Monday 10 December 2012

It's never FELT so good...

Needle felting is both a relaxing and a creative craft form loved by many and misunderstood by some. Contrary to belief it's not just for making beads or components for other projects nor is it all about naff poorly made dust collectors. I've seen a few of those but in general the majority of needle felting I've seen has been pretty amazing!

Amazing dogs felted by Gai:

Milo & Ben:

So it's "relaxing" you ask? It's much more then that...I believe this discipline can help you release your inner sculpture or sculptress!
Yes, it does help reduce stress as there's a lot of stabbing but I see it as a form of sculpting and not just in the way you create the 3D pieces but also in the method used, in the squeezing, forming with your fingers and building up of the piece. In a way it's a bit like clay yet softer and a lot less messy!

There is a massive array of roving, lots of colours, textures and types. That's what you call the main's also used to make yarn so it's pretty much the wool before it's been spun!
I use a lot of the "basic" roving though I have used the heavier stuff which is made form different type of wool. Just like in knitting yard you'll have different types and weights: angora, sheep wool etc.
Sourcing your materials is easy as there are quite a few on line retailers. I've used Forest Fibers which are really helpful and will be happy to guide any novices if you ring them for advice. There are also different needle gauges. This blog post was an invaluable resource:


I discovered needle feting because of Charlotte Haines-Lyon who's a master and an artist. I watched in amazement as she took a hand full of what looked like candy floss and then made it into an actual 3D object. I was hooked (pardon the pun)! She's one clever lady and she's also an inspiring teacher. Because of her I started experimented with felting and have gone from making simple shapes like mustaches to more intricate birds and even miniature cat portraits made form cat fur... Now, now don't judge cat fur is actually cleaner then sheep fleece and yes these portraits were made from the actual cat's hair! Cats, especially Persians are great for harvesting fur and just like angora which is rabbit fur it's a really great material to felt.

Below is a little bird I made for a workshop back in August... If you'd like to make one we have a few kits ready to purchase. £6.50 includes all materials, illustrated instructions and postage (UK only. Please contact us for international postage when ordering).
Email us your order via our address...

For basic instructions on how to get started on needle felting visit: 

Otherwise search for online tutorials on "You Tube" as there are quite a few!

Here's a fun felting with cat fur book which I absolutely love...

By Kaori Tsutaya
And my own cat fur felting experience...

The beautiful Jassie Mo and her mini self

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