Creating anything in needle felting can be slow. By its nature, a needle felting is not that fast to do. However, if you’re doing a larger piece of work with a smaller needle it can take forever to do and be very frustrating. It’s not uncommon for felters to want to know how to speed up needle felting especially as you get more experienced and want to do larger more complex projects.
There are several ways that you can speed-up needle felting. You can use a variety of techniques tools or different methods to increase the speed of your felting. Below are an overview and brief description of the techniques that you can use to speed up your felting process.
I love to felt, but like many people, I found I soon got fed up waiting for things to take shape. While I appreciate felting is a patient craft there are only so many times you can stab your needle into a piece of wool before you start asking the question of how to speed up. Fortunately for those of us that are starting out now lots of people have asked that question and found techniques and equipment that do just that.
How Do You Speed Up Needle Felting?
The Type Of Wool Can Slow You Down
When you’re choosing your wool you need you usually pick it specifically for your project. It may be that you know that you’re wool is going to slow you down. It can be a trade-off between the wool you use because you need to use that specific wool and your speed.
As speed is not your primary aim your first choice should be to go for your wool.
Use Core Wool to Speed Up Felting
One of the things I didn’t do when I first started was used Core wool. This was because I was creating such tiny objects, it wasn’t really necessary. However, as I progress to larger objects I found that the time it took to do them was just too long for me. I’d heard of core wool that’s sort of creamy white texture wool with bits in it but not used it.
Since I’ve done larger projects I’ve used Core wool and I found this is much quicker to felt with than the finer wool. It also makes for a better inside to your piece.
Some Types of Wool Take Longer to Felt than Others
As you learn more about felting you will find out there are many different types of wool that you can use to felt. These range from the core wool that you use on the inside of things to Merino wool which is very soft and fine.
All these types of all are handled differently and work differently depending on what you’re doing.
In addition to the actual wool itself, there are also different ways the wool is processed. You can have batten or roving some have got short fibres some have got long fibres. How quickly you felt up your project will depend partially on which one you decide to work with.
Needle Choice Make a Difference
The main tools that you use in needle felting are of course the needles. These come in different shapes sizes and with different quantities of barbs on them. Which ones you choose to use will make a difference to how quickly you felt and did the end result.
Choose the Right Size Your Needle
Needle felting needles come in different sizes. They come and find medium and large. There are in fact all different sizes for you to choose from. If you’re using a single needle and you’re using a fine needle it will take much longer for you to felt your items on if you were using a larger needle.
It is, therefore, best to start with a larger needle and work down to a final one unless you’re using multiple needles. (Note the sizes on the needle are reveres so the higher the number the smaller the needle).
Use The Right Needle Tips
Felting needles usually have barbs on the end they’re not just through like an ordinary needle. The number of barbs that you have will increase the amount that your work is being felted it each time you stab it into your wool. The more barbs the quicker the work felts down.
Different Types of Needles for Different Tasks
I’m going into needles fully on a separate article because it’s quite an in-depth subject. However, for here there are different styles of needles you can get; triangular one-star ones, reverse ones, spirals etc.
The Number of Needles Used
Another way you can speed up your needle felting is by the number of needles that you use. Depending on the size of your project it will depend on how many needles that you can use. For a smaller more precise piece you may not be able to increase the number of needles.
If you are however doing a larger piece of work you can use tools that allow you to use two, three, four or a great deal more needles in one go. Although when you use these tools you actually do use fine needles. Usually, it is still a much faster way of felting your wool down and getting the overall shape right before you go into your fine felt techniques.
Basic Techniques Learned Saves Time
If you’re struggling with the speed of your felting one of the things that you can do is to make sure that you’re using the correct techniques.
For example one of the things that I used to do was just screw a ball of wool up and just start felting into shape poking at it randomly. I didn’t have a large variety of needles and I was always getting them mixed up anyway which meant I was often using a smaller needle and I should have been for the task. This resulted in slow needle felting.
There are some basic techniques that you can use that give you shapes quite quickly if you use these techniques it’ll increase your initial speed while felting the wool down into shape.
Needle felting comes with basic shapes such as circles tubes etc. that you can learn.
In addition, you can be too picky. It actually took me twice as long to do my mouse than my sister took to do hers. While it isn’t always helpful, what she was doing was using more wool while I was using smaller layers.
And sometimes you need to be more specific with what you’re doing, while others you just need to get the general shape.
In the beginning, don’t aim for speed, When you’re using your needles aim instead for a better technique. Pull your needles in and out straight. And go slowly. Speed will come in time. If you try to go too fast too soon there is a likelihood that you’ll get through a lot of needles very quickly and make more mistakes.
Using Armature Slows Your Project Down
When you use armature it takes longer to felt around it and while there are techniques that you can use to make this easier it does slow the process down. There are a lot of projects that you can do without armature so if you’re finding yourself going to slow perhaps try one of those until you feel more confident.
A Final Note
So while your needle felting if you use a combination of these techniques and ideas you may find that your felting speed up a lot.
I hope this article helps you with your voting I’d love to hear about any results you have either positive or negative in the comment section below it helps me give better advice in the future which in turn helps all my readers like you.