When creating a felt ball garland, you will need to choose a sturdy, thick string to hold the ball together. Depending on how large your garland is, you may want to use a cotton/poly blend string or nylon cord material.
If you are making a larger garland and want the string to be less visible, you may want to opt for clear fishing wire. This can provide increased strength while being virtually invisible. If you are making a smaller garland, you may opt for a jute twine or baker’s twine for a softer look.
Either way, make sure to choose a material that can resist fraying and will hold its shape. For a festive look, you can even choose a colored string that will show up nicely against the colors of the felt balls.
What size felt balls for garland?
When deciding on the size of felt balls to use for a garland, it is important to consider the intended purpose of the item and the size of the space where the garland will hang. If the garland will be used to decorate a large space, such as a church or hall, 12 – 15 cm felt balls are ideal as they will create a bold and eye-catching statement.
Alternatively, for a smaller, more intimate space, such as a baby’s nursery, 60 mm or smaller felt balls may be more appropriate. In addition, depending on the desired end result, some crafters even recommend creating a mix of various sized felt balls on the same garland.
What to use to string felt balls?
Using string to attach felt balls together is one of the easiest and most common ways to make garlands, mobiles, floral arrangements, necklaces, and other decorations. Most often, you’ll want to use a sturdy string that won’t break easily and won’t stretch or fray.
The knot you use to secure the string to the felt balls will also be important. Some good choices for stringing felt balls together include waxed or cotton twine, jute, or a thin leather cord. To secure the felt balls to the string, you can use a simple overhand knot, or for a decorative touch, you can use a double knot or a figure eight knot.
For added detail and texture, you can also use multiple strings of different materials and colors. However you choose to string your felt balls, make sure the knots you use are secure and the string is strong enough to support the weight of the felt balls.
Do you need a special needle to needle felt?
Yes, you need a special needle to needle felt. Also known as felting needles, they have an “eye” at the end like a traditional needle, but instead of a sharp point, they have sharp barbs along their length.
The barbs are used to grab and tangle the fibers in wool roving or felt to each other, locking them in place. Needle felting needles come in a variety of sizes, from tiny 28-gauge needles to large 34-gauge needles.
You may want to start with a medium 32-gauge needle, which is the most common type used. Additionally, there are fingers protectors which you can use with the needle to protect your hands while you’re working with them.
It’s also important to keep in mind that felting needles are quite sharp, so take extra caution when using them.
Is needle felting difficult?
Needle felting can be difficult depending on the complexity of the project you are attempting. Needle felting involves using a special needle to press roving or loose wool fibers under repeated poking movements to create a design or shape.
The number of needles and their specific size will depend on the project you are undertaking. Generally, a stronger needle is needed to secure multiple layers of wool together, while finer needles are used for details.
It takes time and practice to become an expert in needle felting and make complex 3D shapes. Shapes such as animals and dolls require an intricate understanding of movement and fabric behavior, and some mistakes such as over felting can be difficult to undo after the needle has passed through.
Beginner needle felter should focus on simpler projects, such as making a flat item like a coaster. It is important to always use a felting mat or thick thick towel to avoid damaging any furniture. If you are a beginner and looking for a challenge, you can look up tutorials online to help guide you through the process.
What is reverse felting?
Reverse felting is a type of felting process that uses a needle to remove fiber from fabric or other materials to create a unique, textured effect. Reverse felting works by pushing a felting needle through the material and pulling it out again and pulling out a tuft of fiber.
By repeating this process over and over, the material is left with an attractive, almost sculptural, design. This look can be used to adorn clothing, accessories, and home décor. Reverse felting is the opposite process of traditional feltmaking, which works by pushing the fibers together to form a felted fabric.
Reverse felting provides greater control over the design and also offers more artistic freedom. The end result is more delicate and intricate than traditional felting and can be used to create stunning, one-of-a-kind pieces.
Can you felt with a sewing needle?
