Let me start with a quick description for those who haven't tried needle felting. It's a way to add texture to a fabric or bond two fibers together using special barbed needles. It is typically used as an alternative method of felting wool without water, although I use it a bit differently. Essentially you place roving, yarn or fabric on top of another piece of fabric, press through both layers with the tool and the barbs in the needles cause the fibers to intermingle. I haven't tried it on wool, although my understanding is that the nature of the wool fibers creates a strong bond between the two fibers. On cottons and silks the fibers can be pulled apart.
Last year I decided to try again, this time with a hand felting tool. The one I have uses five needles.You also need a felting mat or something to place behind the bottom layer to cushion the needles. I have used thick upholstery foam and foam kitchen mats (double layer).
I only have two two samples of my work, so I've also included the work of Leila Reynolds, a local artist who does a lot of work that incorporates felting.
|Flow, 40" x 36"|
|The Edge, detail|
|The Edge, 40" x 16"|
|Needle felting on rusted silk, by Leila Reynolds|
|Needle felting on silk shawl, by Leila Reynolds|
|Needle felted hat, by Leila Reynolds|
|Needle felted hat by Leila Reynolds|