I had a question about felting with polyfill. My friend is allergic to wool and unsure about other animal fibres and we were told he could use polyfill
Are there any tricks to using it ? How smooth/finished will it come out with the synthetic, compared to traditional wool?
When I started needle felting I used polyfill for my core bases. It felts well except for the kind that is in flat sheets and is used for a quilt. The fibers were too short to felt together at all. Then I would use any of the vegan fibers available for fur. The final look would be the same as using all animal products. Sometimes I use vegan fibers for people who are allergic and request it.
Some people have used polyfill and foam for the inside of a really large piece. This would save on wool which is more expensive than polyfill or foam. I recycle the softer foam that you get in packages in the mail to felt on.
I rarely use “traditional wool” which is usually merino for my sculptures. It is very fine and takes much longer to felt firmly. It is good for a smooth surface like skin. If you use a fine felting needle like a #40 or #42 then the holes are smaller as the needles are thinner. I like to use a coarse wool for my bases as the wool felts faster and is much stronger.
Thanks for your great question! Happy Felting!