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All About Needle Felting

Meld motifs into the fabric of a garment
Threads Issue #212, Dec. 2020/Jan. 2021
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Pattern: Fit For Art Patterns Tabula Rasa Jacket. Fabric: wool flannel, Fibers: wool batt and roving,

Imagine painting with wool: golden shooting stars flying across a navy dress, with a blaze of stardust streaming behind, autumnal leaves tumbling down a dark brown jacket, or a Mondrian-inspired abstract color pattern gracing a jacket’s sleeve.

Needle felting, also referred to as dry felting, is an embellishment technique that permanently embeds batt or roving fibers into a base fabric.

To achieve results, you work a sharp, barbed needle through fibers layered on a fabric’s surface. The needle’s barbs carry some of the fibers into the fabric. When the needle is withdrawn, the fibers stay enmeshed.

As long as the fabric and the needle felting fibers match, they can be felted together. In other words, wool fibers felt to wool fabric, and silk fibers felt to silk fabric.

I’ll demonstrate the method for needle felting with wool. Silk fibers are not as readily available, and wools are…

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