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The New Craft Craze of Felting

If you’ve never heard the term felting, then you are not alone. Despite the fact that this process has been used for thousands of years, for many people the process of hand transforming carded wool into felt is a relatively new and unknown craft. In its most basic form, felt is created by taking wool roving and repeatedly squeezing it together by hand, applied pressure, or with the use of small barbed needles. This force causes the wool fibers to tangle in millions of tiny knots that stay joined because the animal fibers are coated with microscopic scales. These tiny scales hold the fiber knots in place and create a fabric that is both tight and dense.

Felting works with any animal fiber including wool, alpaca, and cashmere roving or yarn. Plant or synthetic-based yarn or fibers don’t have tiny scales and won’t felt. Different types of fiber produce felt with different and unique qualities, so it’s important to experiment a little before you begin a large and involved felting project.

 

Felting as a form of art is quite popular in many of the European countries; however, it is only in the last decade that interest in working with fibers to create decorations, scarves, purses, and 3D art has begun to flourish in the U.S. Let’s examine some different methods of felting and the type of results they produce.

Nuno Felting

Nuno felting is a Japanese technique that uses hot water, soap, and a rolling process to meld loose animal fibers with sheer fabrics such as silk gauze. When mixed the silk retains its shape and stability but incorporates its original smooth texture with the added softness and rich color of the dyed fibers. You can find multiple examples of this process by searching the internet for felted silk scarves.

Flat Felting

Similar to the Nuno felting process, flat felting uses hot water and soap, but instead of binding the wool fibers to fabric, they are simply bound to each other. Different colors of fiber can be combined for an interesting marbling effect. For a thin flannel that is pliable and can be stitched together, only a couple of layers of fiber are used. For a thicker and more firm end product, more layers are piled on.

Knit Felting

Everyone knows that if you wash and dry a wool sweater, it will shrink making it unwearable, but that’s what a number of crafters are trying for. Old wool, angora and merino sweaters are being recycled for new handicraft projects by purposely shrinking and felting them in the wash. Other clever crafters knit extra-long and loose strips, and then felt the finished product in the washing machine. In both cases, these newly felted fabrics can then be sewn into bags, scarves, or other felt products.

Needle Felting

This is a dry process where chunks of fiber are repeatedly stabbed with small barbed needle tools. This method is often used when creating small felt objects such as Christmas decorations or flowers, stars, etc…

3D Felting

Like sculpting with wet clay, 3D felt sculpting involves adding various shapes of and sizes of fibers to each other and needle felting them into place. Different color accents can also be added using the same technique. Soft sculptures including animal and doll figures can be created by roughly hand shaping clumps of fiber, and then detailing them with felting needles.

What makes the process of felting both fun and satisfying is the burst of creative energy that comes from taking various textures and colors and combining them into something new and beautiful like a one of a kind scarf or doll. Not up to felting yourself? Don’t worry. There are many amazing felted products available to purchase online.

 

Get the Basics Right When Needle Felting

  • The right needle
  • Establishing a foundation
  • Working with an armature
  • Using layers
  • Creating a foundation

Needle felting is the fastest-growing fibre art today. Many people are discovering this wonderful medium, working with wool fibre to create sculptures of all sorts: animals, flowers, figures, to name a few. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll realise just how satisfying it is.

 

Getting started is easy. All you need is a felting needle, some wool fibre and a foam pad to use as your work surface. The foam pad acts to protect your table or lap from the sharp point of the needle and also works as a surface to help manipulate the fibre: adding tension when rolling a new layer into place on a 3-D shape.

Felting needles come in all sizes. For needle felting, those I recommend are the 36, 38, and 40 needles. Remember: the higher the number, the finer the needle. The other aspect of felting needles is their shape. Needles come in a triangle and star-shaped blades. Which to choose? Triangle blades are those used for most general work. You can do most needle felting projects with a 36 triangle needle. They cover large areas quickly and work well in multi-needle holders.

Star-shaped needles have four sides at the tip and are used for finer, detailed work. If a fibre is not attaching well with a triangle tip, a star tip will do the trick. The star needle works for details such as veins on a leaf or eyelids on a face. The needle leaves less of a hole than the triangle blades.

