The Felting Needle
If you are just learning about needle felting you may be wondering what a felting needle is and how it works. Maybe you have been using a felting needle for awhile and wonder why they have the shape they have and what else they are used for.
There is a reason for their shape and size. Felting needles are designed to be used in industrial felting machines to do felting at a much larger scale. Thousands of felting needles are in these machines making nonwoven fabric or felt sheets.
I have included a video from Groz Beckert below that shows exactly how the needles are used in the industrial felting machines. It does an excellent job of showing exactly how a felting needle works.
How a Felting Needle Works
At the bottom of the felting needle are tiny little barbs. The needles come in different shapes such as star or triangle etc. and the barbs are cut out around the sides of the needle. When the needle is stabbed into the wool the barbs grab the strands of wool and pull them down but not back up again. When the needle is stabbed into the wool over and over it helps to entangle the wool on itself. Wool has tiny scales on each fiber shaft that help it to stick together once it is entangled. The wool becomes firmly entangled together the more the felting needle is stabbed into it making it more dense and firm.
The video below shows me needle felting a small amount of wool. It takes some time for the needle to pull all the fiber into itself and lock it together. The needle has been placed in a needle holder to make it easier to use. Learn more about my favorite needle holder here.
What this Needle can Do
One tiny single needle can help you do some amazing things with wool. The Felting Needle can take wool and turn it into amazing sculptures. If you are interested in learning more about needle felting you can find loads of information here at Bear Creek Felting. Learn how needle felting works Here or start your very first needle felting project here. If you are looking to advance you needle felting skills you need to check out the Bear Creek Needle Felting Academy.