad, the amount of raw fleece needed to get to appropriate dimensions and thickness will actually be considerable. Then once you've layered your fleece out at those dimensions, it's going to be an unweildy thing to work with for the actual felting process. I would be worried about achieving a consistent thickness throughout, as any lumps, bumps, or indents (which are a natural part of hand felting) could cause discomfort to the horse or affect saddle fit. Personally, I wouldn't chance putting my horse at risk.
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post #4 of 6 Old 11-14-2013, 03:26 PM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Eastern Montana
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We have a friend who makes her own felted alpaca wool saddle pads. They are really cool. Doing the same with wool wouldn't be too hard as long as you know how to felt, which it sounds like you do.

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post #5 of 6 Old 11-14-2013, 07:26 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Subbing. We have enough fleece to felt a house... or so it seems. Interested to see what this would look like.
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post #6 of 6 Old 11-14-2013, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Wisconsin
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I could have literally hundereds of free fleece to practice with untill I get it down. They are dairy sheep and if I cleaned it up a little it wouldnt be the end of the world. If it I could get it how I wanted with coaser fleece, then id invest in a little better fleece. I have friends with sheep, alpaca, etc. that would certainly give me deals, plus friends who are experienced felters. Thank you everyone for the replies and bringing everything in perspective. If it is lumpy and poor quality I would not risk my horses health, if anything it wouls become a rug. ;)
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