Needle Felting is a really lovely craft to give a try, it basically involves creating stand alone shapes or applique simply using wool roving and a barbed needle felting needle. All you do is continually poke the wool roving until the fibres interlock and become dense and firm.
The best bit about Needle Felting? Its incredibly theraputic there is something about repeatedly poking a bit of wool with a needle that is a great stress reliever but you also get to make something at the same time!
So if you haven’t come across Needle Felting before and fancy giving it a try, here is our Homemakery beginners guide to Needle Felting!
Needle Felting Tools
You don’t need a lot to get started with needle felting at the very basic end of the scale all you need is a needle felting needle, a mat and some wool roving and thats it you can get started:
You dont need to buy a needle felting tool but they are much safer than using a needle on their own. Needle felting needles are incredibly sharp so take care when handling them and keep out of the way of little hands or paws!
Needle Felting How To
There are two basic ways of needle felting. The first is needle felting onto fabric aka needle felting applique and the second is needle felting to create a stand alone shape.
Needle Felting Applique
Take your fabric, I’ve used some of our beige linen, place it on top of the needle felting mat, place the mold on top of where you want to applique.
Cut about 10cm by 1.5cm of wool roving from the hank and gently pull apart. Press the roving into the mold using the little orange tool the comes with the mold to help.
Then start at the border and start pressing the wool roving into the linen using your needle felting pen. Keep the pen and needles upright and enter the mold vertically, you dont want to go in at an angle. Go around the outside of the shape a couple of times say 4 until the roving begins to firm and compress.
Then keep working in towards the centre, use short sharp punches in and out and don’t focus on one spot too heavily just keep moving around until the shape becomes flattened down and fairly firm to the touch. Add additional wool roving if any part seems a little uneven.
Once your needle felting feels firm to the touch remove the mold and remove from the mat, the reverse of the applique will be a little fuzzy but that is just the wool bonding to the linen, its not recommended that you snip these as they should flatten with time.
Thats it, needle felted applique!
Needle Felted shape
Take your mat and place a piece of paper over it, pop your mold on top, you could use a cookie cutter for this.
Snip off some roving, you will use typically use more than for the applique so cut about 10cm by 2cm of wool roving from the hank and gently pull apart. Press the roving into the mold using the little orange tool the comes with the mold to help.
Again work from the outside in until the wool is well felted together, but not so that its felted itself to the paper. Take the mold off unpeel the heart from the paper flip over and put back in mold. If you want to add additional roving to make it thicker you can do that now. Repeat several times.
Once the shape is firm you can take it out of the mold and use the needle felting pen to tidy up the edges. Take care as the needles are seriously sharp!
Your finished shape should be firm to the touch and not squishy, keep felting on both sides until firm.
Then you are done!
That’s needle felting in a nutshell, if you fancy giving it a try check out our range of needle felting products here