Needle felting is basically the process of transforming wool into 3D objects using a barbed needle. When you felt wool, you’re agitating the fibers so they bond together, and create a solid fabric. Needle felting is pretty famous for its attractive look. Today we will be sharing how to do needle felting properly in 10 steps in 2023.
Fiber/fabric lovers perform three types of felting.
1. First, by using heat, moisture, agitation, and a lot of pressure, you have to squeeze and matt the fiber. And then you need to join them together during the felting process, which people use to create non-woven fabrics. We call the resulting material as “felt” which is a dense fabric with an appealing texture that does not tear. And you can use it for a range of sewing and handicraft tasks. It is possible to join different pieces of felt without sewing them together. Making designs on felt artwork or working on felt toys usually requires this step.
2. The term also describes the process of turning a smooth fabric into a fuzzy mess using heat, moisture, and agitation. Felting is a good option if you like the fuzzy caterpillar-like appearance of the smooth look of your sweater or if you want to give an existing sweater a transformation.
They felt the yarns to give them a fuzzy appearance or to combine with other yarns to create a single yarn with the help of agitation, heat, and moisture. Felting makes lovely fabrics that you can use on both sides, have good bulk and fluff, and don’t tear. With felt making, you can complete this task entirely without sewing a single seam. For instance, you can make a fitting hat entirely without sewing a single seam. Due to the fabric’s density and the warmth-giving properties of the fibers, it is also particularly helpful for producing clothing and accessories that people can wear in extremely cold weather. A good felt fabric should also retain its shape no matter what you do to it once it has been produced and dried.
Decide which fibers you are using in felting
Wool, acrylic, and animal hair are examples of potentially fuzzy fabrics that you can felt, along with cotton and rayon. Both pure fibers and blends of wool and synthetic fibers are acceptable. A frequently used combination is wool and rayon.
When it comes down to it, wool is still the best fiber for felting. You can felt various types of wool including sheep, merino, camels, alpacas, and angora, . All the types of wool fibers do not feel the same. Different weights of fiber feel differently – some become thick, and dense felt, and some don’t.
Although it is a little more expensive than other sheep’s wool fibers, merino is a fast felting one, incredibly soft, and a popular choice for beginners.
Most professionals use cleaned and carded wool roving, often known as clean, carded unspun. fibers with long, combed threads. Another option is to use wool batt, a flat, fluffy sheet of wool.
Plant fibers and wool fibers shrink by at least 20% when wet. When compared to medium and coarse wool, fine wool produces a fabric that is thicker and denser. People use Belgian hare fur to create felt that is both soft and completely flexible. When compared to sheep, alpaca wool is finer.
Decide on the method of felting
Depending on the materials used and the agitation method, there are various ways of felting. Dry felting and wet felting are the two primary techniques.
This technique combines agitation with a water-and-soap felting solution. The most popular approach is this one. With some liquid soap, hot water, and fibers in a flat container, you can make wet felt.
Dry felting/needle felting
In this method, you do not need to use any water at all. This is the best method for working with small, dry details on felted toys, artwork, etc. It is the method to use if you are felting with acrylic fibers.
In needle felting, the fabric is matted using specialized barbed needles of various diameters. On a particular padded surface, the needles poke and prick the fibers. Depending on the project, they use needles. The strands are continually poked and prodded by the needle until everything becomes knotted and knitted together.
Prepare the surface
Any flat surface can be used to create a flat sheet of felt; just make sure to protect it from water and soap if you plan to get it. While dry felting, protect the surface from the sharp needles.
For a flat piece of felt, mark out a section of the surface for the felt. For instance, if you want a square piece of felt, draw a square shape on the surface and cut the felt inside of it.
Arrange the fibers
Depending on the desired thickness, divide the required quantity of wool fibers into equal sections. Some advice adding a top and bottom layer of the synthetic net or fine knit fabric over and below the fibers. But watch out that it doesn’t get stuck in your fibers so deeply that you can’t pull it out.
Wetting the fibers
You should add a small amount of liquid soap to the boiling water. Carefully pour just enough of the mixture to soak the wool. You can dip the entire piece of felt or just periodically pour this hot, soapy water on it.
Applying pressure & agitation
If you’re using your hands, press down on the soap-covered fiber mass first. Then, gently massage the fibers in a circular motion from the center to the edges, moving your hands as you go.
However, if your hand cannot take the hot water and you want a lot more agitation, use a utensil with abrasive capabilities, such as a potato masher, washboard, or a duster. Press the wool firmly onto your surface, squeeze out all the air, and then roll it around. Fill the wool up with extra hot water. Press the wool inward, starting at the borders, until it is absorbed and matted.
Agitate the wool by gently rubbing in circular motions on the surface. You should make the interlocking more quickly. To make the felt denser and remove air, gently press at periodic intervals.
You must flip the fibers over after agitating one side of them, then repeat the process with the other side as well. Lift the matted wool gently, then flip it over. After that, repeat the pressure and agitation with more soapy water. To keep things even on both sides, you can repeat this procedure.
After draining the soapy water from the matted fabric, rinse the matted fibers with cold water. In the last rinse, some people add a little vinegar. As you press the water out, you can immediately see the foam taking shape.
The individual fibers shouldn’t separate and come out when you pinch your freshly made felt in between your palms at this point.
Fulling & Palming
To make a fabric fuller and denser, you should go for fulling. This stage is the thickening stage because, as you keep doing it, the felt gets thicker and denser and tightens up. Felting is done by hand to fill it completely.
“Palming” is the act of rubbing the felt between the palms or with another tool. If you’re using it, the felt is rolled loosely between your palms or between nets. Squeeze all the extra water out (no wringing). Repeat the action by rolling in the opposite direction. It gets denser the more you do it.
It’s time to dry the felt once you are happy with the full outcome. It is better to air dry.
Felting, or needle felting, is really simple to perform and very affordable to complete. So if you have even the slightest interest in crafts, you will feel interested in it. You can create unique items like pincushions, balls, carpets and mats, jewelry, coasters, 3-D sculptures, coats, boots, and a lot more. Hand-made felt appliques are gorgeous.
Hopefully, you have learned from today’s content how to do needle felting step-by-step at home. However, if you are looking for custom-made dresses in felt fabric, you will get them from the Beautiful Connection Group. This is one of the best clothing manufacturing companies in the USA. You can get any type of dress from this company wholesale. They provide the best quality at a reasonable price.