A while back I had purchased a bunch of scarves from thrift shops and some sample fabrics from the fabric store. All passed the “breath test” but some did not felt when I did samples. I wrote about it here:
Since we have been going thru our UFOs for the last quarter challenge, I came across these samples again and decided to try something different and use my Simplicity Needle Felting machine which sits idle because I’ve never got a handle on how to use it.
So I took the three felted samples I thought would felt and didn’t and ran them through the needle felting machine with all 12 needles. As you can see on the gold piece moving the machine back and forth created a shirring pattern. But that particular piece the the fabric is so stiff it made for a very spiky texture on both the front and back.
Here are the backs:
The flower scarf was the one I thought sure would wet felt. After the needle felting, it was a little stiff, but not as bad as the gold. The green sparkly piece was also a little stiff but only on the top.
Since they were already wet felted. I tried another sample on prefelt of each of them. I also tried using hand felting, the needles just bounced off the fabrics. So, back to the machine. Then I wet felted it.
It was still very coarse on the gold organza, but the other two were fine. I still wasn’t satisfied because it seemed like 12 needles was overkill. So, I took out six of them and tried again on another prefelt then wet felting it afterward.
Here are some closeups:
I guess the bottom line is that if you really want to felt something, there are ways to do it. However, the “hand” of the fabric may be more important for the final project than just being able to felt it. I suppose I could have used a coarser fiber, but for nuno I think softer (merino) is better. After all you don’t really want to shave nuno felt.
I’ve found that sampling is definitely worth the time especially with the unknown. What has your experience been? Have you used a needle felting machine? What is your experience?
Just a note: Rosiepink, Lyn and Annie are having a give away of three copies of their revised pdf “Creating Felt Art.” Their information is always organized and they give wonderful examples, photos and step by step instructions. You can enter to win and get more information here: