Needle felting is a craft that sounds more complex than it is. This acts of poking wool with a needle several times to create a shape.
It is transforming wool into a 3d object using a barbed needle to combine the fibers into a solid fabric.
Do you wish to get more fun things to do with your wool? Then this is for you as we give a detailed discussion on needle felting your yarn.
Can Yarn Be Used For Needle Felting?
Yes, you can but ensure you’re using a yarn with high wool content, like 45-50%, which is not machineable washable. Machine washable yarns prevent needle felting.
What Materials Can You Needle Felt With?
Needle felting is mostly done with wool roving, which is unspun wool and looks like fluffy cotton candy. One can needle felt on various materials depending on your choice and view. There are suitable fabrics, and some are manageable, while some can’t work.
Let’s go through the list below to learn more about the materials:
- It is considered the best fabric material for needle felting made from flax fiber.
- It is strong and durable.
- It has plenty of weaves, and it is very strong.
- It can get in neutral colors, is fine even without material, and has a good amount of weaves to make pictures.
- It is quite easy to use but very expensive.
2. Denim (Jean) material
- It is a twill weave cotton fabric
- It has too tight weaves
- It is quite easy to use.
- It is a strong fabric with hard-wearing.
- It comes in different thicknesses and ranges from rough to fine texture.
3. Calico Fabric
- It is one of the best fabrics made from cotton fibers
- It is half-processed and unbleached.
- It is firm and easy to use.
- It is economical
- Weaves are not too loose or tight but tend to be uneven.
- It is unfinished, which makes it rougher in texture than others.
4. Pre-Wet Felted Material
- It is a thick material that is either pre-bought or self-made.
- You can use it as a background for many objects like bags.
- You can as well decide how thick you want the back.
5. Pre-felted Material
- It is a half-made material made by machine needle felting.
- It is a store-bought material, and such is always acrylic, not wool.
- It is good for making shapes on felting.
6. Canvas (Cotton)
- It is a very strong
- It has tight weaves.
- It has a light color
- It is medium-weighted.
7. Art Canvas
- It is a firm fabric.
- It has large gaps between holes.
- It is has a rough
8. Bamboo Fabric
- It comes in various types; not all can be used for needle felting.
- They can also be combined with hemp.
- It is strong
- It is eco-friendly.
- It is flexible
9. Wool, Wool Blankets, and Tweed
- If you aren’t interested in using the pre-felt material, you can go for wool.
- Tweed has open weaves
- It can be coarse.
10. Wool Blend Felt Sheets
- This can be used as an alternative to wool.
- It is very strong but not as thick as a wool blanket
- It is very easy to cut.
- It has lots of colors, but they’re always uniform in color
- It is a double-thickness fabric with a backing and a velvet surface.
- Most velvets come in the following forms:
- Some are in the cotton form but can be gotten in other fabrics such as cotton and linen
- Some come in manmade and gotten in fabrics such as nylon and rayon
- But real velvet is completely made from silk and is very expensive.
- Velvet is good for a Nuno felting (a wet felting type).
Can You Use Styrofoam To Needle Felt?
Yes, using Styrofoam to needle felt is quite possible. However, not everyone uses it because it has compression difficulty. The disadvantage of using styrofoam is that you cannot compress its shape. It can be made big but can’t be reduced.
How Do You Prepare Yarn For Needle Felting?
Preparing your yarn is a simple task. There are four basic processes to preparing your yarn.
Let’s just carefully check through and follow the steps correctly:
Step 1: Separation process
- Skirt the fleece, i.e; the dirty parts should be removed.
- Put the fleece in a mesh bag but not tightly packed to allow the center wool to come out. Water must be able to penetrate all the bags through the bag.
Step 2: Washing process
- Use water at 68oC – 71oC (155oF – 160oF) for merino and other fine wools then, use 57oC – 60oC (135oF – 140oF) for rough wools. The finer ones require a high temperature because they have more lanolin and the thigh temperature helps to get rid of grease.
- It is advisable to use a grease-cleaning dish detergent for washing.
- Then, put the bag into wash water and allow it to soak for 25-30minutes.
- Afterward, move the bag to a clear container of water slightly cooler than the wash water.
- Ensure there is no disturbance throughout the process to prevent felting. You might as well wash the wool twice or thrice to get it clean completely.
Step 3: Drying process
- Use a machine or spinning wheel to dry them, it helps to remove excess water.
- Then, spread out the wool to dry on the screen or rack
Step 4: Final process
- After drying, the wool must be separated into fluffy fiber clouds before carding. Carding separates each fiber into loose strands called slivers or tows, brushing them and arranging them. It can be done in the following ways:
- It is done by using a splitting machine that splits up the entangled clumps of fiber and assembles each fiber so that they’re almost parallel to one another. It gives a continuous web of fibers that can be flattened into batting, rolled to give rovings, and split into spinning rolls.
- It can also be done by a wool or drum carder, a tabletop device that is much faster and easier It can also be used to make roving, and the carder possesses a metal tooth on its surface that aids in untangling and straightening fibers.
- It can also be done by hand, but this isn’t advised because it seems to be excess work and a waste of time.
What Can I Use Instead of Foam For Needle Felting?
For needle felting, there are other things that you can you apart from foam; for your choice, you can replace the foam with any of the following:
- A wool pad: unlike the foam ones doesn’t break, and it is better for an environment.
- A needle felting pad or mat allows the felting needle to slightly pass through the surface or bounce off when working on it. It also reduces the chance of poking yourself with your needle.
- A felting brush: it possesses a stiff bristle that provides a resting place for your project; the narrow part allows the needle to pass through well.
However, for whatever you are using, note that a flat and firm surface that can hold the impact of the felting needles without them breaking or bending is essential for your needle felting.
Are you a beginner or an expert who wants to learn more? Then you just did well by reading this article.
Using yarn for needle felting is a very simple process. There are a lot of fabric choices and processes for using yarn for needle felting. Do not rush into using all; start with the easiest materials, such as linen or calico, then wait till you’ve got an excellent technique experiment to use more sturdy ones.
However, ensure that your fleece skirt is done properly to avoid wool with few stains or even more.