If you are starting out in needle felting you might like to know what felting kit is vital and what kit you can leave until later (or not use at all).
There are a few basics that you need for felting like needles, wool, pads, etc. I thought it would be helpful for a general guide which I have put below. Some things have their own page where more detail is needed.
The great thing about needle felting is you can start up with very little in the way of tools. You can buy them individually or as a kit.
All you really need to get started is below:
Basic Needle Felting Tools and Equipment Essentials
Needle Felting Needles
With needles being the main tool everyone has their favorites. Everyone also works slightly differently.
I like to work with mostly triangular ones. I know others that work mostly with stars.
There are several types of needles. These are made with different metals. You do need proper needle felting needles and not normal ones because you need to have barbs on the needles.
While it’s important to know your needles and get the right ones, don’t get bogged down with detail at this stage. Simply get triangular needles in coarse, fine and medium.
I recommend getting colored ends if possible. It makes it easier to know what needle you are using.
If you want to know more about needles check out my post that explains the different types of felting needle.
Felting with one needle can cause pain and be a bit fiddly. This is where getting handles to hold your needles helps. There are several types of needle felting handle that you can use.
They range from holding a single needle up to holders that have quite a few. Some are way better than others. I started with a single wooden one but wasn’t happy with it because it moved. This endangered me and the needle so I upgraded.
If you want more info see my post with more information on the needle holders and which are in my view the best and why.
High-Density Foam Sponge Felting Matt
Most people start off using a foam sponge of some kind. Foam sponges are essential to protect the needle from breaking. They also protect your base form needle damage. You need them to support your project.
Foam sponges need to be very firm. You can buy special ones or use upholstery ones.
I started with some cheap firm ones I got in the £1 store when I started out because I didn’t know if needle felting was for me or not and wanted to keep costs down. I quickly realized that I needed better support so progressed to the specialist sponges.
You need the bigger ones really but I got the smaller one. It works well for tiny bear projects but it is not much good for larger projects or pictures.
You may find that as you progress you prefer other types of support. But to start out sponges are the easiest to work with and get.
If you want to see if you prefer a sponge or a brush you can learn more about them here
Finger Protectors are Essential To Project From Pain
You may see the expert felters on YouTube going finger protector free. Don’t do this, not at the beginning.
Do not skimp on buying finger protectors they are essential. The needles are super sharp and quite dangerous. No matter how careful you are you will end up pricking yourself at some point. And it hurts like mad!
As your projects get more detailed you will find they do get in the way. I use mine sometimes but not others.
You can find finger protectors on amazon. (aff. links Amazon)
Colored Wool Tops To Felt With
You will need a selection of wool in different colors. While there are all types of wool you can use to felt its best to start off with the proper wool as then you will know that it isn’t the wool that is affecting your work if it goes wrong while you are learning.
You can buy wool for felting on Amazon. Amazon is a great source for wool for beginners. As it Etsy. As you can get smaller quantities to experiment.
Once you are more experienced though you will probably do larger projects and want to buy bigger amounts of one color. This is when it pays to swap to a more specialist store.
Basic Needle Felting Kit Needed to Start Needle Felting
There are 2 ways to start getting your felting tool kit together. You can buy everything individually and use a book or videos to learn or you can buy a needle felting kit.
My own view is that the best way to start needle felting is to buy a complete kit to get you started. They are reasonably priced and make it easier for beginners to get the tools they need.
The reason I say this is that my sister did get one and I didn’t. I was trying to save money at that time. It worked out OK but just wasn’t the same as receiving a brand-new kit (which I later did buy and will go into more detail in another post).
You can get small sample kits that give you one animal to do or you can get full kits with all the wool and tools you need.
If you decide to buy a starter kit it will give you all of what you need to get started including some starter projects.
If you decide to buy a book it should contain a description of any different items you need.
If you don’t want to get a kit the list below is of the basics you need to get started: