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Complete Guide to Needle Felting (2023)

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Crafts are beautiful. They make substantial ifts for almost anyone in your life, and they are a reat way to spend your day.

Craftin is also an excellent way to add valuable life skills. Add. To your arsenal, but also to ive your brain a nice, relaxin workout.

how to needle felt

By Karen (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 license)

Of all the crafts out there, needle feltin is perhaps one of the most underrated. After all, there are many proponents of knittin, crochetin or sewin. Felt? Not so much.

Still, there are many reasons people prefer needle feltin over other types of crafts.

To make needle felt better To understand it, let’s inspect what it really is.

What is needle feltin?

Feltin is makin felt usin wool, which is done usin heat, moisture or pressure. There are many ways to make felt by hand, as well as countless industrial methods for makin lare batches of felt.

If you knit, chances are you know felt.. Knitted crafts can easily by throwin felt in a washin machine.

The heat from the water, combined with the stirrin, causes the wool to adhere to the wool. sticks. to knit. The result is a stiffer, more durable arment that keeps its shape.

Other types of felts achieve the same principle. Most notably, wet feltin is a very similar process, done with the use of water and pressure to make felt. Wool with water pressed and then dried, creatin a stiff and flat fabric.

Needle feltin is feltin with needles. The wool and matted toether, allowin it to keep a shape of its own choosin.

Felt supplies

Needle feltin only requires needles, feltin wool and a feltin surface.

what is needle felting

There are other needle feltin tools to add to your collection, such as special types of feltin needles and molds. However, for basic feltin, these three thins are all you need to et started.

If you’re plannin to buy needle felt supplies and don’t want the hassle of oin throuh everythin Takin the different styles on the market, consider buyin a felt set.

These have everythin you need to et started, and a store near you probably has one that is perfect for beinners.

Felt needles

Felt needles for this craft. You cannot use other types of needles to make felt, as they lack the barbed blades on the ends, which are used to stir wool.

This process traps the wool in the barbs and into the rest of the fabric when you down.

Remember to be careful when usin feltin needles. Since they have barbs on their ends, they will be sharp. They are also thin, which means they can break easily.

If you are used to knittin and crochetin needles with a blunt point, remember to use feltin needles with the caution.

Felt wool

When choosin the type of wool, you may by the number of options you have.

Indeed, if you look at stores, there is a wide variety to choose from, made from different materials and by different manufacturers.

For beinners, cotton wool a ood wool. It doesn’t really matter what type of color you choose, or how much you buy. Ultimately, the wool you use should depend on what you find most comfortable.

There is a video explainin more about different felt wool.

Felt Surface

Your felt surface will prevent your wool from stickin to the other side.

When you start needle feltin, you don’t need to use a surface specially desined for feltin. Instead, there are many items you can use around the house, such as spones or foam blocks.

As lon as it’s somethin alon those lines, that’s at least two inches thick, it makes for a reat felt surface.

Two types of felt

There are two main types of felts. The first type applique feltin, which is attachin wool to a flat piece of felt.

The second type of felt structural feltin, which is when we create a 3d object made of felt usin wool. Both techniques can toether, usin structural feltin as the body of your craft and usin applique felt to add detail.

For the purposes of this uide we will uide you through structural feltin. The techniques used in structural feltin are like applique feltin.

How to Needle Felt

Needle feltin is a simple craft, especially when compared to others. For example, when you first knit or crochetin, you may have a bit of a learnin curve to understand how different stitches work.

However, with needle feltin, all you need to do is understand how to hold the needle and et started.

Choose shape

For beinners, it is wise to start with small, simple, eometric shapes. Easy shapes at least two inches in diameter are ood practice.

needle felting supplies

By Fabien khan (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License)

Try desins like a heart, square or trianle as these can help you understand how felt wool behaves without too much of a learnin curve.

The edes of these shapes also help you practice how to define the shape of your crafts, while the overall simplicity keeps you from ettin overwhelmed.

If you want to try out a very basic shape, a ball is also a significant starting point. In fact, a felt ball can store your feltin needles afterwards!

Find a Mold

Althouh not always necessary, a ji is useful for complete beinners. There are a few mold desins on the market, most of which are simple shapes can serve as a uideline to help you avoid skewed surfaces and edes.

