Needle Felting is becoming a popular craft and one that I enjoy doing .It is a way of sculpting with wool which can be done at home without making too much mess or huge expense. I have bought a number of books about it ,I have divided up the books that I own as follows
- Detailed instructions of animals and birds, seasonal items such as Easter Eggs and Christmas novelties, mainly for beginners
- Sculptures of the human figure
- Painting pictures using wet and dry techniques
- Apparel , scarves, slippers, hats.
These are books that I bought in my first category ,small items mainly for beginners .
Roz Dace and Judy Balchin are two of the best known authors on the craft of needle felting .There are detailed descriptions of the kind of wool that can be used and clear photos of the equipment that is needed to carry out the crafts and designs shown in the book. There are templates at the back of the book which indicate scale and detail .I found the easiest thing to make was the poly bunny and the cat shown in the picture using a polystyrene egg base.
I bought Wool Buddies because I thought the figures would be simple and adapt to making Easter Egg shapes. The only thing that I made from this book was Eunice the sheep. I found the designs a bit too funky for my liking and quite complicated in some cases.
I have only just bought this book, the designs are charming and there are instruction for small things like brooches and magnets which make nice little gifts. I am looking forward to making the hedgehog design and have sent for some of the hedgehog spine fabric which is needed for a realistic look.
Rachel Austen is another popular author of needle felting design books .I bought this one just before Christmas, owing to a late delivery I only had time to make the Holy Family trio and an angel. They were much admired and I shall work on making the whole nativity scene , shepherds, three kings sheep and so on ready for next year.
Sculptures of the Human Figure
Moving on to making three dimensional wool sculptures is a step up in from basic skills. These are not toys and are not suitable for children to play with. The most comprehensive book that I have is :-
There is a lot of detail in the book and making some of the figures take a long time. Needle felting is not a craft to be rushed ,much of the pleasure comes from handling the wool and watching your work take shape.
There are a number of useful websites from which instructions may be down loaded for less than buying a book.
The Woolly Felters have instructions for making popular figures like this one of the late Queen .
I am looking forward to receiving the newly published book
Needle Felting Dolls by Roz Dace and Judy Balchin
Painting Pictures with Dry and Wet Felting
Using needle felting techniques to create paintings is a move into producing works of fine art. I have only used dry felting, the books that I have provide plenty of inspiration , once you have understood the techniques it is easy to move to using photos or drawings of your own.
Landscapes in Wool gives examples of impressionistic work, layering the wool and attaching to a base of felt.
Moy Mackay is well known for her lovely textile landscapes, she adds detail with sewing by hand or machine stitching to give extra depth to the work. Details and examples of how to do this are included in Felt and Stitch.
Garments and Apparel
I have not yet tried making anything to wear but for fabulous ideas about what can be achieved have a look at
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