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Needle Felting

Needle felting is an exciting craft that is achieved by poking wool roving with a special barbed needle many times until it begins to felt together. As you poke you are able to turn and shape the wool to form any shape.

brown and polar

These finished shapes can be used for anything. I use the needle felting to enhance my teddy bears, either felting onto the teddy bear faces, or adding extra detail to the paw pads. You can also use the felting for making jewellery pieces, using your imagination you can FELT anything.

With felting a teddy bear, no SEWING is required, except for embroidering the nose, and adding the eyes, although you could felt on black for these areas, even the ears are felted on.

Needle felting is a dry felting process, which, unlike traditional felt making, does not involve using soap and water. So needle felting is clean, and very simple, with minimum of equipment needed

Needle pokes do not need to be hard, and only need to go in 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch into the piece you are felting - just enough to have the barbs tangle and agitate the fibers. Beware of cheap needles as you do nut want to CUT the fibers, so always choose a good brand of needle.

Effective needle pokes go in and out at the same angle, no J hooks or twisty movement. This “straight needle use” will give the best results and put less strain on the needle -- hence longer lasting needles and less breakage.

The fiber will felt in the direction of the poke -

if pokes are repeated in one place, a cavity or depression will develop;

if pokes are repeated up and down a line a valley or indentation along the line will occur;

random light pokes all over the surface will produce a drawing-in and overall tightening.



FLEECE

For Needle felting wool roving or wool sliver, depending on where you live is used. In New Zealand it is refered to as wool sliver.

Briefly, once sheep have been sheared,the fleece is taken to be cleaned. In this process grease, insects and any plant matter is removed. Depending on what the fleece is to be used for, the fleece is then sent to be carded. In this process the fleece is passed through machines "that comb" the wool. Once through this process it is suitable for needle felting.

Different types of wool roving/sliver are available depending on the sheep it comes from. Some sheep produce a very fine wool while others will produce a very coarse wool, what you use will depend on what project you are working on.

With felting the teddy bear faces, one can start using a coarser wool roving/sliver and then continue with a finer wool roving/sliver.

Fleeces are available in white to black including ranges of grey and some browns. Natural colours can be dyed and a large selection of colours are available.

Most of my stock comes from New Zealand and I do have local South African wool roving/sliver.

animal1
CORRIEDALE FLEECE
corriedale300x225.jpg

Micron 27-30, Staple length approx. 11cm (4¼ins). 

The Corriedale sheep is found on sheep farms all over New Zealand. It's wool has a clear even crimp and is smooth and easy to spin or felt. The sheep are well cared for and are not mulesed. Spin a fine to medium woollen, worsted or semi-worsted yarn. Corriedale will bulk after washing and has good elasticity. It is ideal for baby  wear, woven, knitted or crocheted garments. Available dyed or natural.




NEEDLES
All felting needles sold are of the finest quality, beware of cheap imitations, needle felting is time consuming and you do not want to use "inexpensive" tools, to find the end result is a poor quality.
The barbs on the needle must not cut into the wool !!!!.


Wizpick Colour Coded Needles: 16 needles are offered in this range and being colour coded make them very easy to use.
Anne Grasham owner and living on the farm Fleecewood in New Zealand is the "brains" behind the Wizpick range and for more details on needle felting, in dept info on the needles and when and how to use them please visit http://www.wizpick.com

DYNAMIC needles are your LIME,GREEN,and TEAL.
Lime is a thick needle ( 32T) and used for the initial felting during the early stage of sculptural projects,using both stabbing and jiggling actions.
Green (36T) has close space barb spacing for close action. This needle has high penetration resistance and becomes difficult to use as felt becomes firmer.
Teal not available as yet

EVERYDAY needles are your PINK,RED,MAUVE,BURGUNDY,PEACH
Pink is a strong needle (32T) penetrates easily,works over a wide depth range, and rarely breaks.Use for situations where it is desirable to work over a wide depth range, most likely in 3-dimensional projects.
RED a star needle (36S) used for both medium and coarse wool. Star needles with four sides have high barb density, but still penetrate firm felt easily. Use to blend flat felt pieces togeher, including patching holes, using a shallow stabbing action.
MAUVE a good needle for children to use when breakage is not an issue (36T) Good to form or firm 3-dimentional felt in a stabbing or jiggling action.
BURGUNDY (38T) This needle is not recommended for attaching fine fibres as an embellishment. Use for deep penetration when felting thicker layers or for in depth firm of a sculptural project.

COMPANION needles are your BROWN,CREAM,YELLOW,GOLD,ORANGE.
BROWN (40T) This needle is not recommended for attaching fine embellishing fibres. Use for scuplturing prominent depressions when LIME is too coarse and for scupltural projects when forming nostrils and eye sockets with a jiggling action. This needle does tend to leave a pitted surface than other 40 gauge needles.
CREAM(40T) use this needle for early firming stages of felting fine wools or for fast deep action with easy penetration on medium wool. This needle tends to bend easily.
YELLOW(40T) use this needle for coarse or medium wool projects and as a finishing needle for coarse wools. Close barb action spacing like ORANGE but works over a greater depth.
GOLD(40T) use this needle for firming and finishing fine wools such as Merino, Angora, Alpaca and Silk.
ORANGE(40T) use this needle as finishing needle for all fibres, but particularly medium to fine wools.

DELICATE needles are your WHITE,GREY
WHITE(42T) use white for working with fine wool and other delicate fibres. This needle breaks easily. Pick white for the finest details.
GREY(42T) use this needle for fine wool and delicate fibres. Use for delicae finishing touches, for forming teeth in faces and life sparks in eyes.

SPECIAL needles are BLUE AQUA
BLUE(32T) use this needle for forming eye sockets, for rooting hair on a plastic (vinyl) doll's head. This needle will break if side pressure is applied.
AQUA(40T) this needle is a finer version of your BLUE and is used for finishing touches, to move wool sideways, for attaching pre-felted embellishments.

GUIDELINES FOR CHOOSING WIZPICK NEEDLES

RED NEEDLE- use this needle for GENERAL work.
PEACH- use this for CORRIEDALE.
CREAM- use this for MERINO.
ORANGE-use this to give a good finished surface for corriedale and fine wool.
GREY-is the best for MERINO, but is the slowest.

Pink, can be substituted for Red, and Burgundy for Peach, but these are not as fast as they have fewer barbs.

BLUE AND AQUA is good to use for loops and permed hair for attaching to animals and doll heads.

FOSTER NEEDLES
Foster needles are manufactured in USA and began operation in 1956. They have become a world leader on the production and sales of felting needles for the nonwoven and other textile industries. For felting projects we sell the 36S and 36T, 38T and 40T.

CLOVER FELTING PRODUCTS
In October of 1925, Toshio Okada, father of the current Executive Advisor Hidekazu Okada and CEO Tomiji Okada, embarked on a journey to create a company responsible for the manufacture, distribution and exportation of items such as sewing and knitting needles and accessories, embroidery and patchwork tools, and other handicraft accessories.
The latest tool to be added is the Felting needle which is available in a fine and heavy needle.

1. needle-1.jpg (needle-1.jpg)

NB Needle Felting is not ONLY FOR TEDDY BEARS, it can be used in various other ways.






Last Updated: Saturday, 25 October 2014 14:33


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