Posted by: gourmetfelted | April 18, 2015

Your Needle Felting Questions answered~part one~WHY do I keep Breaking FELTING NEEDLES by Gourmet Felted

Oops! Broke another needle! HELP!

I rarely break a needle. Maybe one every 3 months or so. The number one cause of needle breaking is SIDEWAYS PRESSURE!! If you go in at an angle and don’t come out at the same angle, it creates pressure on one side and SNAP! Always go in and out the same way WITHOUT moving the needle to one side or another. Felting needles are hardened steel that are very brittle.

Another way to break needles is trying to move the wool over a little with the tip of the needle. DON’T do it! Use a broken needle or a pin instead of your felting needle when you want to move your wool over to the side a little.

Another way to break a needle is using a wire armature and hitting it too hard. When you are felting into a sculpture with a wire armature in it, you have to back off slightly as soon as the tip of your needle hits the wire. Try to felt along one side of the wire and then the other. Be gentle when you are putting on the first layer of wool around the wire.

Another way that you can break a needle doesn’t even make sense, but it’s happened to me more than once! Sticking the needle into the foam too hard when you set it down. Also if you tap the needle on the side while it is in the foam then SNAP! Just did that a couple a days ago. Don’t you just hate that!? I’ve broken the most needles this way believe it or not!!

When do your needles break?



  1. I am getting so much valuable information on your Blog Gerry , Thank you! I break an average of two needles a week . Mostly when I stick the needle into the wool and then try to move it to the right or left while still in the wool . I have to try and remember to NOT do that again 😦

  2. So far I’ve only broken one needle, and it was from pure carelessness on my part. I had put my needle into the foam and then leaned over to pick something up from the floor. I leaned into the needle and “snap!” It did drive home to be careful not only while felting but to be careful when the needles are elsewhere!

  3. I have broken a few needles on my armature wire as well. I get into the “zone” and felt away overzealously and sure enough, if you hit the wire, your needle breaks :(. I have also had needles, just like on a sewing machine, start to bow in one direction as you use it over and over. Eventually, if you do not reposition the way you hold the needle, it will eventually break on you, if you can get a little overzealous like I can :).

  4. I am in Australia and did needle felting many years ago. Boy has it come a long way since then. I would like you to Please direct me to needle felting with long or curly hair as shown in many of your puppy subjects. Is this done with a special needle? hugs Patti.

    • Hi Patti,
      I use a regular felting needle for curly wool or straight. I usually use a #36 coarse needle and a #38 star needle for silky fibers. The technique is more important than the needle I believe. Thanks for your question. I hope that I answered it?

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