February 8, 2011

Tips and Tricks Tuesday: Needle Felting

Every Tuesday, Katie Moore of MutantAngel will bring you Tips and Tricks related to the Needle Arts and Etsy.

Needle felting seems a little bit like magic, doesn't it? A ball of what looks like useless fluff somehow turns into a tiny bird or a beautiful piece of jewelry. I've seen needle felting demonstrations at the North Carolina State Fair, and even tried the art for a few minutes, but it still amazes me. I decided to do some research to see how it's done.

Needle felting is unlike other types of felting because you don't need soap and water. You use a special type of needle with a barb on the end and repeatedly push it in and out of a piece of wool roving. It sounds simple, but the trick is shaping the wool into something other than a weird little knot. The use of templates or wire "skeletons" helps crafters create unique shapes and creatures.

(What is "wool roving", you ask? My layman's understanding is that it is basically cleaned wool that has been threshed and/or dyed. Basically, wool that's not straight-off-the-sheep, but not made into anything yet either.)

Several places mention to be VERY CAREFUL with felting needles... Apparently they are much longer than normal needles and since you're quickly jabbing them in an up-and-down motion one can easily injure a finger! This is not a craft for unsupervised children.

Make a Needle Felted GNOME -- I'll admit I'm not "into" gnomes, but this is just too cute and actually seems do-able.

Etsy seller FancyTiger sells several tutorials for needle felted pieces -- The "T-Bone" is my favorite.

If you're like me and love the look of needle felted pieces but are already "taken" by another type of Needle Art, why not purchase a needle felted piece from one of out EtsyNEAT artists, WoolyfeltCreations?


  1. I thought so too! That whole little scene would be adorable set up in an aquarium... Fish that you don't have to feed!!

  2. I am so amazed at what needle felters can do! Especially when they take their felted projects and embroider onto them!

  3. Great now another thing to try. he he. Thanks for the tutorial.

  4. I have always thought this seemed really difficult...maybe I should give it a try!


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