Childhood flashback: Fuzzy-Felt
Did you also play with Fuzzy-Felt when you were young?
It’s 70 years since the first box of Fuzzy Felt went on sale, in August 1950.
It was created just after the Second World War. It was invented by an American lady named Lois Allen, who had studied art and fashion in Paris in the 1920s and married an Englishman. She and her husband Peter contributed to the war effort by manufacturing felt gaskets for sealing components in tanks, in the outbuildings of their home. Lois ran a crèche for her own children and those of the other women working. It was there that she noticed children enjoying and playing with the discarded and misshaped pieces of felt, sticking them to the backs of table mats. She and her husband developed the product, taking Fuzzy-Felt to the market in 1950, which became an instant hit.
More than 25 million boxes have been sold around the world.
Recently, my sister was doing a clean-up and asked me if I wanted our old childhood Fuzzy-Felt set. Yes please! Some of the shapes have obviously seen better days but there, on the white borders of the display mats, we have scrawled our names in a child-like script.
My 13-year-old-son, who is quite artistic, asked me what it was when he saw it in my study. I explained this retro phenomenon, and he couldn’t help himself… whipping up the scene shown in my main photo on the green board in just a couple of minutes from the mismatched, surviving pieces of felt. He’s placed a pig on the back of a camel, a man on a leopard and bears on horses beneath a beaming sun. You see, some things never lose their appeal!