Top 5 Most Asked Questions about Needle Felting
- All you need to get started needle felting is a felting needle, felting cushion and some wool. These items can be purchased through me or you can find all sorts of supplies for felting on Etsy. It is easy and inexpensive to get started with just a small amount of wool. Once you have these basic supplies you can begin your felting journey. Download my free e-book Needle Felting Basics for more information.
2. How do I make a wire armature?
- This is always an easy one for me to answer, “Don’t!” Wire armatures are not necessary. If you start with a firmly felted base, using the right wool and techniques, you will not need a wire armature. Wire armatures are not easy to felt around and therefore I don’t use them. I have more freedom in my felting without them. Wire may be needed in legs, just to make sure they stand up over time, but there are easier ways around this than entire armature. I put a post together on my thoughts on wire armatures that goes into more detail that you may be interested in.
3. What wool do I use and where do I find it?
- There is such a variety of wool to choose from out there and they all felt differently. Some wool felts amazingly well and others not so much. If you have access to wool locally start there, try it out and see how you like it. You will never want to limit yourself to using just one kind because you will never know until you try others, what your favorite will be. I use mainly Romney wool with a mix of others here and there. We raise Romney wool so it is readily available and is what I have used for years. It felts quickly to a nice solid finish. Since I have been asked this question so frequently I have started a blog post series where I am felting my way through the sheep breeds. This has been a great way for me to try out different types of fiber and I share my thoughts on the different types of wool’s feltability in my blog posts. I sell my favorite wool (Romney) here on my website. There is a ton of shops on Etsy that sell wool specifically for felting. Stay away from Super Wash wools, as they will not felt.
4. How do you get such smooth and firm sculptures?
- I believe it is because I start with a firm base, spend a lot of time felting on the felting process and use Romney wool. My sculptures are very solid and heavy. This is how they hold their shape and how I am able to add such detail. It takes a lot of patience and time to felt sculptures to be firm and smooth. I have also found that other wools tend to be slightly spongy and will never felt as solid as my Romney.
- This changes for me depending on what I am making or what I feel like starting with. Most of the time I start with their body, (their midsection) and work my way out. Other times I start with the head and then add the body later. I start with the head when starting a new animal that I have never felted before. The head is the most challanging part of the sculpture and I want to make sure I have it perfect before moving on to the body. This often dictates what size my sculpture will be. Usually if I am struggling on the head it gets bigger and bigger, thus I can make the body to match. If I am confidant on making the head I start with the body.
I hope these answered some of the questions about needle felting you may have had as well!