Posted by: gourmetfelted | December 28, 2014

Your Needle Felting Questions Answered by Gourmet Felted

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QUESTION  :

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?

ANSWER:

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!
~Gerry

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I have been busy, busy, busy felting Custom Dog & Cat sculptures. Now you can try one! My sheep kit can also make dogs with poseable coats like the Bichon Frise shown here.

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The baby lamb curls are adorable on Miniature Poodles!

I use Prime Materials in my kits such as:
Steel wire for superior durability
Imported Glass eyes for that special sparkle
#38 star felting needle along with #36 coarse for fast felting!
Core wool and prime curly wool

FREE for sheep
Cute Rusty bell on raffia for collar and
Green wool to make a grassy patch for your sheep or lamb

FREE bling collar for dog

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Curly coats are great for beginners because if you make a mistake it is hidden by curls! I love making curly coated dogs as the curls are fun to add!

Here is my kit. Please let me know if you would rather have black or gray curls!

https://www.etsy.com/listing/203969528/needle-felted-dog-kit-curly-coat?ref=sr_gallery_1&ga_search_query=needle+felted+dog+kit&ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery

I am available most of the time if you need any help or have questions!

Happy Felting!

~Gerry

Posted by: gourmetfelted | January 14, 2014

Needle Felted Cat by Gourmet Felted ~ What size felting needle?

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Here is a fluffy Siberian long furred Silver tabby cat that I felted using  #36 and #38 star felting needles.

Question: I recently received this question. When do you know it is time to go to the next size needle?

Answer:

That is a really good question! If you have felted something to the point that the needle doesn’t do anything anymore, then a finer needle is needed. The finer needles are the higher numbers. A #38 star needle is good as it has an extra row of barbs which grab the wool better.

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Question: What is the best size felting needle to use?

I think that there are no hard rules on this.  My favorite is a #36 needle. Years ago when I started needle felting all that was easily available were #36 coarse needles.  So that is what I used for two years and everything was fine. I always use a #36 needle. I use coarse wool for the core as it felts fast and provides a firm base to felt fur into. The coarse #36 needle is great for this. I also use a #38 medium star needle. This needle usually costs a little more but it is really worth it.  I use this needle for face detailing as it is a shorter needle which gives more control for the little area of the face.

Fine needles #40 or #42

Once in a while I do use fine needles if I am using fine wool for a very smooth surface layer like skin.  The thinner needles make smaller holes. If you use a #36 coarse needle the holes would be much larger on a fine wool like merino.

So all in all I really do believe that felting needle size is a personal choice and depends on the fiber that you use,  how firm that you want to felt it and  what you like best.

Happy Felting!

~Gerry

Posted by: gourmetfelted | November 24, 2013

Needle Felting Poem from Gourmet Felted giveaway

This is such a lovely poem on Needle Felting, that I just had to post this again! This was from a givaway asking the question…what do you like about needle felting! I’m sure that we all can relate to this!   Congratulations Cindy! Thank you for the lovely poem!
Please let me know which wool that you would like as a thank you. Just go to my Etsy shop and pick one out!
http://www.etsy.com/shop.gourmetfelted
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I sit here in my quiet space
Putting aside the day I’ve faced
Eagerly pulling my basket out
This is MY moment without a doubt.

So soft, the fiber between my fingers
I only wish this time could linger
For so many ideas run through my mind
If only I could find a little more time!

In and out the needle goes
What shape is next? Maybe toes?
Maybe eyelashes, or a tiny pout….
Alas, evening turns night…time has run out!

Yet tomorrow is another day,
I’ll do my work and then I’ll play!
I’ll sit there in my quiet space
and felt away the day I faced.
~cea~

Thanks so much for inviting me to this blog…I was very pleased to see so many instructions as I am always eager to learn. I can see this site will be a great way for me to advance my beginner skills! Felting is a beautiful hobby. I paint pet portraits, and often they keep me in my art room, away from my family. Felting is something that I can do in solitude or in the presence of my family. I can start and stop at the drop of a hat, I can even take my basket with me while I wait for someone at the doctor’s office. I have hopes of using the pieces that I make to help toward the animals I rescue. It’s a very comforting hobby and I am so glad I have stumbled upon it and the wonderful people I have met through it. Many thanks, Cindy

New Improved Pumpkin Tutorial. Even EASIER and faster than my previous version!  Fancier too!

