I know that needle felting is easy..you stick wool a million times and an animal comes out. There is a technique to it though. If you look closely at your felting needles you will see that there are barbs on about 1/2 inch of the tip. USE IT! I have seen felting demos where the person felts 100 mph and barely pushes the needle in. DO NOT FELT LIKE THAT!!! This produces a hard outer shell with a soft interior..much like an egg. If your item gets squeezed the outer surface will fold into the soft inside and it will look awful.
One person was making a round ball that was quite small and said that it would take 10 to 15 minutes to make it!!! That would be true if you felted the wrong way like she demonstrated. In reality, if you felt properly, something like that should take 2 minutes TOPS! What you want to do is push the needle in ,so that ALL of the barbs go to work! Yes, you will have to stab slower this way, but you will be felting so much more at a time!! Use a #36 coarse needle and push it in about 1/2 inch. Keep if up and you will soon have a ball. REMEMBER, after you’ve felted something, it will get to be about 1/4 of the size that you started with. So it takes a 2 inch fluffy pile to make a 1/2 inch ball!
Remember to push ALL of the barbs into your item. It will felt together quicker this way!
There is several advantages to firmly felting your items.
1) it will last longer and be more durable
2) if you want to add long fur, the base has to be very firmly felted to hold it it
3) it will have the strength to stand up on it’s on
4) you will be able to pick it up without changing the shape of it
Believe it or not my sculptures I usually take about TWO HOURS just to felt the core. This way, they have the strength and durability to be posed and they will be long lasting. They may become a family heirloom. I know that it’s BORING to make the core, but the fun stuff will come soon enough when you can add the fur and all of the details that will make your sculpture truly unique. Remember, watch the fingers!!
***IF YOU’D LIKE TO TRY MY CORE WOOL FOR FELTING THE BASE OF YOUR SCULPTURES PLEASE VISIT MY ETSY SHOP. JUST CLICK ON THE “WOOL AND FIBER”SECTION ON THE RIGHT CONTENTS LIST OF MY SHOP. THANKS!
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***After you read this post, if you scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page…..I know, it is a long page, but there are some lovely pictures on the way..At the bottom of this page there are several more “YOUR NEEDLE FELTING QUESTIONS ANSWERED” and also more “NEEDLE FELTING TIP OF THE WEEK” to help you. Just click on the title, and it goes right to the post. Go back after you’ve read it to click on another. Fun right?