Felted Wool for Orthotic Use

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2004: $10,382.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2007
Region: Western
State: Washington
Principal Investigator:


  • Animals: sheep


  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, cooperatives, budgets/cost and returns, feasibility study, agricultural finance, market study, value added
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems, holistic management
  • Sustainable Communities: infrastructure analysis, new business opportunities, partnerships, social networks, sustainability measures

    Proposal summary:

    This project seeks to develop a market for felt pads made from wool to provide comfort for people with braces and artificial limbs. Sheep producers have experienced shrinking wool prices in recent years, with shearing costs often exceeding sales revenues. Wool is a breathable, washable product that, when felted and cut into appropriately sized pieces, can provide comfort between prosthetic devices and braces and a wearer’s skin. The trial marketing will be conducted through Schindler’s Inc., a national orthotic and prosthetic service company with a branch in Spokane. Producer Jayne Deardorff plans to develop a manual and hold workshops to teach producers about product specifications and to coordinate with Schindler’s to fine-tune the steps producers must take to develop appropriate products for the company.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.