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Needle Felting - an Introduction to this craft

By Edited Dec 24, 2013 0 0

Felting is an ancient form of wool processing, the earliest examples dating to  Neolithic  times.  It is one of the oldest activities in wool processing.  Needle felting is a dry wool felting process that uses very sharp barbed needles and wool fibers.  Felting can only be accomplished with wool or some other natural animal fiber. 

Felting is a simple process with incredible-looking results.  Needle felting is very different from creating a felted object out of knitting, or any other wet felting process.  It is an unique craft as it first began as an industrial process.  It is an easy craft, in which a barbed needle is used to sculpt wool into anything imaginable. 

Wool is the traditional fabric and lends itself to many possibilities.  Felting may be done by hand or washing machine wet methods and/or dry needle felting techniques.  It may also be done in a domestic washing machine on a hot cycle.  This is very forgiving process, especially if you're purposely machine washing something that you've knitted  or crocheted .  Felting is a simple and useful technique that transforms fleece or knitted or crocheted fabric into sturdy, fuzzy cloth. 

Felting is a simple, quick technique which produces fantastic results.  Felting is BEARING FELT applied directly over the rigid plate insulation per typical felting instructions.  Needle felting can be applied to woven or knitted fabrics.  Needle felting is really fun, you can be much more precise, and it's nowhere near as messy as wet felting.

Felting was originally a cottage craft using whatever materials were available.  It is a popular fiber arts craft, conducted without water.  Needle felting is an easy, exciting new craft that lets you, essentially, “paint” with fiber. 

Needle felting is usually done into a block of foam.  Felting is done by a chemical process in industry, but can be done by hand, with a Clover mat and puncher.  Felting can shed fibers that can, over time, clog your washing machine drainer. 

Felting is a very old artform that has made a renaissance.  It is the earliest known method for making textiles, after furs and skins.  Felting is a method  knitters  often use to transform the look of their projects.  Needle felting can be used for wearables, home décor, gifts, cards and postcards, ornaments, Faberge-look eggs and embellishments.  Felting can be used to easily join a cut out design to your project. 

Wool may be the perfect fiber but we are not always the perfect hosts.  Wool is a fiber usually gathered from animals, primarily from sheep and goats.  Wool is thoughtfully provided by sheep at the Little Farm next door to the center. 

Wool will begin to compress in the direction that you push the needle.  It is often used for lining in boots and shoes designed for winter wear.  Wool is naturally antibacterial and antimicrobal, and is also flame-resistant, making the material safe for use in many areas of the house.  Wool is also resistant to stains and dirt accumulation, so maintenance and cleaning can be regularly done without difficulty.  Wool is rather frizzy and not terribly dense. 

Wool can absorb moisture almost one-third of its own weight.  Wool may also be carbonized, a process involving immersion in dilute sulphuric acid, to remove burrs from the fibres.  Wool will tend to shed the water, and you have to get it good and bedraggled and wet. 

Needle felting has become a favorite pastime among crafters and knitters.  Felting is not a precise technique and this is particularly evident with old or recycled woolen items. 

Felting and needle felting can be a great way to express yourself.  Felting is an ancient art form that actually pre-dates weaving.  Felting can be a great physical outlet for your creative energy.

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