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Wool Felting and Needle Felting

Updated on September 13, 2014

Everyone can make Wool Felt!!!

I adore Wool Felting. It is much easier than you would think to make felt by hand. Once you have made a piece of Felt you will be addicted.

Felt doesn't have to be thick, there are many Felt makers who make very fine almost cobwebby Wool Felting that is so delicate and fragile, its almost like lace. It can be very beautiful made this way.

Come along with me and read this lens and I will show you how to make felt, how to felt an old wool sweater and make it into something wonderful and I will tell you all the tools you will need to make Felt.

This gorgeous Felted Jacket pictured was made by my friend Pearl Moon!

Felting Instructions

Wet Felting

It's amazing to think you can gather some Wool roving, some towels and bubblewrap, some Liquid washing up soap and hot water and soon you will have a gorgeous piece of Felt. Yes that's all you need.1: Lay down a few towels and put a layer of nylon mesh curtain fabric on top of it near the sink on your kitchen bench.2: Take your coloured wool roving and pull a length from the long sausage shape. Lay that down on the nylon mesh piece by piece over lapping and all going the same direction.3: Now start again with the roving pieces in the opposite direction.4: If you want thick felt, then add another layer going in the opposite direction again.5: Now its time to add another layer of the nylon mesh.6: Take some liquid washing up soap and spray that all over the mesh into the wool. Soap it up by moving your fingers all over it.7: Add some Very Hot water onto the Felt and mix it with the soap and use your fingers on it again.Our Aim here is to get the wool roving to shrink with the heat and the soap and change into Felt.8: Now roll the layers of nylon mesh and roving over a large piece of bubble wrap until it is all rolled up.9: Roll the roll backwards and forwards 100 times.10: Check to see if the fibers are all together. If they are not do some more rolling. If they are you can now ease the wool felt away from both layers of mesh.11: Bang and throw the felt into the clean sink 10 times.12: Rinse it well in the hot water then lay it out flat to dry,Well Done, you have made your first piece of felt.This amazing Scarf was made by my friend Pearl Moon from NSW

Needle Felting

Needle felting is a process by which felt is created with barbed needles. The needles are used to force the fibers into each other, creating a web of interlocking fibers.Needle felting is simple, fast and easy. The wool fibers in a ball of yarn or wool roving will become entangled or blended with the fibers in the base fabric when a burred needle(s) are repeatedly inserted through the fibers.Needle felting is simple to learn and has become extremely popular with a variety of crafters, from quilters to doll makers.It requires minimal supplies, can be done almost anywhere, and with only a bit of practice yields beautiful, professional results.The picture is of some Felting my friend Pearl Moon did using her felting machine.

Felting Projects

Felting Sweaters

If you can buy some cheap woollen sweaters from a thrift shop you can felt them and make some wonderful things. I love felted bags for instance.To shrink and felt the sweaters, just put them into a washing machine with laundry soap and Hot Hot water.Run them through the normal cycle then dry them in the dryer on Hot.When you open the dryer you will have a shrunken sweater which has felted. You can now cut it out into any pattern you want and it won't fray or unravel at all.

More About Felting With Wool.

Wool from most commercial sheep can take up to 10 times longer to felt, and the resulting material will be coarse and hairy. However this coarse wool can be useful for needle felting.Wool, alpaca and mohair in any combination are the usual choices. The yarn cannot be chemically altered so it is machine-washable and it cannot be bleached.Wool is laid out in layers with each layer going in a different direction. Hot water and soap is added, gentle agitation begins.Wool fibers have scales and are also crimped. When these fibers are wet and softened and then rubbed together they grab each other and are permanently bound together.Wool fibers have scales which when rubbed against each other catch and lock into place to create this denser material called felt. Felting needles are used to entangle the fibers.Wool shops and specialty shops such as Winter wood Steiner Inspired Toys(online store also available, see Winterwoodtoys.com.au also carry the needles.There are two types available, a single needle in various sizes or a multiple needle holder

Wet Felting Video

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    • profile image

      miaponzo 5 years ago

      OH! This is great information! I'm just starting to learn about felting and it's so much fun!!! Blessed!

