When I first heard the term felting I really didn’t know what it meant. I thought it referred to making things with the felt sheets you can get at any craft store. But, it actually means something else even though it does have to do with felt. And there are a couple of different types of felting and different techniques.
There’s wet felting, nuno felting, and needle felting. And even though crafting with felt sheet may not be considered “felting” I think it should be considered.
You can get needle felting kits at craft stores. Those starter kits would be great for beginners, because they have all the supplies you need for a felting project.
And like any craft there are beginner project and more advanced projects. In this post I’ll explain about the different types of felting you can do.
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Wet felting is probably the most popular choice of felting out there. The wet felting process is when you use water, soap and friction to make felt out of layers of wool fibres.
The supplies you need for wet felting is water, a spray bottle, dish soap, netting, a towel, surprisingly bubble wrap, and of course your wool. The type of wool you need for wet felting is called wool roving or wool tops.
And there are different types of wool, the most common is merino wool fiber, but there’s also different wools you can use like shetland, corridale, manx loaghtan, alpaca and more. Merino wool is great for the fine details.
Some say you need to use hot water and others say to use warm water. But, I would just test a little bit of wool with both to see which works better.
One of the great things about wet felting is that you can to blend different colors of wool together. By layering different shades and colors, you can create beautiful color combinations and designs.
With wet felting you can make scarfs, coasters, pot holders, table runner, and more. After the process of felting is completed the finished felt can be cut and sewn also.
Nuno felting is a technique that combines loose fibers usually natural fibers like wool, with lightweight or sheer fabric like silk to create a lightweight felt. The process for nuno felting is kind of like wet felting because you use water and friction.
Nuno felting is used to make clothing like shawls and scarfs. And is great if you need a more flexible felt fabric.
For nuno felting you’ll need two main things, wool and fabric. The other stuff you need is bubble wrap, water, soap, spray bottle, scrap yarn and towels.
And the most commonly used fabric for nuno felting is silk chiffon. But, you can use any open weave fabric as long as it’s natural not synthetic. And cotton cheesecloth fabric is also a commonly used fabric.
Needle felting is also called dry felting or wool felting. It’s when you use wool fibers or synthetic fibers and special felting needles and creating shapes and figures with it.
The special needle you use is a barbed needle that has tiny barbs. And when you stab and poke the wool it causes it to interlock, so it’s felted. You can’t use a sewing needle or a knitting needle for needle felting. Most of the time you’ll use a single needle, but you can tape a couple of needles together for larger areas.
Needle felting is used to create mostly felted animals. You use mostly animal fibers like wool, but you can use acrylic fibers instead. But, the types of fiber you use is up to you.
For needle felting you need wool fibers (or synthetic fibers), foam pad, felting needle, and carding brushes. You may also need a finger guard, because needle felters will sometimes poke their finger with the needle.
Yes, crafting with felt sheets may not be considered “felting”, but I think it should be considered. Felt crafting is great for intermediate crafts or also for beginners who are just starting to craft with felt.
You can get felt sheets at just about any craft store. And a lot of the time of felt sheets at the craft stores are acrylic. But, you can get wool and wool blends felt sheets.
Felt can be sewn by hand or machine. You can also glue felt together, I like to glue the small pieces of felt. Since felt is a non woven material it won’t fray.
You can make a lot of different things with felt like, toys, ornaments, bookmarks, flowers, dolls, Christmas stockings, gift tags, pincushions and more. No matter what your favorite projects are felt crafting is great.
And no matter what type of felting you decide to try, any one of these different methods would be a great thing to start crafting with. Or, even to add to your list of crafts. Thank you for reading my post about the different types of felting, I hope that it helped you to understand a little bit more about felting.
Does the types of needles matter for needle felting? Yes, you’ll need to use a special needle for felting, called a felting needle. Felting needles have small barbs that grab the fibers and interlocks them together to be felted.
Can you use normal needles for needle felting? No, regular sewing needles will not work for needle felting. Because sewing needles are a finer needle, even if you use a larger sewing needle it still won’t work. Because they don’t have that hook or barbs on the end.
Does felting take a long time to learn? No, basic needle felting is easy to learn, especially if you start with just simple shapes. And if you get a starter kit to help you get started on making a felted object. Because it’s mostly just poking a needle in a ball of wool.
What is a felting mat? A felting mat is the work surface placed under the wool during the needle felting process. And a felting mat is sometimes called a felting block or bag.
Is felt an expensive hobby? No, felting is a very cheap hobby to start. Because all you need to get started is a felting needle and some wool fibers. So, that makes it a very affordable hobby to start.
Check out my other felt crafting posts.
- Free Beaded Felt Heart Ornament Pattern and Template.
- The Best 50 Free and Cute DIY Felt Patterns.
- Easy No Sew DIY Felt Flowers Tutorial: Free Pattern
- The Secret to Cutting Felt Out in Perfect Shapes.
- 11 Great Free Felt Finger Puppets Pattern.