Posted by: gourmetfelted | March 29, 2009


cat-created-003 Do you wonder which needles to use…or which is the best wool?

Why do you break so many needles?

What is core wool?

What is the best way to protect your fingers from the dreaded OUCH!

The answers are here. Just ask !

REMEMBER…there’s no such thing as a stupid question. Questions lead to knowledge, so every question is great! ASK AWAY!



  1. I know that you use core wool to form the core over the wire armature, but is there any real definition? I’ve just purchased “core wool” from an online craft store, and it is nicer and easier to felt than some of the regular felting wool I got at my local Hobby Lobby store. It feels nice enough to use as felting wool if I needed that color (off-white).
    I also just received some alpaca that was so beautiful it left me breathless. I can’t keep my hands out of it! I’m making a little alpaca to send back to them made out of some of the fiber. I’ll send you a picture of him when I get done.


  2. Hi Alice,
    Core wool is usually a coarser wool that serves as a base for the softer more delicate outer layer. Some people use cheaper wool for the base. I have core wool in my etsy store that is top quality and can easily be used as the topcoat in a sculpture. Just click on “Needle felting Kit/Wool” in the left column to see my special offers.

    I also have alpaca that comes in a package of five dog colors to save so you don’t have to purchase 5 packages, one of each color. Alpaca is wonderfully soft and some people use alpaca to felt an entire sculpture. Some people have even used polyfil for the core, especially for a larger sculpture. It is a matter of preference, and it’s best to experiment to see what YOUR preferences are.

    I would love to see a picture of your alpaca. You can send it to
    Are you making it poseable?

  3. Saw your amazing dog on flicker yesterday! WOW

  4. Hi Gerry! Yes, I did make him poseable. I start all of them like I learned here with the wire armature– but what does an alpaca do? lol I don’t know how I’d pose him…. I almost didn’t send him, my inexperience really shows, so I’ll continue to learn from you.
    I’ve got to practice much more on taking photos. I read your instructions and do take a dozen just to get a couple of good ones. That tip has really helped a lot.
    Actually, I use your help on everything I do. Thanks for the advice about your alpaca. I think that’s the only fiber I want to use and all I need are the dog colors.
    Thanks again for doing what you do here!

  5. Hi Tami,
    Thanks so much for your comment on my dog! Which one were you were referring to? If you look at my photostream I think there is about 11 pages of them!

  6. Hi Alice,
    I’m so glad that I helped you out! I think that it is so much easier to felt on a frame. You poke your fingers less that way I think. An alpaca lies down with their legs tucked under and they also stretch their neck out flat along the ground. Your dog is very cute too! Great work!
    Please feel free to ask any questions:)

    Thank you for your thanks!

  7. Hi Gerry!

    Thanks so much for offering all of us needle-felting newbies advice. I love reading your site!

    Now that I’ve learned to make wire armatures and cores and all kinds of neat things, I’ve pretty much blown through my stash of wool. I am looking at ordering wool online and most places sell by the ounce, but I can’t really visualize how big an ounce of wool actually is. A little goes a long way, but I’d hate to order way to little or far too much. Can you please give me an idea of the size of an ounce of roving, or an estimate as to how much coverage I could get with an ounce?

    Thanks so much,
    Erin Elizabeth

    When does the current needlefelting contest end?

  8. Hi Erin,
    Welcome to my blog!
    I’m so glad that I can help newbies! I have washed wool by the oz and it is natural, not combed into roving. I think that this has a more realistic look for fur as it has little crimps and such.
    I have core wool in quart bags stuffed. That is the only one that I lightly comb just to get the hay out of it. I would guess that you could make 2 or 3 sculptures that are 3 to 4 inches. Roving generally is about 8 feet per oz. Of course that would depend on what kind of fiber that the roving is and the thickness of the roving.
    I have a nice sampler package (1 oz )in animal colors that has different fibers to try even silk. I also have wool with curls and alpaca.(1oz) These would do several dogs as you would use it for the topcoat only.

