Felting needles are used to commercially felt without soap and water. While machines employ hundreds or thousands of these needles, they are handy individually for the felting artist. Wonderful for details. The needles are usually three-sided, very sharp points with miniscule down-pointing barbs. The needle is punched or pushed repeatedly through the fiber, and the barbs mix the fibers, locking them together. Voila! Felt! The needles are available in several sizes or “gauges.” Most dry felting work, done with medium grade wool, uses 36 or 38 gauge. For finer surface work, or finer fibers, move up to 38 star or 40 gauge.
For coarser fibers, move down to 32 gauge.We use a piece of foam rubber as the working base when needle felting. Keep fingers well out of the way of the needles–they can draw blood. The needles should not be jammed, pried, or removed at a different angle then they were inserted, as the metal they are made of will often break rather then bend.
We offer the 38 gauge in a star blade. This blade has less surface space and more barbs, so it speeds up felting. We also offer it in a spiral blade. The spiral blade twists the fiber down into your project, for a faster tighter felt.
Our newest needle is the 40 gauge reverse. This spunky needle pulls up fiber, rather then pushing it down. Why, you may ask? Well this allows you to pull up tufts of fiber to produce hair or fur on your project. You can also fill the center of your base with a different color, and thus pull up other colors through your outside color.
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