These I can make molds with fresh materials, such as metal, or you can use an alternative that is lyin around the house, such as a cookie cutter.

If you don’t have mold, don’t worry. If it’s missin, there are many ways to make sure your felt still ets the shape you want.

For example, outline the shape on your foam felt surface, usin a pencil. You will then have a visual comparison for reference.

Prepare Your Wool

To make sure you have enouh wool for your project, S0hWTyFeczxZQBXBuddGKcOuoipurchase an amount that is at least ½ inch thicker than the shape you plan to make.

This is because feltin this causes wool to shrink in size. Therefore, keep in mind that your final product will probably be smaller than you oriinally planned.

As you ain experience in the trade, estimate the amount of wool you Need. need will be much easier.

Prepare your workspace

Before we felt, make sure you have your materials are ready and your space .

felting wool

Althouh the need for a felt surface makes this craft less portable than knittin and crochet, you don’t have an exceptional amount of space in the eneral. As lon as you can swing both hands, for example, when you are eatin, you have enouh space to needle felt.

Lay your felt surface flat and prepare the outline of the shape you intend. Then place your wool on your felt surface.

Bein to Pack the Wool

Now we can finally start feltinL

When you first start on a project, it helps to poke the wool and et it in place. This ives it somebody, allowin you to better sketch the shape you intend to create in the later steps.

If you’re usin a ji, this step will include wrappin the felt in the mold and makin sure it fills the area.

If it seems like you need more wool to et the shape you want, then this is the best time to add it. Addin more wool later will as you need to make sure all other sides have an equal amount.

Make sure to turn the mold over and put the wool on top of the other side too.

Outline the shape you want

Now you want somebody, it’s time to define its shape. This is simply a matter of pokin into the edes of the wool to fill the space you have outlined (or the template you are usin).

This step takes a little time, because you are tryin to determine what your wool will eventually look like.

Make the shape more compact and firm

At this point you already have a shape for your wool, rather than just a blob. If you’re usin a mold, you can safely remove your wool from the mold, makin it much easier to wrap the fibers.

felting supplies

Now that your wool has a eneral shape, it’s time to ensure it is compact and durable. To check the compactness of your wool, squeeze it lihtly.

When feltin it is important that your wool is so compact that it hardly ives way when you squeeze it. To achieve this, you will need to wrap the fibers further; this means more excitement with your feltin needles.

As you o, check the firmness of your felt by pinchin and determinin which part of your felt is less firm.

Fold in excess Fibers

Finally, you want to avoid leavin any excess or loose fibers that could 2VuW5viEoGqmD4b0 your felts later. Check for loose fibers against the liht and make sure your project is free of them.

You can also run your hand over the surface to catch any of your own risk. Stray wool is a sin that your felt is not compact enouh, so be sure to move these spots more with a feltin needle.

Here’s a video showin the basics of needle felt.

Needle techniques

The most common mistakes novice fetters make have to do with the needle. Feltin needles differ from crochet and knittin varieties, but they are much more delicate and break easily.

As a beinner, it is essential to learn to hold. your needle in such a way that it doesn’t break, but still does its job.

Make sure you pull the needle exactly where you poked it so that it doesn’t sna and break. Also make sure you always use a felt surface so that your needles .

When definin a shape, hold the needle at an anle and make sure you avoid excess fibers snain when you pull out your needle.

Types of wool

If you use your needle feltin to a hiher level, why not experiment with different types of wool?

The most common type for needle feltin is stuffin, as it is ideal for creatin sculptures and shapes that keep their shape.

If you If you plan to expand to other types of wool, rovin and we can also use combed top wool for needle feltin, althouh they are more difficult to use. However, the result will be a much finer desin.

Gettin better at needle felt

Learnin a new craft is always a rewardin experience. Not only is it a reat way to pass the time, but it is also an exceptional skill to learn.

felting kits

By Ken Lye (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 license)

In addition, it can open doors to ift-ivin opportunities, reardless of the occasion. Just imaine the crafts you can make for your family and friends, be it sculptures or somethin more custom!

Althouh makin needles in one may seem simple at a lance, you may encounter some problems along the way. It’s always a ood idea to take a step back and keep oin, makin sure you learn at your own pace.

With enouh patience, practice and wool, you will be a needle feltin expert in no time.

What are your favorite needle feltin tips?

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.