Needle Felting

Stab your cares away - Needle felting for another day!

needlefelt1

At Stitching Kitchen this year has been all about me developing skills in needle felting. It all started in January when one of my crafty contacts asked for some help for one of their customers, before I knew what had happened I had developed my needle felting skills beyond the 2D of embellishing and adding wispy texture to my textile art. It was needle felting in three dimensions which was required.

 

needle felt 3

To those who don’t know needle felting is the dry form of felting. To make felt you have to tangle together wool fibres to form a non-fraying textile. You will probably know the craft felt – acrylic and multi-coloured and fun, a part of our crafty childhoods and fuzzy felt. You may also know the more luxurious pure wool felts, perhaps been tempted by a gorgeous hat at a craft fair or some slippers. Well those items are more than likely wet felted, the process of combining clean wool fibres with water, soap and rubbing, rolling and heat to create felt.

In the industrial world this wet and soapy system just was not practical to provide woollen soundproofing in cars or to create felt layers in mattresses and other furniture. Instead they used a dry system, a barbed needle to combine the wool fibres and tangle the microscopic scales on the outside of each wool strand. Using these barbed needles crafters can create not only embellishments and detailed pictures in roving but also work in 3D to create sculptures.

 

barbed felting needle

My visit to the craft trade event at the NEC in Birmingham also peaked my interest, the supplies and kits available from several suppliers were varied and it made sense to add supplying some kits from Hawthorne handmade as well as using their roving in the workshops. I also had the opportunity to create a mouse with the delightful ladies from the Makerss

posablemouse

In April after needle felting my own menagerie of creatures I set about running the first workshop. I discovered as the early workshops progressed the regular ‘problems’ that guests encountered including getting corners on animals and lacking confidence that it was going to work out being the two main ones.

It turns out that in a day most people can make two small sculptures – or if you are a very keen young lady you can create a mountain of slightly felted hedgehogs.

needlefeltingresults

But as we all know fitting a whole day of crafting into your diary can be tricky. My stitching kitchen regulars all wanted to have a go at needle felting so it was imperative that I developed a shorter needle felting event that could squeeze into the post-work, pre-sleep window…. A 6pm to 9pm workshop was created and attendance has been good, and a few have been repeat visitors too!

Take a look at some of the fabulous results from the 2018 workshops:

collageresults

If this has peaked your interest there is still time, just, to book on to a needle felting workshop as there are two happening this very weekend, one at Stowe Houseand the other at Stitching Kitchen in Brackley.

Needle felting for beginners and improvers will be taking place throughout 2019 and I have had requests to include needle felting around a wire armature too, so more excuses for me to get my needles out again.

Dates for needle felting in 2019 Thursday 7th March 6-9pm and Saturday 4th May 2-5pm

christmas needle felt