    I will probably end the contest on June 7th which will be a month. I hope that I can see any entry from you. How long have you been felting?


  9. Thanks for the advice, Gerry.

    I started needlefelting flowers about three months ago, and then animals, and now I’m mostly working on mythical creatures like dragons with wings made from wire and fantasy film. As soon as I get a (working) camera, I’ll entire one of my felted creatures in the contest!

  10. I had a question about glass eyes on miniature felted animals I am making for my dollhouse which is at 1/12″ scale, and Jerry who sells glass eyes told me to ask you: do you know which size of glass eyes I should use for an animal of that size? Thanks!

  11. Hi Chloe,
    Welcome to my blog! Generally I use the size eye that matches the number in inches in height of the needle felted animal. So for one inch the 1 mm eyes would work. Two inches use a 2 mm eye. Of course, it also depends on what you are making and the breed. It is best to have a couple of sizes, at least to see how they look in the finished feltie. Some breeds have larger or smaller eyes that you have to take into account. I usually use a 4 mm or 4.5 mm eye for my dogs that are 3 or 4 inches.

    Dollhouse 1:12 scale I would probably use a 1 to 2 mm eye. If you end up with eyes that are too small, just add some shading around the eye to make it look larger. Conversely, if they are too large, just cover the edges of the eye with wool all around. It is best to experiment to see what works out. Hope that helps!

  12. Gerry
    Just to let you know, I now have 3mm black plastic sew-on eyes in stock. 4mm coming soon!

  13. Hi Jerry,
    That’s great to know. That size is good for smaller sculptures and the sew-ons are great for people who have trouble with glue!

  14. Hi, Gerry. Jerry, the “eyes” man, gave me your name. I purchased some 3mm. blue and clear glass eyes for a tiny rabbit head I am needle felting for a small doll body. They are on wire and I am not familiar with how to adhere them to the head. I am thinking I cut the wire and make a loop with pliers and sew them on, as that is what I saw on a rabbit in a store…I am sort of copying it. Shame on me. Anyway, I wanted clear and sparkling blue, no white on the eyes. Do you have any tips on how to sew them on the best way? I have not needle felted for a long time and have a box of roving, but no core stuff, so I will be getting some from you soon. Thanks for any tips. Vilma P.S. What is your email address?

  15. Hi Vilma,
    Welcome to my blog! Rule #1!!
    I never sew!! LOL! I CUT the wire so there is about 1/4 inch of wire attached to the eye. I take 2 ball end pins to mark the eye position. I take them out and make a small hole where the pin stuck in….then I stick the eye wire in the same hole with the eye attached. Do that for both eyes. Be sure to check for alignment. Make sure they are level and the same distance from the nose. You wouldn’t believe how many gorgeous sculptures I’ve seen that had croOkeD eYEs!

    I do have a post on EYES. See the third column below..8th down?

    You have to use a white glue like elmers as quick glues like krazy glue or super glue react with eye color and RUIN it! (Found that out the hard way!) Did you ever see glowing pumpkin orange eyes on a dog? The fast glues WILL work fine with black glass eyes as they aren’t painted.

  16. Gerry,

    Jerry of Glass Eyes Online suggested I ask you. I am trying to make 1/12 scale felted animals, and the 1 and 2 mm eyes he sells are on wires. I’ve used eyes with loops on slightly larger animals, but I don’t know how I would attach eyes with straight wires to the animal. Can you explain what I should do? I’ll be very grateful to you for any help you can give.

