Introduction: How to Needle Felt With Wool (for Beginners)
A FiberArtsy.com tutorial
Learn how to create easy, Needle Felted Fabric Shapes with colorful Wool Roving and Cookie Cutters.
Have you noticed? Needle Felting has become quite the popular craft in recent years. When I first started my adventure into the fiber world, most people (including me) had never heard of wool felting much less Needle Felting.
So, What is Needle Felting?
Basically, Felting is the process of producing felt, a textile or fabric that is made by combining and compressing loose fibers or hair.
With Needle Felting, that is accomplished by matting the wool with a special barbed or notched felting needle. It’s a dry felting method, as opposed to wet felting which you can learn more about in my Basic Wet Felting Tutorial.
-Felting Pad or Thick Sponge
Step 1: Basic Needle Felting Instruction
First, you will want to thin out your wool roving. In general, it’s better to felt several thin layers of wool as opposed to one thick layer. Using your hands, gently open up the wool roving (side to side) until you can just see through it.
Next, place one of the cookie cutters on top of your felting pad or sponge. Then put a thin layer of roving inside the cookie cutter. If you’re using finger protectors, go ahead and put those on as well. Now, you are ready to begin needle felting.
Now, take your felting needle or tool and very carefully begin poking through the wool into the felting pad and pulling the needle back out. Do this very slowly at first and keep your hands out of the wool! Trust me when I say you don’t want to poke yourself.
Continue poking the needle in and straight back out again. Make sure and do this all along the edges as well. You will start to see the fibers blending and matting together.
Step 2: Needle Felt the Other Side
Once you have felted the top side of the wool for a few minutes, remove the cookie cutter and set aside. Now, using your fingers along the edges, carefully peel the felted wool off the felting mat. It will probably lose some of its shape but that’s okay.
Flip over your felt and place it back in the cookie cutter. Begin felting this side the same as the first. Carefully working the entire surface of the wool. Pay close attention to felting the corners and edges.
Repeat the above steps: Peel the felt from the mat and turn it over. Now add another layer of wool and keep needle felting. Continue until the wool is thoroughly matted.
To test the felting, gently pull at the piece and see if it comes apart. Once your wool is holding together well and not coming apart, your felt is ready to use.
If you are making an elbow patch or decoration, your piece is finished. You can make it thicker by adding more wool. Also, you can embellish it with different colors of wool to make faces, etc.
See how easy it is to make fun needle felted shapes using cookie cutters? And since cookie cutters come in all shapes and sizes, you can personalize them for your loved ones.
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