No, it is not possible to felt with a sewing needle. Felt is created by a process called ‘wet felting,’ which requires agitating water and soap with wool fibers or other fabric fibers until the fibers interlock and become one fabric.
A sewing needle cannot provide the specialized agitation necessary for felting, and the skipping and snagging of fabric caused by a sewing needle would be disastrous for felting. You need barbed felting needles, which are specially designed to penetrate the fibers and hook them together without snagging or skipping.
Additionally, felting requires soap to break down the surface of the wool and enable the fibers to hook together, and a fulling agent may be needed to compact the fibers closer together. For these reasons, a sewing needle alone is not sufficient for felting.
Can you use regular felt for needle felting?
No, regular felt will not work for needle felting. Needle felting involves making three dimensional items by pushing and shaping wool fibers together with a special felting needle. Regular felt is made up of fibers that have already been compressed together with an adhesive, making it difficult for the needles to mingle the fibers together.
When quality needle felting wool is used, the needle easily twists and interlocks the fibers, making the pieces very stable and durable. If regular felt was used, the needles would not be able to properly interlock the fibers and the results would not be satisfactory.
Is felting an expensive hobby?
Felting can be as expensive or inexpensive as you make it. The cost depends on what kind of supplies you choose to use. For example, basic wool fiber for wet felting projects can be quite affordable, with prices ranging from $2-5 per ounce.
Using high-quality fibers such as merino wool or alpaca wool can be a bit pricier, but they are an investment in quality. The cost of needles, foam mats, and other basic supplies like soap and water must also be taken into consideration when budgeting for a felting project.
Additionally, some felters opt to purchase pre-made figurines and shapes as opposed to starting their projects from scratch. Depending on the complexity, the cost of these can vary greatly. Ultimately, the cost associated with felting can depend on the type of supplies and materials chosen.
What makes a felting needle different?
Felting needles are specialized needles that are used to create a certain type of fabric called felt. These needles have several features that set them apart from traditional sewing needles. First, felting needles are barbed, meaning that small, evenly spaced barbs or teeth are scattered along the needle’s length.
While sewing needles typically have a single, smooth face, and do not have barbs, felting needles feature barbs that help interlock the fibers and create a felted surface. Additionally, felting needles are generally shorter and sturdier than traditional needles, with a sharp, triangular point which helps the needle easily and securely penetrate densely packed materials.
Finally, felting needles are usually made with a thicker gauge than sewing needles, which allows them to more easily move the material and produce a more secure connection. These features, along with others, make felting needles suited specifically to felt-making.
How is felt made step by step?
Felt is one of the oldest and most versatile fabrics known. Making felt involves several steps, including layering the fibers, agitating them until they tangle and compress together into a solid fabric.
Here are the steps to make felt:
1. Start with high-quality natural animal and/or plant fibers. Animal fibers—such as wool and alpaca—are better for wet felting, while plant fibers—such as silk, hemp, and flax—are better for dry felting.
2. Layer the fibers randomly on a flat surface. The fibers should be placed with the scales or barbs facing up. These scales or barbs, when agitated, will help the fibers mat together.
3. Add soapy warm water to the fibers. You can use a mild detergent, such as castile soap or laundry detergent, as well as a few drops of liquid soap specifically designed for felt making.
4. Begin agitating the fibers by hand or with a tool, such as a felting batt. The agitation helps the fibers to begin matting together and forming a cohesive fabric.
5. Continue gently rubbing and agitating the fibers until they felt. You will notice the fibers begin to tangle and bind together, and the fabric will begin to take shape.
6. Rinse the fabric in warm water, and then remove the excess water.
7. Form the felt fabric into the desired shape. This can be done either by layering the felt in between two layers of bubble wrap and rolling it up in a tube shape, or by hand.
8. Allow the fabric to air dry naturally.
And that’s it! With a little practice, you can begin making beautiful felt projects of all shapes, sizes, and colors.