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Felt Making

Felt Making

Felt can be created with the minimum of tools using the wet felting method. The tools in this section have been selected to help the felt maker speed up the process and to explore the different felt making techniques.

A felting needle is very sharp, with tiny notches cut near the tip of the shaft. They are cut at an upward angle, so that fibres catch in the notches, and carry into the mass. When the needle is retracted, the fibres stay in place. With each stab of the needle, the fibres become more and more entangled and compressed. A felting needle can be used to sculpt 3 dimensional shapes such as animals and flowers, and to add detail to faces. These felting needles are available in packs of 10 in 25 gauge and 38 gauge. The 25 gauge is for general felting and shaping for British wools and the 38 gauge is for finer fibre and detailed shaping.

Hollow forms can be created using a former or resist between layers of fibre. A simple bag shape or slipper can be made using a plastic bag or bubble wrap and larger items can be created using a plastic bowl or a stone. The Hat Shapers, which are available in a choice of styles, are made from a firm, robust heat-resistant plastic and can be used as hat blocks for making felt hats. There are a selection of books available from this website which provide detailed instructions on how to get started with making felt and the internet provides a huge resource on the various techniques.

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