    • Hi Isabel,
      Welcome to my blog!
      To use eyes on wires:
      Just cut the wire on the eye leaving about 1/4 inch if you have enough room in the head. Check eye placement to make sure that they are level and the same distance from the center of the face. You have to felt a little hole for the wire to fit in. Also it is good to felt around the eye so it it set into the head. Put the eyes in place to double check to be sure they look right. If they look good, pull the wire out a little, put a dab of super glue or krazy glue (the brush one is best) and push immediately back into the socket area. You can use needle nose pliers or tweezers so you don’t get any glue on your fingers.
      **If you have colored eyes please see the comment above your question!
      If they eyes look too big, add a little wool around them to make them look smaller….If they need to be bigger, add a little black wool around the eye. That’s all there is to it!
      Happy Felting!

  17. Hi, Gerry.

    I have long admired your amazing work, which combines my two loves – art and dogs!

    My daughter received a couple of felting kits for Christmas. She loves making the little animals! (It’s not easy finding something that a 13 year old will enjoy!) She would like to make a dog next – between 3 and 4 inches tall, and we were wondering what size eyes and plastic nose we could use for it? We have gone to your friend Jerry’s site on etsy, and were overwhelmed with the choices! Your recommedations would be most welcome.



  18. Hi Ginger,
    Welcome to my blog! That is so terrific that you encourage your daughter to be artistic! I am where I am today artistically, thanks to my moms encouragement!

    Thanks for your kind words on my sculptures! I usually use 4 mm black glass eyes on the wire. Please look below and you can see more details on how to work with glass eyes.
    Also notice the info on gluing colored eyes.

    Thanks for dropping in! Come back soon as I will be having a FREE giveaway shortly!!


  19. I bought curly wool from several suppliers and it all looks the same….messy!

    No idea how to apply them to a sculpture so that it looks nice. Probably my fault for not doing it the right way. The curls are only in bits on the outside of the all mixed together wool. Do i need to cut the curls of that middle and throw away that part of the wool and only felt the curls?

    • Hi Marion,
      So sorry that you got messy curly wool. I have curly wool that is individual curls. Grab onto the curl at the tip and pull one curl out gently. Separate the curls before you start. If you think of curls like ocean waves. then when felting them, you would felt in the hollow of the curls just like the hollow of the wave. Then you have a little loop that pops up ..Do you follow what I mean? You can use the “Bad” wool for cores. No need to throw wool away!!

      • Maybe i can save some curls by cutting them off…i’ll try and use it as a core if that doesnt work.Its such a pity for all the money ive spent on wrong wool.
        Before i came across your blog i read a lot in other places and they were talking about merino being the best, not mentioning that it is best for wetfelting -as i understand now. Fact is that, because everything is in english or german-nothing in dutch that i found-and just starting this hobby-im not familiar with what everything is called and what is the best….And buying anything from usa is so expensive as well with high postage and customservices that often are 1/2 to 3/4 off the value of the package….

  20. i need help,im new to needle felting and i bought one of those multi needle holder things,how do i know what size they are it dos’nt say on the packet.thank you.lizo9

    • What kind of multi needle holder did you get?

  21. Hi there, I have a question about the size of glass eyes I should buy…so far I have made animals in the 4×5 in. range? Thank you!

    • Hi Cathy,
      For most of my dogs in that size range I use 4mm glass eyes. Of course some breeds would need lager eyes and some smaller. Happy Felting!

  22. dear Gerry,
    was given your web address by Jerry. I hope you can help. i do not needle felt but would love to badly. know of anyone in San Antonio area giving classes???? (that’s not my actual ?). I am a Professional Teddy Bear Artist and bought some eyes from Jerry not paying attn whether they were all looped, about half had a straight wire on the back and i’ve never used those in conjunction with my soft sculptured mohair bears (very different from your beautiful felted creations). Am i over thinking this or do i need to send them back to jer? i don’t know about other teddy bear artists, but gluing is a short cut and shorter lasting. I sew EVERYTHING. it is more permanent and professional for my bears. is there another option?
    thanx for listening. Barb

    • Hi Barb,
      I am on the East Coast so I can’t help with classes in San Antonio. I would just send them back and swap them for the ones that you like.

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