Needle Felting Tips & Tutorials
What is Needle Felting?
Needle felting is a fun and easy to learn craft/art. No sewing or knitting involved. You begin needle felting by rolling up some fluffy wool and stabbing it with a felting needle. When the wool is stabbed with the felting needle it tangles the wool fibres together. Continued stabbing and turning results in a firm shape.
As long as you can manage a few basic skills then you can start making your own creation and exploring the unlimited potential of making almost anything that you can imagine. You can make 2D wool painting or 3D sculpture items: animals, cartoon characters, jewellery, or home decoration and more…
There are many needle felting tutorials and YouTube videos that have been done by great fibre artists and people who love needle felting. I have learnt my needle felting knowledge and skills from them. I would like to share them here with you and wish they will help you on your needle felting adventure.
The basic tools and supplies you need to get started – They are all included in our starter pack.
- Felting needles - Felting needles are special made with barbs. They come in many sizes from 42 gauge to 32 gauge (the most common sizes). The bigger the number the finer the needles are (42 gauge is finer than 36 gauge).
- Foam pad – the working station with which to support your project and protect your work surface and your needles. The high density foam is better than upholstery or cleaning foam.
- Wool Roving – Wool roving is widely use in needle felting but any fibre can be used for needle felting (some more easily than others).
- Core Wool – Wool that is carded but not combed. It is coarser than wool roving but very good for the core of your projects.
These are all you really need to get started. After you learn how to do needle felting you may add other common craft items for more exciting projects: scissors, a small awl, craft glue, craft eyes, pipe cleaners, beads etc.…
Here are a few useful tips may be helpful for new needle felters:Please keep felting needles out of reach of young children and pets.
- The needles are very sharp. Needle felting requires your undivided attention. It is not a good idea to doing needle felting while watching TV.
- When felting keep your needle in and out in same direction, don’t bend the needle when you pull out – the needle will snap.
- You do not need to poke too deep as all the barbs are located with 2cm from the tip. You don’t want the barbs to work with your foam pad rather than the wool roving.
- Keep rotating your object when felting to achieve the shape you want.
General rule for needle felting: If the needle will not enter a surface with ease do not force it. Possibly change a finer/higher gauge needle than the one you are using (example 40 gauge is finer than 36 gauge).
Needle Felting Basic Skills Videos
Here is a few very easy understanding YouTube videos which I used to learn the needle felting basic skills and how to make different shapes. The videos are in Japanese but you do not need to understand Japanese to learn from them. I turned the speaker off because I don't know Japanese either.
1. The basic knowledge about how to use the felting needle correctly
2. How to make a 2-3cm felted ball and make the surface look smooth and nice
3. How to make different shapes (7 shapes) – these are very useful for making animal legs, ears, body…