Needle felting with wool is a popular trend among crafters and artists. This is a good hobby for those who enjoy textiles, hand work, and designing unique gifts, clothing, and accessories.
My daughter and I are enjoying learning about this interesting art form and would like to share the fun with you.
Learning About Felting
At a fall quilting expo, a representative from Bird Brain Designs was poking away at a bit of wool roving, attaching it to a vest. I had never seen anyone needle felting before, but my college aged daughter knew right away what the woman was doing. She was using a special barbed felting needle to poke the fuzzy roving into the fabric of the vest. By simply poking in and pulling out the needle, the woman quickly created a flower petal. Apparently, the barbs on the needles sort of grab the roving and the fibers of the cloth, and they become “felted” together. It is amazingly fast and simple.
According to Bird Brain Designs, needle felting is becoming very popular, especially with teens and college aged young adults. On their website they say needle felting “is an old needlework technique that is enjoying new interest with updated designs and tools.”
They go on to describe the technique, explaining that 100% wool roving is felted into designs “using special needles with tiny barbs on the tips.” Needle felting supplies such as these can be purchased at some craft stores or online.
With just a few supplies (see the link directly above), you are ready to start creating. Just about anyone can learn to do felting in just an hour or two. Check out this instructional video for an example of tutorials available for free online.
Pretty things like simple flowers are nice designs for beginners. Felted shapes can then be added to scarves, made into jewelry, or used in other ways. One of my first attempts was an Easter egg which I tacked onto my bulletin board for decoration. I started with a plain egg-shaped piece of wool cloth.
Personally, I am amused by making little shaped dolls. They are quick and forgiving (ie. no one will know if I goof) and make people smile. How about starting with some silly zombie dolls?
Craft Some Felted Zombies?
If you are looking for unique gifts, Zombie Felties might be just the ticket.
In the book, Zombie Felties: How to Raise 16 Gruesome Felt Creatures from the Undead, Nicola Tedman and Sarah Skeate have come up with some amusing designs. Teens, especially, will love the ideas in this book. These are also fun for boys to craft, as they are not too cutesy.
Custom Felting Patterns Made by You
If zombies are not your thing, you might like creating your own designs. This can be done by drawing simple shapes, sort of like you find in a coloring book. Transfer the design onto a backing material and use the needles to punch the roving in and color inside the lines. Easy! Some easy shapes to try might include cupcakes, hearts, stars, and letters. How about adding a monogram to that old wool sweater?
I will be sharing some of our creations in the near future. In the meantime, see Wool Roving in Trendy Colors for Needle Felting for some fun ideas.