Needle felting is a craft where you can create adorable fuzzy animals or other objects for your home. It's not as complicated as it sounds, and the results are super cute. All you need to start needle felting is a few basic tools and this handy tutorial.
You don't need to be a knitter to take up needle felting. The craft uses different tools and wool than knitting does. But if you already knit, think of needle felting as the next step in your adventure into wool creativity.
Do you know what needle felting is?
Needle felting is a process of using a needle with barbs on it to transform bundles of wool into 3D objects.
Wool is known for being an awesome textile fiber. People may experience the fiber as either a moderately-warm fabric or really, really itchy. In this case, the problem is simply that you haven't washed your wool recently. When you felt wool, you're creating strong bonds between individual fibers to create a solid fabric. It's like felting in that you need hot water to do the job but needle felting mimics the process.
What You'll Get
Needle felting is traditionally done using roving wool, but you can also use other types of wool like batting. This tutorial will show you how to sew a flat needle-felted doll with some roving torn from a larger piece.
The needle you'll want for felting isn't a tapestry needle or any kind of sewing needle. A felting needle has sharp, barbed blades that are used to agitate the wool fibers.
A felting surface
When you needle felt, you need a well-padded surface that will protect your torso and fingers. We recommend sponges or foam pads. Make sure to have a thick pad like the one in this picture.
Needle felting is an art form that uses a needle to create three-dimensional objects by weaving wool fibers together.
Needle felting techniques depend on what you are making. Once you learn more about needle felting, you'll figure out how to poke at the wool with your needle and get different effects. For now, these simple basics will get you started. In this tutorial, we're going to make a small ball.
If you’re using roving- which is just a strand of yarn - you can simply tear it apart. You don’t have to cut it; the roving will pull apart on its own pretty easily.
This makes it easier to control and measure how much you're using.
If you can, tuck the end of the fabric in.
hand needle felting
To start, place the ball on top of your felting surface and use a needle to poke the ball. Aim to go in about ¼-inch deep each time and jab straight up and down. Make sure your fingers are never in the path of the needle--can you imagine being poked by one? Felting needles are super, super sharp!
Keep poking the ball until you start to notice the fibers sticking together and shrinking. You'll most likely notice that the ball has shrunk after a while.
Needle felting is an artistic, natural craft of wool.
If you ask needle felters why they like using animals, the answer is pretty simple: needle felting needles create a fuzzy effect that looks just like fur. But your creations don't have to be limited to just stand-alone animals and other objects; it's also fun to use flat items, like a scarf, as the base for your needle-felted creations.
You can also try adding some needle felted decorations to your mittens. Personally, I love adding needle-felted flowers and butterflies to every pair of my mittens (although for a hand-knit item you'll need to ensure you have a tight gauge so that it can be properly felt). Another idea is to make a needle-felt cuff, or add a needle-feled heart or other shape onto the cuff.
You might not know it yet, but needle felting isn’t just for decoration. If you need to mend something you can use it! Got a hole in your favorite sweater? No worries, needle-felting is here!
Let your imagination run wild with roving wool and barbed needles!