A Fascination with Needlefelting

  Having some fun with felting!

Here to pay homage to the art of needlefelting is Stefanie Berganni. If you have your own needlefelting story or tips to share, let us know in the comments, then check out our needlefelted gnome kit to put your skills to the test!

I've had a long fascination with felt. Is it that felt is quite possibly the world's oldest form of fabric? Or that you can shape and manipulate felt in ways that are difficult to manage with other fiber arts? Or is it simply the rhythmic trance that comes from the steady repetition of wetting, rolling, or poking? Whatever it is, I'm a felt fan, and am especially fond of needlefelting.

The logistics of needlefelting are simple: use a needle to force layers of wool to tangle together. You can keep your felt flat, or build up three-dimensional shapes. If you can imagine it, you can make it with needlefelting. And, once you get rolling, the stick-stick-stick of the needle and the blending of colors and textures under your fingers can become quite the meditative experience.

I like needlefelting because it's easy and really fun. Unlike wet felting which requires soap and water, needlefelting is incredibly simple to start. And since you're creating finished felt as you go, there's also no shrinkage guesswork like there is with wet felting or fulling a knitted, crocheted, or woven item. Just grab some scraps of wool from your stash, add a felting needle, and you're ready to go! Needles are available individually, or in multi-needle tools which make the work even faster. And tools come with a built-in needle guard, in case you're prone to accidental finger pokes.

I always end up with orphaned bits of fiber in my stash after finishing a spinning project, and I love needlefelting as a way to use up those odds and ends. Create felted beads using fiber in your favorite colors, and use them to make a customized piece of jewelry or decorative garland. Practice your detail work with Sharon Costello's Needle Felting Animals video workshop. Work colors, textures, and even scraps of yarn into pieces of felted fabric to be used as placemats or table centerpieces. Or, my current favorite, how about a cute garden gnome? He can supervise your plants from a window ledge, or hang in your holiday tree. You could even customize a few with different hair and clothing colors to give as gifts.

If you've been curious about needlefelting, give it a try! It's easy, fun, and the only limit is your own imagination.


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