Posted by: gourmetfelted | October 19, 2008



I guess I forgot to include that one. Always felt into something soft. This isn’t counting the wool that you’re felting. This is what is UNDER the wool! Felting needle tips can be damaged or break when they hit something hard like a table or book. Always use something that gives when hit with the needle….like foam, a towel, pillow, or the like.

You can’t use a regular felting needle on a short felting brush like  the kind that clover makes. That brush is designed for the clover needle only. That needle tool has short needles that don’t hit the brush. I don’t know about you, but my felting needles are 3 and 3 1/2 inches long. That is much longer than the bristles, so if you use them on the clover felting brush they will hit the hard brush and break.

Also when using a wire armature, felt gently. You don’t have to jab the wool so hard anyway. Don’t use much force when you jab the needle and then if you hit the wire, it will usually slide along it. Felt along the wire on one side then the other. Is your needle gets stuck in the wire, VERY gently wiggle it a little and it should come out. If you yank on it when it is stuck, it can snap. Felting needles are hardened steel and are very brittle. Usually though you will get months of use out of each needle.

Be sure not to use sideways pressure on the needles or they will snap. I keep a broken needle for whenever I need to push the wool to the side. This saves my good needles from breaking. After a while you will get the “feel” for felting and not break so many needles. Always use a #36 coarse needle to start your cores. Use fine needles only for the top layers or fine details.

Any other questions about breaking needles?



  1. Of course, as always, when you explain things it makes so much sense! It can be tempting for a new felter to want to use a firm surface on which to felt. Who want to get poked by those sharp needles? I did use a towel for my first two projects, but I have found the foam you sent is absolutely a much nicer surface on which to work. I also just got some leather thimbles, as you advised, and boy what a difference to my finger tips!

  2. Thank you so much ! i always learn so much here!!

  3. Dont forget “Felty”! he is down here !! LOL He is waiting for the big day of the contest! hehehe

  4. I’m so glad that I can help anyone save needles from breaking. They will last for months if you’re careful. Usually I have to use a new needle because the one that I was using is getting less sharp. How do you tell? Well, you will notice that it is a little harder to felt something, especially when just starting. Then when you switch to a new needle you will notice a BIG difference. The other needle was just getting a little duller …and duller..and duller. It is such a subtle change that takes weeks that you don’t notice.

  5. I will remember feltie and ALL of the entries will be carefully examined again! The contest ends this Thursday around 9pm. Thanks for all of your entries!

  6. Hello,
    I have a question, when you are needle felting the core body. Do you use one or two needles. I always use one needle, I like detail work as an Equine Artist, I paint with a TINY brush. I say at times its like I am drawing, I think it has carried into my needle felting. I use only one needle for the whole animal. Do you use more than one needle, ever?
    thank you

  7. Many times I use one needle. I do use a multi needle tool at times. It has 3 or 4 needles depending on which one. I use it one the core only and for larger sculptures. If you had to make a 7 inch sculpture which is about 32 square inches of felting it would take hours and hours to make just the core for that if you used a single needle. Also when making something flat like flower petals, then the multiheads are the way to go.

  8. Gerry:

    What is the best way to store needles?


  9. I keep a pill bottle like from prescriptions and put a little wool in the bottom and stick them in it. I close the top and they don’t poke anything that way.. I put the size, type, and number on the outside to tell which is which. I usually buy them by 10 at a time and I get a great deal from theredbarnfarm!! Her name is Rose and it you buy from her, say hi from Gerry for me would you? Thanks!!

  10. I am a beginner to felting and only do the 3D kind at present. I would love to know how you join two colours together, like the brown and black on the back of an Airedale Terrier’s coat please.

  11. Hi June! Welcome to my blog! That is really a good question. Come back tonight and I will answer your question in my “needle felting questions of the week”!!! I have to blend some fur for a shepherd mix which has lots of colors, so I will take step by step photos so you can see how! Other people have asked me the same thing and I think pictures will help explain it . Tune it tonight!! Thanks for leaving a comment!
    I am having a needle felting contest and I would love to see something that you’ve made! The prize is a needle felting sheep kit or free wool of your choice! You can send pictures to


  12. What do you use for the straight fur type on long coated dogs? And is there another Contest going on or did I read it wrong?

  13. There is a new contest going on! Please enter. I use different fiber depending on the breed, but usually alpaca. Sometimes wool and silk or mohair but that is harder to felt.

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