One more thing to remember about needles is that only the tip does the work, so driving more than the tip into the fibre will not give you any better results. I have seen students working too hard, punching the needle into a project when a lighter hand would work the same magic, and tire your wrist less.

One thing I have learned about needle felting is that more is not better. What I mean is, you can take a large wad of fibre and begin poking the needle into it and it will felt, but you’ll have more control over the end result if you build up a shape in finer layers. Establish a firm foundation and add layers from there.

Let’s use an example: Say you want to make a head. Begin with a long fine strip of fibre. It should be somewhat see through. Fold it once or twice, and then begin rolling it into an egg shape for the head. Drag the fibre towards you across the foam pad, which adds a little drag and tension to the wool, so the layers adhere to each other tightly. As you roll, stop and work with the needle to start the felting process. Once the strip is rolled up, felt it and add the next layer, rolling and dragging it as before.

If you are creating a flower shape, layout a fine layer of fibre in one direction and criss-cross it with the next layer in the opposite direction. Felt a little and begin establishing the shape, then add another fine layer, and so on.

The same rules apply when working with an armature. Once the armature is prepared, begin wrapping fine strips of fibre around one section at a time, building the figure up from the inside. A firm foundation will give a much better basis to build detail into the figure later.

Now you understand the keys to successful felting. I hope you’ll get hooked as I did and enjoy this hobby for years to come.

Tips on Felting Wool Yarn

If there is one thing that I have been able to do when it comes to doing laundry through the years is shrink clothes so that’s why felting is fun because you shrink items on purpose. Natural wool fibers become felt when they are exposed to heat, moisture, and pressure. Can you imagine what would happen to our domestic sheep if we didn’t hear them? Eventually, their wool would felt over time so lucky for them that we shear them on a regular basis. Felting has been around for many years; in fact, archaeological digs have produced garments, tent, and even shoes in Europe that have survived showing the durability of felted fabrics.

 

Here are a few tips if you are going to try felting for the first time.

When you are initially knitting your project make sure that you use knitting needles that are at least two sizes bigger than what the pattern calls for because felting it will definitely shrink the original size. The best way to make sure your end up with the correct size is to do a small sample and see how much it will shrink first so you don’t end up spending a lot of time on a project where the size doesn’t work out. After you have your item knitted be sure to finish all the ends securely including any seams that you might have before you start the felting process. You could end up with a mess if you don’t take the time to finish your project correctly. If you have one available a zippered pillowcase will work great for putting your items in to be washed. If you don’t have a zippered one just securely tie the opening closed before you put it in the machine. Adding a pair of jeans to the load to help with the agitation or even an old towel will aid in helping the felting process. You can do it without adding anything but you may have to do it more than once to achieve the look and size that you are aiming for. You will only need to add a small amount of wool wash for detergent so usually a teaspoon full will be adequate. Just run a short cycle with your machine of hot water and a cold water rinse and if your machine doesn’t let you stop and drain the water before the spin cycle is sure and use the gentle spin cycle Gently roll the item in a towel to remove as much moisture as possible and then lay it out in the shape you desire on a dry towel to let it dry. Once you reach this step and you find that your item is not felted enough you can just run it through again but be careful because once it is too small you will not be able to unfelt it. Rewetting the item and stretching it will increase the size some but maybe not enough for what you need. If you use wool that has been bleached for a light dye it will sometimes affect the way that the wool reacts to felting. Always make a small sample swatch and try felting that first so you will know how the fabric will react.

Hopefully, these tips will help make your felting process more enjoyable. Felting is a fun way to take an item that may look huge and out of shape and come out a completely different fabric after running it through the wash. To save some frustration start you may want to start out with some simple squares and make a set of coasters first.

Arts And Also Crafts Idea For Everyone

Making products of your own by pursuing arts as well as crafts projects is a wonderful means to express your innovative side and also get some invited leisure. However, perhaps you are questioning what type of activity fits you best or how to do the crafts you currently love also better. This post is intended to give useful advice on those subjects.

It can be a discomfort to start a craft task and also have to relocate to one more area, so ensure that the room you commit for the task is not needed for anything else. As an example, it is not a great concept to make use of a dining-room table if there is an opportunity the job won’t be done by the next mealtime.

Look online for concepts for crafting. The Web is loaded with ideas of interesting new jobs. Despite the age of the people doing these projects, you need to be able to find something for everybody online.

