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Topic: random questions (about felting)  (Read 1409 times)
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« on: October 30, 2010 11:30:06 AM »

Hi, everyone! I'm brand new to Craftster and quite new to needle felting. I'm a polymer clay artist, and I'm in the Navy. I live on an aircraft carrier every couple of weeks, and clay is NOT a hobby I can easily do onboard. So for stress relief, I have picked up needle felting! I have a few random questions that I have thought up over the last month:

1. I order my supplies online, and I often see pictures of shiny roving. Why is it shiny? Can you felt with it as easily as the matte roving?

2. How do you put things in your projects like wire (for bendable things) or glass eyes?

3. How do you clean something that is needle-felted? If you put it in the washer, does it just shrink?

4. I've been told that you can dye roving with bug juice (i.e. fruit drink). Does the color really stay?

5. To "mix" colors, can you use pet combs? I've been using my hands (by pulling small pieces from each color and combining them), but it's kind of a nightmare.

6. I got some new roving that...well...smells a bit like a farm. Is there a good way to get rid of it?

I had a list of questions, but...I kinda lost the list. So these are the ones I could think of off the top of my head. I might try and post some of my work here in a minute in the other part of this forum.

Thanks a million!

« Last Edit: November 01, 2010 03:22:32 PM by rebecnik » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2010 06:47:45 PM »

Hi Becca!

1. Shiny roving probably has another fiber like silk added in. If it is still mostly wool it should felt just fine....and actually pure silk and bamboo will needle felt on their own (not wet felt though)

2.To have a wire armature you start with a wire core and wrap that with wool. You can use pipe cleaners, coated wire from Home Depot or actual artist armature wire. I will avoid using pipe cleaners if I think it will get a lot of wear as they can break more easily. When needle felting over an armature you need to be more careful with your needles as you can break the points if you stab into the wire.  Glass eyes...I would attach them to a piece of felt, and insert that piece on to my base and then cover the edges with more base wool...needle felt all around (kind of like covering with a layer  of skin!).

3. Surface clean needle felted items only. I will sometimes wet felt the surface if I want to make it even smoother, but don't put it in the washer as you can't control how it shrinks...the core wool is often not as compact and can shrink more than the outside....it will end up misshapen.

4.I have used food dyes and kool aid and they do definitely dye wool, though I'm not sure how light fast they are....but that's probably not an issue with small needle felted creatures.

5. yes pet combs will work to mix fibers, though it is easier to use carding brushes.

6. Your wool might till have some lanolin in it and could probably use another wash to get rid of that. They sell wool scours, but Dawn dishwashing liquid works.....HOT water, add dawn, then add mesh bag with wool....do NOT agitate at all or drastically change the temperature or you will felt it. take out mesh bag, add clean hot water to sink and rinse wool (keeping it in mesh bag)...rinse a few times. Roll in towel and lay flat or hang to dry.


« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2010 04:08:28 PM »

Woah, I had no idea they made fiber from bamboo! That's pretty cool!

Anyway, thanks a billion for answering all my questions! You were extremely helpful, and I really appreciate it! Now off to wash that roving...

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