Quick Guide: Felting

In case you are new to the world of Fiber Arts, check out my quick guide to the basics of knitting, crocheting, weaving, and felting. (I don’t claim to be an expert! This is just to give you the “gist” of each).

Felting is one of my very favorite processes when it comes to working with fibers. In order to “felt”, you need to start with unspun wool. (The material must be wool or a similar animal fiber, as the felting process depends completely on its characteristics!) Ultimately, felting involves the initial separation of the wool fibers, which are then agitated and “tangled” back together.  The two most popular forms of felting are Wet felting and Needle felting.

Wet felting is perhaps the most popular way to felt, which consists of soaking the wool fibers and agitating them. As the wool dries, the fibers shrink and interlock together, creating the solid “felted” look.  Many times, this is used as the end process to a knit or woven creation, transforming it from having a stitched look to a solid felted look.

Needle felting consists of piercing miniscule portions of unspun wool fibers through a fabric or background surface.  I have seen needle felting used typically as a method for creating artistic images.  Amazingly, this method holds together quite well, even though in reality it is being held up by a fraction of micro fibers.