Tuesday, March 2, 2010
What is Needle Felting?
Whenever I say "I do needle felting" to friends and acquaintances, even fellow crafters, I most often get a blank stare. "Is that like knitting?" "Oh, that's that crewel thing, right?' "Does it involve sewing?" All guesses, none correct. Needle felting is using a special, sharp barbed needle (or several at a time in a holder) to make designs with colored wool, or to make three-dimensional objects. It takes advantage of a property of wool fibers, that is, to lock together when poked with this special needle. There is another kind of felting, called wet felting, which involves this same locking quality of wool, but is done through the use of water, soap and mild pressure with a felting stone. Felt can also be made solely by pressure and is one of the oldest fabrics know to man....
It all started innocently enough, when my sister in law gave me a piece of felted wool fabric called a batt. I brought the batt to a fiber festival (yes, they exist) and got very quick instructions from a kind, but busy, vendor on how to make a design using colored wool. I bought materials from her and other vendors and my first attempt is pictured above.
What I intend to do with this time-limited blog is to give you some instruction and ideas in needle felting (and, from time to time, other crafts). Some basic skill at drawing is helpful for some projects, but not necessary. It is not a difficult craft, it is lots of fun and it is not expensive. So, till next time, I'll be needlin' around!