Yes that right! It is easier! I have some Custom Made Wool Batting that is simply gorgeous!

WHAT IS BATTING?

Batting is made of layers of wool in colors carefully picked.  Then the wool is put through a carding machine and the colors are all combed together loosely. You can see the different shades of orange wool that is highlighted with golden silk. There is a brown for the stem and greens for the leaves.  I had this batting made of specific colors that I wanted for my pumpkin kits. All of the details are in the batting, so you can make a base pumpkin and then wrap it up in the batting. It is so fancy it looks like you worked on it all day..but you didn’t!

STEP ONE:

MAKE A BASE.

I like the  pumpkin that is the Cinderella shape. I felted in a line to make ridges that go around the pumpkin. I use coarse wool for the core and it saves on felting the whole thing out of the more expensive colored wool. The coarse wool felts faster and makes a firm base to felt into.

Make a ball and felt it together with a #36 coarse needle.Whatever size that you start with, after you felt it, it will be about 1/4 of the size, depending on how firmly that you felt it.  You may have to add more wool a few times before you end up with the size that you want.

STEP TWO:

Ok , now for the fun stuff!!! Let’s add the color!!

Wrap the base with a piece of the wool batting. Felt it together on the top and bottom.  Next felt in some grooves all around. The batting has darker shades of orange that show in the grooves.

STEP THREE:

Make a stem. Take a piece of the tan wool and folded  in half before felting.I split the base into 3 pieces to form the base of the stem. Felt into a steam shape with the base unfelted. Felt the bottom over the top of the pumpkin as pictured.

STEP FOUR:

I added a leaf and some mohair curls for tendrils. I put a little of the brownish purple on the bottom.

That’s it!  Now you have a little masterpiece pumpkin. Each one is unique!

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO TRY MY NEW NEEDLE FELTING PUMPKIN KIT SEE IT IN MY ETSY STORE. **Just click below. Includes the gorgeous pumpkin batting, 2 felting needles, core wool, tan wool, green wool and BONUS green mohair curls for tendrils!

http://www.etsy.com/listing/32260130/learn-needle-felting-pumpkin-kit-diy-by?ref=v1_other_2

Feeling more ambitious? I have a new SILK pumpkin kit that makes gorgeous pumpkins in any color that YOU choose! You make doodles with the silk strands to decorate it! Each is one of a kind!

http://www.etsy.com/listing/15579083/make-a-needle-felted-fantasy-pumpkin-diy?ref=sr_gallery_8&ga_search_query=needle+felted+pumpkin+kit&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=ZZ&ga_min=0&ga_max=0&ga_search_type=all

HAPPY FELTING!

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You may wonder..how do I custom blend wool to get just the right color? Well search no more..you have stopped at the right spot!

HOW TO CUSTOM BLEND YOUR OWN WOOL COLORS!!!

First gather together what you need. I have my 2 file cards from the hardware store, some black alpaca and some fawn alpaca. These were under $10 each which is a lot better than $75 for wool hand carders!  I need to make some fur the color of a shepherd with the tan and black mix. Before you start, make sure that your carders are clean. I used a felting needle to carefully pick out the wool, as I had just mixed some white and pink for my chinese crested and I didn’t want either of those colors in the black and tan mix.

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STEP ONE:
Lay the black alpaca on the file catching the tips on the teeth of the file. Watch out for the wires! I got poked on one of them! OUCH!!

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STEP TWO:

Next I laid a THIN layer of the fawn alpaca on top of the black alpaca. A little goes  a long way to blend color in. I always start with a small amount as more can be added if needed.carding-wool-006

STEP THREE:

Next you just brush them together. I like to brush away from my body and then towards it to mix it up well. Keep brushing until the colors are blended in the way that you want them to be. brush…. brush…..brush…..

