Learn how to needle felt (for beginners and experienced felters)
Needle felting is a fun fibre craft where you shape wool fibres with specially designed needles. Its also quite inexpensive to get started. The felting supplies you will need to get started include:
To begin, place the wool on the foam pad or block and poke it gently with the needle. Keep repeating this until it holds its shape.
The felting needles have tiny barbs that tangle and intertwine the fibres together the more you poke. Be careful not to poke your fingers!
To shape the felted wool, keep poking in the desired area and add more wool as needed. This creates layer.
You can create animals, flowers, or any design you like. Remember to work slowly and patiently, as it takes time. When you’re done, your creation will be firm and solid. So, grab your wool and needles, and let your imagination run wild!
We have a free needle felting guide with pictures that you can download here
You can also read more tips for beginner needle felters
Tips for successful needle felting
Read our Top Tips for Needle Felting. Although an easy craft to learn, and there are lots of needle felting starter kits available, there are lots of little things that can make needle felting become frustrating. Especially for beginners. Below I have compiled a few tips for the most common question I am asked.
What is needle felting?
Needle felting is an easy to learn fibre craft. It is a wonderfully creative and fun outlet that allows you to bring your imagination to life. In essence you are creating a beautiful 3D object from wool. You start by simply continuously poking a barbed needle into wool. Then, you can sculpt and shape it into adorable creatures, decorative objects, or personalised gifts.
To get started with needle felting, you really dont need much. In fact our Ashford Needle Felting Starter kit is all you really need. Then, when you have learnt the basics, just grab yourself a needle felting refill kit to keep going. You don’t need any prior experience or expensive equipment. Plus, it’s an incredibly portable craft, allowing you to needle felt wherever you like.
Many of our ‘The Good Yarn online craft group’ members describe needle felting as a great stress-reliever. As you repeatedly poke the wool, you can channel your focus and concentration into the process, providing a calming and therapeutic effect.
Needle felting allows for endless possibilities. You can experiment with different types and colours of wool, blend fibres, and add embellishments like beads or embroidery. Whether you want to create small ornaments, animals, or even larger sculptures, needle felting empowers you to explore your artistic vision.
In summary, needle felting is a delightful craft that offers creative expression, stress relief, a sense of accomplishment, community engagement, and endless possibilities. So grab some wool and a felting needle, and let your imagination run wild!
Why am I breaking my felting needles?
There can be a few reasons for this. These can include the angle at which you’re pulling out your felting needle. It’s not straight, you risk weakening your needle with each felting motion. Also make sure you’re not pushing down with too much strength. This is a sure way to get breakages.
You may also be felting too deep. As felting needles have different barbs on the tips, short and quick stabs will do the trick. Stabbing too deep and needling sideways will give you broken needles more than you would like.
Choose the right felting needle for the project
I have heard many instances where the wrong needle has been chosen and therefore the desired results are not being achieved.
• Fine Felting Needles
Gauge 40; A fine triangular needle that suits more detailed projects and gives you a lovely neat surface. Works best with smoother fibres and not recommended for rougher, sculpting needle felting projects
• Medium Felting Needles – Gauge 36
Gauge 36; A popular triangular needle that has barbs on 3 sides. Works well when wanting to create the bulk of a 3D project or when needing to attach pieces. Not recommended for detailed work.
• Reverse Barb Felting Needles – Gauge: 40
Gauge: 40; This is a wonderful needle when wanting to create a fluffy finish on smoother felted projects The barbs work in the opposite direction with the end effect being the fibre pulled out
• Coarse Felting Needles – Gauge 32
Gauge 32; This is a sturdy, triangular needle that has barbs on 3 sides. Popular when working with courser fibres and needing to attach pieces firmly. Not recommended for detailed needle felting projects or when requiring a neat surface.
• Star Felting Needles – Gauge 38
Gauge 38; This is a popular all rounder style of felting needle. It has barbs on all four sides. It can be used for finer felting projects or with finer wools. Also popular for bulkier sculpting projects.
