What is Needle Felting?

I don’t think that a lot of you have seen this process of felting.  Perhaps you all have heard of knitting a sock or a sweater with 100% wool yarn.  And then wash it in the wash machine….or if you had a miss-hap and a wool sweater ended up in the wash machine and ohhhh noooo….. it was way too small to wear.  Yes you could call that felting too.

    But this Needle felting does not have to be washed.  For your project you could use a sturdy fabric such as wool felt, a canvas bag, sweatshirt, denim jacket or jeans or even a flannel shirt. 

  You can draw a picture on the fabric.  You can do this by hand drawings or iron on transferring a design.

   You will need:

—Wool Fibres that have not been spun.

—Some Felting needles, they will have small barbs at the end of the shaft and come in different sizes. The barbs of the needles catch strands of fibres when punched into the fabric. The felting needle`s barbs force the wool fibres’ to tangle with each other as they are pushed through the fabric

—-Foam pad is essential to use as the base for working on and pushing the wool fibres though.

If you have small ball of wool fibre tear small strips away and crisscross that small piece over each other repeat a few times till the fibres are easy to work with.   This is also the way you blend colors together. 

Once you have transferred the drawing on to the fabric, place the fabric with the design on to the foam pad.  Take the wool fibres and place them on the pattern such as the wing of the butterfly, take your needle and push the fibres straight and slowly down though the fabric.  The needle does not have to go very deep, about 1/4 inch.  I have been told it is imported you push down straight with the needles. 

Once you have anchored the fibres in place you can move faster as you get more comfortable with the process.  When you are working on the edge of the pattern pull the fibres along that line and push it down along that line.  Keep on pushing the fibres in place till you do not see the fabric underneath and fibres are all nice and even secured. 

 DO NOT pull the project off the foam pad till you are all finished with the complete project.  It will not sit flat on the foam pat and will be more difficult to work on.

Once finished pull the project gently off the pad.  Heat your iron to wool setting and turn project to wrong side.  Mist the felted area with water and iron it back and forth moving it around in all directions, that will felt the fibres together.  Reaped a few time.  Turn project to right side and mist felted area again.  This time pushing iron on to the picture but not moving it, Hold iron for a few second…..lift and you’re done.

This is a very basic instructions if you have any questions or are not clear on something  just ask I will try to help, but keep in mind I am just starting with this too and still learning and always happy to get feedback  helping me with mastering this hobby too. This post is just to give you some understanding on the process of this Craft.   There are lots of great books about there that will be able to go into exact details too.

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