Do you want to make hair mats?

Matter of Trust is currently looking for pilot study partners and we are expanding our satellite hair mat factory program.
Green business entrepreneurs who want to felt hair mats and have available free space at their current location can contact us. We have started satellite factories with individuals, small businesses and nonprofits who are using this to supplement their wages and help support their charities. Our goal is to make this program sustainable, but please note it’s not ready to be your sole source of income.

If you are a volunteer looking to make some hair mats in your free time, please contact us.

Making a scrim, the outer layer of the hair mat.

Volunteers with completed hair mat.

Volunteer school field trip sorts through hair donations.

Arc volunteers using felting machine.

Do you have space to make hair mats?

We want to help set up satellite partnerships around the world, in order to reduce the carbon footprint of everyone generously sending fiber to us in California.

First, you will need a free space such as a garage, warehouse, farm shed, workshop… large enough to house away from your living area, as this work can create a hairy situation! You don’t want it near your kitchen or eating area.

We have a fund to help get you felting machines and will do all we can to reduce your startup costs (provide research, flyers, training, etc). Polypropylene oil spill products are subsidized by governments. Similarly, we are doing what we can to support this natural solution. Check out our starter kit page.

Feel free to contact us by email at team@matteroftrust.org or through our Contact form.

Looking to volunteer and make hair mats?

If you are interested in making hair mats or the program in general and want to volunteer, we are excited to work with you!

You can either felt mats at Matter of Trust’s flagship model factory, one of our satellites, or see how you can help us from home.

Check out our flyer.

Thank you for your interest and support!

Volunteer makes fun design on hair mat.

Making a 1 ft by 3 ft hair mat – filling single, outer layer scrim with fur and fleece. Scrim will be folded over.

How are our hair mats made?

Instructions for a 2 ft by 2 ft by 1 inch mat (60 cm by 60 cm by 2 cm), weighing 2 lbs (around 900 grams) total; 2 scrims, 4 ounces (100 grams) each; filler, 1.5 lbs (700 grams).

Also check out our tutorial video.

1. Sort: Hair, fur and fleece needs to be sorted into long hair, which is 4 inches and longer, and short hair which is a minimum of 1 inch. Anything shorter can go to compost or into your garden. There needs to be absolutely no debris or it will damage the machine’s needles (rocks, rubber bands, pins, food, etc). Make reusable bags marked short hair and long hair. Weigh each bag for 100 grams each and have many ready before you start making your mats.

Sorting out trash takes the longest time, so education on how even 5% of contamination in each batch of raw materials can ruin it is probably one of the most important components of this entire program, and of every recycling effort in the world.

2. Start Scrim: A scrim is an outer layer framework of long hair. We use a 60 cm wide tray and make a scrim that is 60 cm wide by 80 cm long. Lay hair strands of 4 inches or longer out in a criss-cross pattern on the feeding tray. You will need two scrims per mat. Each 2 ft by 2 ft scrim (60 cm by 60 cm scrim) is usually 100 grams, or 3.5 ounces.

3. Feed Scrim: Start up the felting machine and slowly push fiber from the feeding tray toward the rollers and needles going up and down. Pass it through the machine two times. This can be done by one pair of hands but works best with two people, one on each side of the machine. One person pushes the scrim into the needles and the other person gently pulls the scrim as it comes out on the other end.

4. Lay Out Scrim: Scrims hold the filler fiber in-place. Take one scrim and lay it crosswise on the bottom of the tray, so that the 80 cm is hanging over the edges by 10 cm each of the 60 cm tray. It is crucial to have the borders of the scrim hanging out over the edges of the intake tray – they will be folded over after stuffing.

5. Fill Scrim: Fill in the scrim with shorter hair, fur, fleece fibers, one inch or more, stuff them in evenly. We find ~700g+ of stuffing makes a good, solid 2 ft by 2 ft by 1 inch mat. It’s 1.5lbs. Make certain the stuffing evenly covers the entire scrim within the tray. Once you have finished, fold back the portions of the scrim that are hanging over the edges of the tray.

6. Lock Scrim: Run this through the felting machine two times. Then remove mat, lay down the second scrim, turn the mat 90 degrees and lay it upside down on top of the second scrim. Fold back the edges of the second scrim, so that now all edges and both sides of the mat are covered in scrims. Run this mat through the machine one more time and then run each of the four edges through the machine one more time just to ensure a sturdy, solid mat.

Not including how long the sorting takes, and depending on how fast you get at making the mats, this felting process can be done in 30 minutes or less.

 

WHY THIS MATTERS?

Clean Wave hair mats check so many boxes. They are a renewable resource solution that grows right in front of our eyes. Purchasing hair mats supports clean water, zero waste, green jobs, recycling and local cottage industry lowers carbon emissions. Conventionally, oil spills are cleaned up by using petroleum-based polypropylene products. We don’t need to drill for oil to clean up oil, when there is so much natural, sorbant fiber available. Thank you for supporting this program!

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