Saturday, August 1, 2009

What Is Needle Felting?

Some Articles Online Referring to Needle Felting :)

Needle Felting - A Beginners Guide To Felting With A Needle

Want to join in the fun craft of needle felting but not sure where to start? This guide will tell you what you need to begin your dry felting adventure.

1. First of all, exactly what is needle felting? It is a dry method of felting animal and other fibers. Using special needles, you punch the fibers down locking them together and forming felt. Pretty simple.

2. Supplies needed are few. You will need a dense foam pad (not styrofoam) at least two inches deep. You should be able to easily find some at a craft or material store. Start off your felting hobby with some clean, carded raw wool. You can find some by searching on the internet. A bamboo skewer (you can get a package of 50 or more at grocery stores for a couple of dollars) and/or toothpicks are good for helping form shapes if you are
making three dimensional characters. Lastly, a small pair of scissors for trimming.

3. What kind of felting needle should you buy? The most basic needle is an inexpensive 36 gauge triangle needle. This needle is used for general felting and is a good starting needle.

Gauge is the thickness of the needle. The lower the number the thicker the needle and the larger the hole it leaves. So a 36 gauge is thicker than a 38 gauge needle. The higher the number, the finer the needle and the smaller a hole it leaves. A 40 gauge needle is much finer than a 36 gauge needle and will be good for finishing because it leaves smaller holes.

The triangle shaped tip has three sides with barbs. The barbs tangle the fiber as you push down but not as you pull back out. You can, also, get a star needle. The star tip has 4 edges and a concave groove between the four edges. It has more barbs than the triangle and felts faster than the triangle.

As you advance, you will want different gauges and shapes to take your needle felting to new heights.

4. The last thing you will need is an idea of what to felt. You can felt flat pieces or three dimensional characters. Beginners might want to try a flat piece first just to get the feel of punching the fibers. A search for needle felting on the internet will provide you with some free projects to start. Once you get the hang of it, your own imagination will bring you many unique ideas.

To begin needle felting you need a few simple supplies, a special barbed needle, and an idea. What are you waiting for? It's a fun, creative, and inexpensive hobby so go ahead and give it a try.

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Thank you to one of my friends on Twitter, for posting this next article first and the link to where it could be found :)

Needle Felting - How You Can Be Calm and Creative Felting Wool

It's hard to be calm in todays' fast-paced atmosphere. TV, computers, and video games stifle creativity by thinking for you. A needle felting hobby can be just the thing you need to calm you and allow your creative side to shine through.

What is needle felting? It is a dry felting technique. You don't have to use soap and water as in the traditional method. You use a special barbed needle, a foam pad, and raw wool to create wall hangings, pillows, three dimensional characters, and more.

The special barbed needle is plunged into the wool fibers. The fibers lock together and felt the wool. The beauty of using a single needle is that you have a lot of control over shaping and layering your projects.

How can needle felting be calming? Because the needles are sharp, you must pay close attention to your work. While felting your project, you are focused on what you are doing and this keeps your mind free from worry. As your mind disconnects from everyday problems, your blood pressure decreases and your body relaxes.

How can needle felting make you more creative? Just relieving stress will help get the creative juices flowing. With this art form, you use touch and sight to create projects which stimulates creative thinking. Felting with a needle allows you to experiment with colors and shapes. Experimenting helps you to be more creative because you never know the outcome until your project is finished. Layering wool provides you with the option of creating your own unique shapes and sizes.

If you try three dimensional felting, you can really let your personality shine through in the characters you create. 3D characters are fun and you can create critters only you have seen in your imagination. Making something you have imagined is the ultimate in creativity and, with a little practice, you can easily create characters.

Needle felting is an inexpensive, simple hobby to learn. Focusing on your project will have a calming effect. Relieving stress will get the creative juices flowing. Needle felting allows you to be creative with wool. Give needle felting a try and add a little calm, creative fun to your life.

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