Spotlight On: Felting

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Often find myself admiring the felted items on Craftster. Must admit though that I’ve never really checked how they were actually made. Now that I have, gotten a whole new appreciation for the art.

Felting is one of the oldest forms of textile art, and there are two kinds; wet and dry. The difference is that wet felting is done with the fiber, or fibre depending on where you’re from, and soapy water. Both forms of felting is done with a sharp tool that has needles to shape and form the fiber. This makes the fiber matted, snarled, tangled and mashed down so it sticks together and cannot be pulled apart.

The fiber is typically unspun wool from sheep that has not gone through the spinning process. The fiber is in a pre-yarn stage, called roving and batt. That looks like this one made by Belladune, our fiber board moderator.:

The items created can be both functional and objects of art, and here are some examples

Falcor from The Neverending Story, created by Harlan. Look at the expression of the face!

The beautiful hats created by GraceOblivious.

I would wear all these hats.

Another functional art piece, a birdhouse by dragonflyducky.

This is too pretty to leave outside, isn’t it?

Lastly, is this adorable Hedgehog by petskin.

Want to hold this little guy and pet him.

With such amazing potential for what it can become, felting is something I am eager to give a try. So found this extremely thorough tutorial to get me started.

Basic Needle Felting Overview

With few supplies needed this could be an inexpensive new craft. Hope you all will give it a try, and share your projects with us. Seeing your creations is what Craftster is all about!

Thank you for checking out the spotlight, and let me know if you have ideas for future articles.

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  1. Jazzminh says:

    I very much wanted to create felt for projects, but since I work primarily with recycled materials and try to be as environmentally-friendly as possible, I did not want to use the wet method which seems to waste incredible amounts of water. However, I was recently in Japan and took a class with an artist who uses recycles fabrics to create new and useful items and she uses a very economical and environmentally-safe method: she launders old sweaters or other knitted items over and over in the washing machine together with a regular load of laundry. That is – in the regular cycle, including spinning. Over time the knitted items become felt!

    I haven’t yet had the opportunity to use this method, but it makes sense and I did see some of her finished projects (wallets and small purses), so obviously it works.

    Now I’m just waiting until I have a few work out sweaters or scarves to repurpose…

  2. HSG says:

    Glad you read the article and found it of interest. Please post your projects when you get them completed. Let us know particulars about the method, too.
    Thank you

  3. Felting is so fun! Needle felting sure is affordable and easy craft to start with- just be ready for lots of finger-stabbing :D. I see needle felting as 3D drawing- I love how you can always go back and tweak and add.
    I still want to learn nuno felting- the items (like posted here^^^) are just amazing!
    And thank You for the kind comment on my hedgie too <3