The Beginners Guide to Needle Felting

The Beginners Guide to Needle Felting

Felting is a craft which uses wool fibres to produce your creation. There are two types, dry and wet felting. With needle / dry felting, a specially shaped needle is rapidly pushed in and out, multiple times, between wool fibres causing friction between them, thus tangling them together to create a denser volumed object. You use a barbed needle (so take care!) and stab repeatedly at your wool against a resistant object in order to tangle and compress the wool. Using this technique, you can make any number of 3D objects in any sculptural form you want to. The only limit to what you can do, is your imagination!

For the would be needle felter, or indeed for anyone just interested in learning more about how to felt wool, we’ve gathered together on this page some “how to” videos to help you get started with this interesting craft.

This first video gives a good overview of how to needle felt and is ideal for the absolute beginner. It’s not very long – under 5 minutes, so you don’t have to sit glued to your device – and so is perfect if you’ve always wanted to know what needle felting actually is but haven’t asked the question. The sound track is music only with information being supplied by caption, and thus is ideal if you want to watch the video but can’t have the audio on.

Good for:

  • absolute beginners
  • those without audio
  • anyone wanting a quick introduction.

 

The next video I’ve collected for you is a little longer at a fraction over 10 minutes. Whereas the previous one was a quick overview of the needle felting process, just to introduce the idea, this one goes into some more detail and is really easy to watch. It has an audio explanation of the process and is very informative.

Good for:

  • a slightly more detailed look at the craft
  • those with audio
  • anyone who likes a commentary.

 

So by now, you’ll know that needle felting uses wool or wool roving. This next video is all about the wool. In it, the presenter explains what different wools you can use in needle felting and in which circumstances you would choose to use which type.

Good for:

  • an introduction to the types of wool used in needle felting
  • those with audio
  • anyone who likes a commentary.

 

I hope you’ve found these introductory videos helpful and are tempted to have a go at needle felting yourself. There are so many things you can make using this technique and you really are only limited by your imagination. We’ve seen some really cool results, particularly mega cute needle felted animals! For example, check out an earlier Crafty Bug post here to see some gorgeous little sheep.

We’ll be adding more videos, “how to guides” and needle felting project ideas so do come back soon and check out what’s new.

To get you started

If you now want to try out this fabulous craft for yourself, you are going to need some basic equipment. As you’ll have seen in the first video, the main items you’ll need are:

  • a needle felting tool (ie a needle!)
  • wool
  • a needle felting mat (your work surface).

This needle felting tool from Hobbycraft has five needles in one, an easy to hold handle, a clear plastic protective cover over the needles for that all important added safety and has great customer reviews too. Given that you are working with needles, you really need a needle felting mat to act as a work surface not only to protect your table / knees or whatever you are working on, but also to help extend the lifespan of your felting tool. And, of course, you’ll need some wool roving for practice and to start working your inventive magic on. We like this assorted bundle of 100% wool in a 5 different colours. Other bundles with particular colour themes are also available.

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