Posted by: gourmetfelted | December 12, 2008

NEEDLE FELTING~TUTORIAL~WHICH WOOL for NEEDLE FELTED DOGS? YOUR NEEDLE FELTING QUESTIONS ANSWERED”Part Two

alpaca-mix-001

IS THIS WOOL?

~~~MORE TIPS and QUESTIONS ANSWERED AT~~~

***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?

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Hi Gerry:

I’ve got a lot to learn. I never thought to ask what kind of wool we use. I know we used some mohair tonight at a special class I went to. But other than that all I know is it’s sheep wool.

So what do I ask to find out what were using? I don’t what to sound stupid. Are these types of animals that it comes from?

Has anyone tried lint from the dryer as “scrap” for a center of say a pumpkin? Just wondering.

What is the least expensive, but good wool to work with?

Thanks for the info.

Janet

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REMEMBER THAT THERE IS NO STUPID QUESTION!  How can you learn if you don’t ask questions? Chances are that other people are wondering the same thing as you are, but are too chicken to say anything! LOL!! As long as the wool felts, it’s good!! You don’t want to be a wool snob…”.oh I can only felt with such and such, nothing else!!”

Any coarse wool will felt if it isn’t superwash. Wool comes from sheep only. Lots of other fibers are called wool, even though they are not. If you look at the fiber in my photo on this post, most people would say that this is wool. It is not though, as it is alpaca and that is a fiber that is not wool. Mohair comes from goats and the raw mohair is like human hair and is very hard to felt!!

I don’t know about dryer lint felting. I would think that the fibers are too short to felt together as the strands can’t go into something. Try it! That’s how you learn. EXPERIMENT! Please let me know what you find out. I don’t have a dryer!!!

Wool that is used for felting is really a personal choice. Take merino for instance. Lots of colored roving is merino. Some people swear at it and some people swear by it. It is a very fine soft wool, but it does take lots more work to felt it. Some people love the surface that it creates and only use that. I only use it as a top coat for smooth coated or hairless dogs.

I just shop around for romney which is what I like for felting the core, but that’s just MY preference. If you find some wool that is cheap,  do a search “felting ability of wool” to see what the felting ability of that kind of wool is. There are lots of wool that I haven’t tried yet. Usually the cheapest  wool is unwashed. I did a post on washing wool. I love the before and after of it!

All in all, the best thing is to try it to see it YOU like it! There really are no hard and fast rules for needle felting. That’s what makes needle felting such a one of a kind art.

PS- the photo is alpaca available in my Etsy shop.

http://gfelted.etsy.com/

HAPPY FELTING!


Responses

  1. Hi, Gerry….
    Your little Griffon is darling…..What wool did you use on him?

  2. Hi Lynne,
    Thanks so much ! I fell in love with that one! I wish that I could have kept him, but I needed the adoption fee!!!LOL!! I used a romney base as I do in ALL my sculptures and then added silk and alpaca carefully layered and blended together.

  3. Hi Lynne,
    How are your cairns doing? Did the alpaca work out?

  4. Goodness, girl…I’m still trying to get Christmas up before the family arrives….. I made the mistake of trying to go shopping yesterday….YIKES! BUT… I did pick up a pen style felting tool…. I thought that it might be interesting for some intricate work…. I saw the bigger ones with more needles…but I thought I’d try this first… I’ll let you know how it goes….
    I’ve got to get started on the cairns….I keep putting it off…..I’ll get brave soon….

  5. I’ve never tried a pen style felting needle. I know that it is scary when you do something new. I am nervous when I try a new breed or new fur affect. Sometimes our brains make it seem harder than it actually is.

    I remember when I had an order for a 7 inch wolf and I thought that I would never get the shaded fur for the wolf. Do you know that there is no gray fur on a gray wolf!!!HA! Anyway, when I finally forced myself to work on it, it was so much easier than I though that it would be and it was fun! The wolf is in flickr if you want to see it. Our brains really can get in the way sometimes. It is better to say..ready…set….felt!!
    HAPPY FELTING!!

  6. I just checked out the wolf…& all your other wonderful creations! Amazing creativity!
    You are right…I just need to get to it…. and I have all that lovely alpaca to try….

  7. Thanks so much for your kind words Lynne. That is so sweet of you. Want to know something that’s even scarier?? I have an order for an Italian Greyhound that I finished and I wasn’t happy with the head as it was too large so …..I CUT IT OFF!!! Yikes! Then I made another that was more petite and in scale with the dog. I could have tried to felt it the head in smaller and tighter, but starting over seemed to make more sense, and it did save time. It was very scary, but worth it in the long run. Remember….we work with wool and it is very forgiving. It’s not like we use rock or wood, so mistakes are easily remedied.
    HAPPY FELTING!

  8. Yikes, I just learned a lesson! I made a scottish terrier using romney wool for the base and topped him with mohair roving combed top. BIG mistake. Mohair is really hard to work with even as a top coat. I should have read your posts first!

    I love your dogs!

    • Hi Kathleen,
      Welcome to my blog! I know what you mean about mohair although I do use it once in a while when the dog has the same look to the fur. I do have to be patient when felting it in. It is almost like using human hair and it is slippery, but it can be done. How did your scottie come out? I’d love to see it!
      ~Gerry


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