    • EndeavourToys profile image

      EndeavourToys 5 years ago

      Nice job on this lens. I'm a fan of needle felting myself. Have you visited my lens on needle felting kits - http://www.squidoo.com/woolpets-needle-felting-kit... If you stop by, please leave me a like and let me know what you think. See you around Squidoo!

    • EndeavourToys profile image

      EndeavourToys 5 years ago

      Nice job on this lens. I'm a fan of needle felting myself. Have you visited my lens on needle felting kits - http://www.squidoo.com/woolpets-needle-felting-kit... If you stop by, please leave me a like and let me know what you think. See you around Squidoo!

    • myraggededge profile image

      myraggededge 5 years ago

      I'm feeling called to yet another craft! Thanks for this interesting information.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 5 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      I knit, but have never felted. It does sound like fun. I may have to try it.

    • FrankChapman LM profile image

      FrankChapman LM 6 years ago

      I never knew this. I'm not the kind of guy who would make this, but you have changed my mind. Looks like fun. My kids would love it.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      Wow, thant's amazing. Never heard of this before so I have really learned something here. Featured on Motivation.

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 6 years ago

      I have only felted using a washing machine for purses and hats. This lens just inspired me to try another method. Blessed by a SquidAngel.

    • NatureMaven profile image

      NatureMaven 8 years ago

      Dear Ms. McDonald, although I am not a felter, I like your lens very much. I invite you to visit my lens, the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, to view some lovely felted photos. Meanwhile I have given this lens 5***** and I lens rolled it to my lens. Happy creating!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      great info on wool felting.http://knittersdepot.com

    • AlisonMeacham profile image

      AlisonMeacham 8 years ago

      Great Lens. Angel Blessings to you

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 8 years ago

      Congratulations for runnerup Best Crafty Lens in the 2008 Giant Squid Awards. Well deserved ! I LOVE wool felt crafts!

    • kerbev profile image

      kab 8 years ago from Upstate, NY

      I'd love to learn how this was done: http://www.flickr.com/photos/beneaththerowantree/2...

    • Sensitive Fern profile image

      Sensitive Fern 8 years ago

      I can see why this lens is nominated for an award. You've whetted my appetite. :) I tried making a felt a knitted purse but it ended up crooked so I think I'll have to make something else out of it. Lensrolled to my Rug Hooking Supplies lens and 5*!

    • profile image

      LizWertz 8 years ago

      Lots of good and new info here. I am a newbie to knitting and textiles, but have felted a few items - one purse sold for $!00 at a charity auction. Great lens!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 8 years ago

      Congratulations on your Giant Squid Awards nomination!

    • profile image

      chidchan 8 years ago

      Nice lense.It's very useful info and very creative :) 5*

    • mistyblue75605 lm profile image

      mistyblue75605 lm 8 years ago

      very well done lens... love the creativity! 5*

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 8 years ago from California

      I've always wondered how felting was done. Now I know. Congrats on the Giant Squid Award nomination! Bear hugs, Frankster

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Congratulations on your 2008 Giant Squid Awards nomination and good luck! - Kathy aka "Pretty Bullet"

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 8 years ago from Royalton

      Wonderfully creative lens. Lensrolled to Natural Math Manipulatives where I talk about using needle felting for math.

    • profile image

      beachbum_gabby 9 years ago

      really cool and very creative. Thanks for sharing again DiMcDonald. :)

    • MerryChicky profile image

      MerryChicky 9 years ago

      Fun lens. I've done knitted felting and needle felting. The soap thing looks really interesting. Hmm...

    • beeobrien lm profile image

      beeobrien lm 9 years ago

      This looks like so much fun. I'm looking forward to checking out your other lenses. 5*

    • M Schaut profile image

      Margaret Schaut 9 years ago from Detroit

      I LOVE felting and using used wool for various projects. This is a lovely page! Favorite and 5 stars- be sure to add these to my groups!