Do not make the blunder of believing that you need to pay a great deal of cash for arts and also craft products. Attempt utilizing old scrap products you contend residence for your next job. Things like old towels, bottle caps, and also paper bags have actually all been made use of to produce work of arts.

Maintain a committed craft area. If you do not have an area devoted to crafts, try preparing the craft to be performed in a specific quantity of time. You can craft on your cooking area table, but if it’s not ended up and also you require to utilize your table for dinner, it is really irritating to clean up as well as begin once again.

To make your mosaic ceramic tiles lie uniformly, put spacers in between them to hold them in position while the mortar underneath them solidifies. Without spacers, it is tough to line them up appropriately, due to the fact that also one of the most eagles of eyes gets off line currently as well as then, as well as you wind up with an untidy mosaic.

If Arts and Crafts are trying to find different kinds of materials to do projects with as well as you don’t desire to spend a great deal of loan on them, you should have a look at yard sales in your regional location. Points like old, split vases and made use of curtains are wonderful art products, so go to as numerous garage sale as you can to glean new materials.

Doing arts and crafts products doesn’t need to be costly. There are several manner ins which you can reduce prices if you are imaginative and recycle frequently made use of the product you currently own in your residence. Don’t acquire a pricey art combination. Don’t toss those egg cartons when they are vacant since they’ll make a great scheme.

Pine cones are excellent products for vacation crafts. Not only do they seem like vacations, they additionally scent wonderful as well! Plus, if you live in the nation, you can find them free of cost around your neighborhood. You can get extremely imaginative with want cones, including making want cone porcelain figurines.

Creating things with your own hands is what many individuals love regarding arts and crafts. Though you might have been interested regarding whether there may brand-new means to explore the globe of arts and crafts that may supply an also much better experience, we wish you are questioning no much longer. Delighted crafting!

Felting and Felting – The Perfect Combination

Felting should be wholly avoided if at all possible. Felting isn’t hard to do and you are able to jump right in. Felting is an irreversible procedure, but don’t forget that no matter the last effect of your felting, there’s a use for it somewhere. It is widely used in the hat industry. After completing it you will be quite comfortable felting all on your own. It could be napped or napless. Here is all you need to begin!

Making pot holders is fast and simple, and they’re an excellent gift any time of year. I never fail to question a business card that doesn’t have a business address printed on it. The wooden Ashford felting needle punch enables you to store felting needles securely in the punch when not being used. Here are some strategies for successful felting. Needle felting is utilized in industrial processes in addition to in individual crafting. Needle felting looks like a complicated craft full of all sorts of unfamiliar tools, but don’t be intimidated. Textile historians suspect that felting has existed far longer than knitting and weaving, since it’s relatively easy to accomplish in comparison with both of these techniques.

Felting needles arrive in different gauges. It’s not essential to punch the needles all of the way through. Needle felt fun designs the simple way. In case the needle won’t go in the wool readily, don’t force it! Felting needles are extremely sharp! Unique needles arrive with varying quantities of barbs. These little needles are used for a long time in the introduction of commercial felt and are currently being discovered by individual felters.

If you keep on working it, it is going to grow thicker and smaller, because you’re losing air space, not wool. Wool can create felting even when mixed with different fibres. When it gets wet, the small scales of the individual hairs open up, and agitation causes the scales to interlock with each other, forming a solid mat of material. Spread out the very first portion in order for the wool evenly covers the base of the pan, with all the fibers running in the exact same direction. Now you’re ready to wet the wool. Part 1 will reveal to you the basic steps involved with wet felting wool.

When a textile that has already been made is subjected to a similar procedure, it’s referred to as fulling. The subsequent textile is called felt or boiled wool, based on regional terminology. Any sort of garment will do the job so long as the fabric isn’t polyester or a different synthetic that’s prone to melting with prolonged heat exposure.

The 5-Minute Rule for Felting

Preparing the Fiber Once you understand how well your fiber will felt and decide the type of project you want to make, you must prepare your fibers. Make sure you use a suitable fiber for the undertaking. It is slightly more expensive than another fibers, but it felts quickly and easily and is offered in a wide array of dyed colors. Fiber shrinks as it’s wet felted. Outback Fibers has plenty of instruction and information regarding the ancient craft of Felting.