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Needle Felting Needles explained!

Updated: Mar 14, 2023

As you will be aware, Needle felting is a craft that involves using a special needle to shape and sculpt wool fibers into a desired shape or form. Needle felting needles come in different types, sizes, and gauges, each with its own unique characteristics and uses. Felting Needles can be used on their own or as part of a tool or holder, while many people like to use bare needles, a tool or holder can make them easier to grip.

Types of Needle Felting tools :

  • Single-Needle Tool - This is the most basic type of needle felting needle tool. It has a single, barbed needle that is used for shaping and sculpting wool fibers.

  • Multi-Needle Tool - This type of tool has multiple needles, usually three to five, clustered together. Multi-needle felting tools are faster and more efficient than single-needle felting tools.

Size does matter!

Needle felting needles come in various sizes, ranging from extra fine to coarse. The size of the needle you choose will depend on the type of fiber you're working with and the level of detail you want to achieve. Our needles are colour coded for quick identification. Some common sizes are:

Triangular Felting Needles

  • Extra Fine (42 gauge) - This is the finest gauge felting needle and is used for delicate work and fine detail.

  • Medium (38 gauge) - This felting needle is thicker than the extra fine needle and can be used for finer detail sculpting and adding a top coat colour. This needle is a good all rounder!

  • Coarse(36 gauge) - This needle is thicker and is used for shaping and sculpting larger pieces of wool.

  • Coarse (32 gauge) - This is the thickest felting needle and is used for quickly felting larger pieces of wool.

Spiral Felting needles

These needles have twisted tips for faster Felting and tangling those fibres! The finer twisted needles can be good for adding your top coat colours as they tighten up the fibres leaving a smooth finish.

Star Felting Needles

The tips of these needles are star shaped and contain more barbs for faster Felting

Reverse Felting Needles

Does what it says on the tin! These felting needles are designed to pull out the fibres. These can be used to give your animals a more realistic furry Finnish but to get this look you will need to use your coloured wool in the core and not cream core wool.

The reverse needles can also be used for blending colours together on your 3D projects. By pulling the fibres and then stabbing them back in to get a gradient from one colour to the next.

Felting Needles are Sharp!

When working with needle felting needles, it's important to take certain safety precautions to avoid injury.

Here are some tips:

  • Use a felting mat or foam pad to prevent the needle from slipping and to protect your work surface.

  • Always hold the needle by the handle and avoid touching the sharp tip.

  • Work in a well-lit area to avoid eye strain and to help you see what you're doing.

  • Keep your fingers and other body parts away from the needle while you're working.

Tips and Tricks

Here are some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your needle felting needles:

  • Start with a clean, dry piece of wool. Wet or dirty wool can make it difficult to achieve the desired shape and texture.

  • Use a combination of single-needle and multi-needle felting needles to achieve different effects and textures.

  • Vary the angle and depth of your needle strokes to achieve different levels of density and texture.

  • Use a reference photo or sketch to help you visualize the shape and proportions of your project.

In conclusion, needle felting needles are an essential tool for any needle felting project. By understanding the different types, sizes, and gauges of needles available, as well as taking safety precautions and using some tips and tricks, you can achieve beautiful, intricate needle felted creations.

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