Monday, 6 May 2013

The beautiful art of needle-felting

I was always intrigued by needle-felting. I found this tutorial on Pinterest and I loved the idea, but I had never tried this technique before, so I didn't dare just giving it a go without reading more about it first.

As I couldn't find the original post online - the link just led me to a Polish "Pinterest-alike" tool - I had to look for information else where. Luckily, I am a member of Crafty Creatives and one of the monthly kits contained a pretty good "how to" for beginners with no previous experience on needle-felting. So below are my thoughts on this tutorial. I am not sure about the elbow pads, but I absolutely adore the idea of adding textured shapes to plain cotton fabric. The possibilities are infinite!

What you will need:

- Wool roving (this is wool that has been twisted, attenuated and freed of foreign matter in the stage before its conversion into yarn. It is more refined than wool batting).
- Felting needle (Caution! Felting needles are covered in tiny barbs - these are what tangles the wool together - and it really hurts if you stab your finger with it, a lot more than with a normal needle or pin).
- A foam pad (you can easily find this at Amazon or Ebay and they came in different sizes, make sure you get the ones specifically designed for needle felting, mainly because of its thickness).
- For this particular tutorial a cookie cutter is used to help with the shape. Although it is not essential, it does help first timers.

Things to keep in mind:

- This process of needle-felting through another fabric is slightly different then just making shapes using your wool straight agains the foam pad.
- Remember to work with layers and to keep your bundles about 1cm thick. You can always add bits here and there as you will see in the next pictures.
- With the wool in place, start stabbing it. Remember you don't need to stab it too far in the foam. The barbs are the the tip of the needle.

Last but not least...

- After working a few layers, remove the cookie cutter (if you're using one) and work your edges. Use the needle to perfect your shape.
- Once you've finished, use an iron to help fixing it. Remember to do it both ways (inside and out). I learnt that spraying some water over it before ironing helps make your shape denser.


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