What is Felt?
Most of you may know what felt is. It’s a cloth that is acquired after the matting, condensing, and pressing process of wool fibers. This is a non-woven cloth that comes in different varieties – soft and hard. Coming in various sizes, shapes, and colors, this material is used for several reasons. In short, felt is considered as the mass of wool that is strong and smooth at the same time. It’s lightweight and probably one of the most water-repellent fabric found today.
What Does Felting Mean?
The entire process is not only simple to understand but quite beautiful as well. This knitting process requires felting of wool with special industrial grade barbed needles. It doesn’t require any water for the process due to the use of barbed needles. As compared to the smooth sewing needles, these barbed needles can rust when they come in contact with water. Regarded as one of the most popular art and crafts project, it can be done by one or a group of needles. The groups of needles mainly come in 2 or 5 and they are supposed to be held in your hands.
When you hold the needles, it gives you proper command over sculpting the woolen fabric. The scales present on the fiber can be easily caught by the barbed needles. Perhaps you may, or may not, be aware but wool is a fabric with layers. So what these needles do is push itself through those layers, tangle them further on, and then bind them to form any shape, design, or pattern you want. You can easily learn creative patterns in 2D and 3D such as a teddy bear, flowers, birds, dolls, animals, and embellishments on clothes, purses, etc; it definitely is great fun once you get the hang of it.
Beginning the Process
First of all, if you are taking it as a hobby, then may I suggest you invest in a good quality kit. Any beginner’s kit will have 2 to 5 felting needles, a foam pad which can be used again and again for different projects, and dye wool. The wool used here should be either carded or medium fine in texture. Also make sure that you use various different colors to start up on your project.
The next step is to find brilliant patterns to work on. As mentioned earlier, you can make birds, animals, dolls, for your project. But along with that, you can also use the wool to embellish a purse, scarf, or sweater. To find interesting patterns, the best thing to do is, either purchase the instructions book or browse over the Internet. You will definitely find beautiful designs and patterns to work on. Follow the steps mentioned for specific patterns and make as many creations as possible.