To accomplish a successful Needle Felted project, you will need to stab wool with felting (sharp) needles (over and over) for a long time.
The most important part about felting with needles, is how you use the needles.
Needle too hard… it may become overly difficult to complete or achieve a pleasing finished effect. The wool can dimple deeply or can misshapen beyond repair. Sometimes the item can become hollow & squishy (if this happens -reclaim – cut open & stuff with roving (and a bell if you want to have it jingle) then needle closed & finish.
Needle too softly… the integrity of the item could be gooey or lump, consistency is important if you choose to needle something super softly. The gentle stab is usually used at the very end as a finishing technique.
A method to needle felting is about process. 1st step: secure the fibre into shape (or into place) this may involve a few deep strong stabs, brushing the fibres into place, followed by more deep to moderate depth stabbing. 2nd step: create a rhythm to your stabs, going moderately deep towards stabbing closer to the surface, using directional patterns to create effects. 3rd step: finishing stabbing (may require changing the needle to a fine gauge) small little stabs that just break the surface, going in circles if working on 3D (creates surface tension) or in directional lines if working on 2D.
Layering your fibres and building “Up” by needle felting can create a strong felted creation that can hold artistic expression. Especially when building 3D form & expression with facial features built on a solid base. (if it is soft – features will move around).
Practice & Keep Felting.
About the Wool: The Fibre can act differently depending on the origins of the wool (the type of sheep it came from) and where the fibre came from off the sheep.
When “Needle Felting” try to separate into thin “sheets” & layer the wool loosely in a cross-hatching way before applying. This helps to avoid bulky clumping, difficult & inconsistent coverage while building 3D fibre art.
Keep your supportive hand safe from being stabbed, & have fun!
Hands-on workshop bookings are available: text (250)-551-2115 or email amazingfeltedfibrearts (at) gmail.com