Needle Felting Basics

What is 3D Needle Felting? Felt is a fabric in which wool fibers are interlocked and entangled, felting a 3D form would simply mean a more dense amount of fabric to fill in, to make a solid form. By “wrapping” and “layering” during the needle felting process, the form becomes sculpted in what is called the “Building Up” Method.  (L.Wilson)

Needle Felting Wool Fibre is much like “wet felting” wool, except that this is considered to be the “dry” method of agitating / mashing the wool together by using sharp “barbed” needles specifically designed to felt the fibre.


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. The angle, depth and force behind each stab (along with the gauge of needle) can effect & create the smallest of perfections, making the most pleasing results.

When teaching needle felting techniques, hands-on practical application is always best. Though through careful study, instructional designs offer images and ideas enough to guild one through each project.

The Needles are sharp, and have barbs that go in only one direction – to PUNCH the fibre together – then release easily.

Needle image up close

Different effects can be created by directional stabbing “in a line” & “around in circles”…. concentrated in one spot, or with evenly spaced stabbing back and forth.

When “Needle Felting 3D” remember to “prepare the wool” first. Pull even amounts from your selected wool for felting. Open these pieces up, plucking gently at the edges, then drag to evenly create your first layer. Continue to “layer the wool” loosely in a cross-hatching way. This process will help to avoid bulky difficult clumping & inconsistent coverage while building 3D fibre art. This is called “preparing the wool”.


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