BEHIND THE SCENES: Needle Felting
It doesn't take much to get started on your own wool painting. You just need a few supplies, an idea, time, and the courage to get started and give it a try. In this post I will address what supplies I use and where I get them.
I started needle felting a little over a year ago when I first moved to North Carolina. All of our belongings were still in California waiting to be shipped which meant I was in a big, empty house (it felt big to me, we had been living with family for a few years so anything personal space was enormous). And I should mention my husband left for a couple weeks on business, so after Freya went to bed I was also alone. I couldn't reason buying new knitting supplies when I already had everything (maybe even two of everything) and I had learned about needle felting prior to moving which lead to my decision to get the supplies and teach myself. That is where my needle felting history begins.
So, the supplies you need to start your own history are the following:
- FOAM: That is the large, grey square in the photo.
- BACKGROUND: I started with inexpensive, acrylic felt (pictured above) to luxurious 100% wool felt, but I am also starting to learn that it can be almost anything. I have a current project going on right now that I am felting onto linen and it looks fine!
- NEEDLES: These needles are a unique, barbed needle. There are different gauges, 32 for coarse wool to 40 for super fine wool. There are also different shapes: triangle allows you to control details better while star shaped needles felt the wool faster.
- WOOL ROVING: Roving is the carded wool. You know, the soft, fluffy stuff that is irresistible to touch. You can purchase it in dyed in a variety of colors or use the natural colors. Fine wool, such as merino, takes more time to felt while coarse wool is more difficult to create details. Try and find a medium wool. When purchasing wool, the farmer or shop will be able to tell you if it is coarse, fine or in between. Don't be afraid to ask questions (they know more than I do!).
That's all you need to start your first wool painting. When I first started (in my big, empty house) I ordered a cheap kit and a variety pack of roving from Amazon that shipped from China. It was perfect for starting without committing. Later I ordered nicer supplies from The Woolery and I want to try the wool from Living Fibers but haven't yet. I also found an amazing Fiber Artist, Dani Ives, who is a huge inspiration. She has a course called Felt With Me that I ended up buying to make sure I was going in the right direction and to pick up more tricks of the trade. I totally recommend it if you need the step by step, video tutorial showing you what to do. (NOTE: I am not paid to promote any of these businesses, none of them even know I wrote this post. I legitimately like them and feel confident in suggesting them to my friends.)
Good luck! Please let me know if you found this helpful and tag me on Instagram with your new art!