Needle felting is the matting, compressing and pressing of fibers with a needle together. The end result of felting is called a felt. A felt can be made of natural fibers such as wool or animal fur, or from synthetic fibers. Are you ready to start felting on your own? This article will guide you on how to start Needle felting on your own.
To start needle felting, you need just 3 materials. You need a wool which is the most important, you also need a needle, and lastly a felting surface on which you will place the material to be felt. Wool is a fiber that has minute scales that help it to stick together. Not just any kind of wool is suitable for felting, the best wool that can be used is Romney. Romney is a wool gotten from a British breed of hardy long-woolen sheep raised for both mutton and wool called Romney Marsh. Romney felts firmly so that you can have a very solid piece when you have completed your felting process. Other wools stay somehow wet and muddy no matter how much they are felted. With Romney, there are no loose or strands of hair sticking out all over when you are finished. It felts very smooth. The needle used for felting is a special kind of needle that has tiny barbs on the end. These barbs move only in one direction such that when the needle is stabbed into the wool, the barbs pull the wool in, and will not pull it back out again. The felting surface is used as a surface to work on. The felting surface is used to prevent the felting needle from breaking, therefore, it must not be hard but instead, soft.
A basic felt can be made by rolling up a small amount of wool and stabbing it with the needle. When the wool is stabbed with the felting needle it pulls the wool into itself. By stabbing the wool with the needle over and over while turning the wool it continues to pull wool in and the wool, with its tiny scales, locks together. Continued stabbing and turning results into a firm round shape. Once there is a basic shape to start with wool is added where it is needed to form a sculpture.
Now, let us go into a step by step tutorial into creating a basic felt. After getting all your materials ready, the first thing to do is to cut out a part of the wool that would be sufficient in size to give you your desired shape. In this post, I am going to be felting a round ball. Below is a cut out of a piece of wool that I would be using to felt my round ball.
After cutting out a sufficient piece of wool, roll it together with your hand to form an irregular shaped ball. You can also stick the end parts into each other to make the shape rigid.
Now, place your irregular shaped ball on your felting surface. Pick up your felting needle and begin to poke the ball with the pointed edge of the needle so as to smoothen every part of the ball. Ensure that your hand is kept away from the ball so as not to result in hurting your hand as the end of the needle is very sharp and very dangerous. Below is the image that shows how the ball is getting smoothened as it is being poked.
Keep poking the ball until the whole body is well smoothened and your Desired shape is made manifested. Now that you have learnt how to do needle felting, begin to develop your skills, try felting other shapes, some sometimes, you can place the wool into any material that will bring out your desired shape.
Here below was my very first creation, a Yorkie Terrier I gave it to my good friend and neighbor Leah.
From then on, I am always excited whenever I do needle-felting from flowers to dolls, and most of all, animals!
Share us what’s your favorite below the comment!