Felters by the very nature of the felting process will find that their hands come in to frequent contact with water and soap. Therefore, it is vital that each felter understands the importance of caring for their skin.

Below are a few hints and tips to help with this. However, the British Association of Dermatologists provides a leaflet detailing hand care recommendations. This can be found at www.bad.org.uk. There are also some recommendations from the World Health Organisation at http://who.int/Gosche/5may/hand_hygiene.

Contact with irritants such as soaps, shampoos and even frequent contact with water can reduce the skin's natural barrier function. This can lead to irritation, contact dermatitis or flare-up a pre-existing eczema. Symptoms may include redness, itch, cracked and sore.

To help care for your skin;

  1. Frequent use of a hand-cream that is suitable for your skin is advisable.
  2. Wash hands with warm water and non-irritant soap.
  3. Dry hands thoroughly particularly between fingers and under any rings
  4. Some felters may find it useful to wear latex-free gloves.
  5. As far as is feasibly possible use the mildest non-irritating 'soap' possible. Often this will be olive oil or goat milk soap.

Feltmakers North is aware that the techniques used to produce felt requires time spent sitting, standing, rolling, throwing etc and it is important that individuals are aware of advice to maintain good posture and reduced muscular tension. 

Consider - 

  • using ‘risers’ to lift the height of the working table
  • standing with legs relaxed, one leg in front of the other, not standing on one leg change position frequently
  • try not to over-extend when laying, rubbing or rolling

NHS Choices addresses common postural habits and muscle tension providing general advice regarding back pain. This can be accessed at the following site;
www.nhs.uk Back Health.

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