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This is pretty much the color that I needed for my dog. There are some lighter areas on the dog, so I can use the lighter areas out of the mix. That’s all there is to it. Total time is about a minute or so. You can now make your own custom colors!!!

Posted by: gourmetfelted | October 10, 2013

Your Needle Felting Questions Answered~Can I Felt Pet fur?

I frequently get asked if pet hair can be felted? The answer is…it depends on the fur. I felted cat fur for the cat sculpture that I made here. It was the fluffy undercoat so it worked out fine. I still had to blend it with other wool to get the right color. If you have hair that is short and slippery like lab fur, chihuahua fur,and the like, it would be very hard to felt. The fluffy undercoat of dogs is easiest to felt. Such as collies, sheltie, huskies, shepherds,poms , and any breed that is double coated. Poodle hair works as does yorkie fur. Yorkie fur has to be worker a little more. It is sweet to use your pet fur in a pet sculpture as it makes a special keepsake that can become a family heirloom. The best thing to do is experiment and see what you can do!!

3 little bearsThese sweet little bears were felted from pure cat fur made by someone who runs a CAT RESCUE. Now that is recycling!!LOL!!

~~~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?

HAPPY FELTING!!

Posted by: gourmetfelted | September 10, 2013

How to Clean your Needle Felted Dog /Cat /Animal / Item ~Gourmet Felted

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I just finished this Needle Felted Yorkie Sculpture of a cute Yorkie named Bebe. She is a Custom Pet Portrait and is fully poseable.

QUESTION:

I just received a needle felted cat as a present.  Do you have any advice on how to care for these sculptures?

I am worried that my cuddling will wear out my new darling as I love to touch him!  Thank you for your help.

ANSWER:

>>>>>>CARING FOR NEEDLE FELTED ITEMS<<<<<<<

Long coated fur SHOULD NOT be combed or brushed. It is better to use a large needle to gently “comb’ the fur. Trim any strays instead of pulling out.

As you may have guessed, keeping them behind glass is the beat way to protect them. Of course many people don’t have that available.

I have read to use a dampened cloth, blower duster, hair dryer, or tape.

DON”T!

Don’t ever use moisture with them. If you wet the wool then the dust will stick even more to them.
A hairdryer could also blow the dust in deeper than it will blow off.
Tape is a good way to raise a little bit of fuzz, so unless you want a fuzzy look on a formerly smooth coat, I’d avoid tape. It could also pull out fur!
It also won’t reach the dust settled down into the fibers because unlike mohair, which has a backing/base, there is no ‘base’ to needle felted items.

A small vacuum is good to suck the dust off. Before you use it though, it is a good idea to make sure that everything is firmly attached to your sculpture. You can use a full sized vacuum, with a sock or hosiery over the wand head. Hold it on tightly with a rubber band. You can also slide open the side vent on the tube that some vacuums have for dusting drapes so there is less suction.

If you handle your pieces a lot, be sure to wash your hands EVERY time before touching them. The oils in your hands won’t be obvious, but over time will leave a film which will hold dust even firmer. So all in all, it is easier to keep them clean rather than trying to clean them later. Enjoy your new wool sculpture!
~Gerry

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 and the winner is Laureen L. Lacey! congrats!! Please pick out your wool felting fiber which will come with 2 needles! gfelted.etsy.com. Thank you!~Gerry

gourmet blend 008free-wool-002Yes I have had my needle felting blog for almost FIVE years!! Wow does time fly!

I am thanking  all of my followers with a chance to win FREE needle felting wool and a FREE felting needle AND a reverse felting needle!! A reverse felting needle is great to pull out a halo of short fibers all around your feltie to make short fur!

Photos show my fluffy alpaca assortment and my gourmet fiber mix to try new felting fibers such as silk, angora bunny and mohair!

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TWO STEPS TO ENTER

( 1)FOLLOW me on Twitter

(2)Tweet my shop

http://www.gourmetfelted.etsy.com

click Twitter below

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Winner will be chosen on August 21st which is my five year anniversary! yay!!

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

Happy Felting!

~Gerry

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