• Spiral Felting Needles – Gauge 36
Gauge 36; The spiral needles are twisted. This results in being able to create your felting project faster. It also reduces the surface holes that other needles would create.
Choosing the right wool for your needle felting project
Many times, those new to needle felting start by choosing the wrong wool for their project. The most popular wool, especially for beginners, is Corriedale. It has a defined, even crimp and is smooth and to felt. The colour range of Ashford corriedale wool fibre is huge, which means you can keep creating your woollen felting projects until your heart is content.
Another option is Ashford Merino wool. Merino is reknowned as the world’s finest and softest wool It is the perfect wool for those special needle felting projects, that require that extra little something.
Of course there is a wide range of fibres you can use in your needle felting. Jump into out online craft group and see what some of our other felters have used for their projects
Your needle felting project isn’t looking smooth or finished enough
Most times, this just means that you’re not quite finished. Keep going with your felting needles. Also consider which needles you are using for the required smoothness. It may be time to change to another gauge.
Should I buy a needle felting kit?
The great thing about needle felting kits such as the Ashford starter kit, is that they come with all the necessary fibres, foam and needles needed to learn and complete a specific project. The Ashford Needle Felting Starter Kit also includes the incredibly popular Ashford Book of Needle Felting. All of Ashfords felting kits are designed with beginners in mind. They provide step-by-step instructions that clearly explain how to create your favourite animal or Christmas decorations. Our kits will help you learn the basics of needle felting, understand the process, and allow you to build your skills gradually.
Our fun needle felting kits include some of the cutest animals. Take a look at our rooster, seal, kiwi, beagle, bugs, panda, sheep and more. We also have a gorgeous little flowers and butterflies kits
Corriedale Wool Sliver Packs – 7 Colour$13.50 inc GST
Felting Needles – pack of 10$16.00 – $21.50 inc GST
Needle Felting Starter Kit$77.50 inc GST
Learn Needle Felting$0.00 inc GST
Silk Merino Nuno Felting Scarf Kit$19.95 inc GST
Ashford Little Scissors – 1pc Packaged$4.90 inc GST
Needle Felting Foam$13.00 inc GST
Merino Wool Fibre – 3 Colour Packs$14.95 inc GST
Needle Felting Kit Christmas Special$29.90 inc GST
Felting Needle Punch Student – Includes 3 medium needles$15.50 inc GST
Ashford Tape Measure$4.20 inc GST
Needle Felting Kit – Bugs$10.90 inc GST
Needle Felting Kit – Sheep$17.50 inc GST
Needle Felting Kit – Butterflies$25.90 inc GST
Needle Felting Kit – Sammy the Seal$18.00 inc GST
Felting Needle Punch – Includes 5 medium needles$39.00 inc GST
More Needle Felting Blogs & tutorials
- Needle Felting For BeginnersRead everything you need to know to get started in needle felting. Including what to look for in a kit, which supplies you need to get going and the best tips. What is Needle Felting? Needle felting is a creative wool fibre craft that allows you to transform fluffy wool fibres into adorable sculptures. It’s…..[KEEP READING]..
- Needle Felting TipsLearn how to needle felt (for beginners and experienced felters) Needle felting is a fun fibre craft where you shape wool fibres with specially designed needles. Its also quite inexpensive to get started. The felting supplies you will need to get started include: To begin, place the wool on the foam pad or block and…..[KEEP READING]..
- How to use a blending boardCan you card wool on a blending board? Many people ask if their blending board can also be used as a carder for carding wool? Although there is a small level of overlap when it comes to using your blending board as a hand or drum carder, in general it is not a substitute for…..[KEEP READING]..
- Hand Carders & Drum Carders ExplainedFind out what the difference between a flick carder, a hand carder and a drum carder is. This article explains their most common use for preparing fibre before spinning.
- Needle Felting Kit TutorialDiscover this Needle Felting Kit tutorial kit for beginners. These instructions are designed to guide both experienced and beginners through the basic techniques of needle felting. Once mastered, you can add your own unique style to your project. Before you start your project, you might like to experiment with a small piece of sliver. The…..[KEEP READING]..