Top tips for beginner needle felters
Welcome to the Cosy Craft Club's needle felting month! We really want to encourage you to have a go at needle felting yourself, and we'll be sharing the key things you need to know to get started. You can find all our needle felting posts in one place here.
We asked some lovely UK needle felters to share their top tips for anyone who is interesting in having a go at needle felting. They gave some great answers, so have a good read and get some great insights to get you going with your needle felting.
The problem with felting is that once you start you will never want to stop, its seriously addictive!!!! But I find it's a wonderful way to lose yourself for a couple of hours, but watching tv and felting can be a challenge as you stab yourself when you look up.
Buy 38 gauge needles (great all purpose needles) a good quality foam mat, a bristle mat, carded wool (the fluffier the better), wool slivers, and a couple of multi packs of colours, and Clover tools. Don't be tempted to buy cheap alternatives! And be prepared to get totally hooked - it is a VERY addictive art!!
Don’t rush and keep some plasters handy! You will get stabbed at some point! Be prepared to be amazed by this wonderful, creative craft. Put on some music, relax and get stabbing! I teach regular needle felting classes and the most common comment from my students is ‘’It is so therapeutic!’’
Sara Renzulli is a wonderful felter for tips and tutorials on YouTube
It’s good to explore different ways of learning so check out Youtube tutorials, books and, best of all, a workshop. I first fell in love with needle felting after I went on a morning workshop 6 years ago and as soon as it had finished I bought some equipment and have never looked back since. I now teach my own workshops from my studio in Norfolk, it’s such a good opportunity to try out different needles and be introduced to some wool you may have never used before and also throughout the class it’s great to ask questions.
Attend a workshop if possible, as it will save a lot of mistakes. I am self taught and learned a lot by error!
Roll body parts quite tightly before beginning to felt – trust me, this will greatly reduce your needle felting time giving you more time to……needle felt. You can even tie a knot or two in the centre to create a firm core will save a lot of felting time and makes it easier to create a ball shape. Remember to turn as you felt any 3D body part. This will give your structure its shape and prevent ‘dimples’ in your finished product.
Just go for it! The biggest barrier to being able to needle felt is often your own self confidence! Make some time for yourself, to sit down and just start stabbing. It is a very intuitive craft, you will soon find your way with it, there are no rules and there is always a way to fix something if it doesn't work out how you hoped.
Thanks so much to all our lovely needle felters for their contributions! I hope you loved reading through all these. Please click on the links to see more of their work and show them some love.