When I was first starting out a needle felting I didn’t know what core wool was. It’s a question often asked and of course, it’s a term fairly specific to needle felting.
Core wool is cheaper alternative wool to use in your projects for needle felting. It is used on the inside for quick felting and to bulk out your work. Usually, you then use other wool on the outside. Below I have shared some of my research on core wool how to use it and where to buy it etc.
To start with my projects were really tiny so I didn’t really bother with core wool as it was an additional expense. However, this turned out to be a mistake not to use it for larger projects as it’s really great to use and actually longer-term it works out more economical. In addition, it speeds up your work and with needle felting that’s very helpful. It’s also beautiful to shape.
What is Core Wool For Needle Felting?
What is Core Wool?
Core wool is cheaper wool, that comes in roving or batts that you use inside your needle felting projects. It is cheaper to buy and often has bits of vegetation in it. It is designed to felt down quickly.
Which Sheep’s Wool Becomes Core Wool?
Like normal felting wool core wool comes and different qualities and from different sheep. Sometimes it’s made from a specific sheep like a Shetland for example while other times you can find it’s mixed wool.
Why Use Core Wool?
There are various reasons for using core wool. Due to the poorer quality, it saves you money. this can be quite substantial when you’re doing a larger piece and you using the bulk of core wool. The quality on the inside doesn’t matter as you cover it over with the better quality wool on the outside. It does not diminish your piece at all, in fact, it can make it better because it’s made perfectly to make your piece stronger.
Because core wool is designed for a specific task and it’s more coarse than some of the wool that you use for the finer details it felts so very, very quickly. This is perfect because as you probably discovered needle felting is a very slow process.
How Do You Use Core Wool When You Felt Projects?
You use Core wool on the inside of your project. You use core wool in a similar way that you would ordinary wool for needle felting. You simply use your needles to felt it down into shape and firm it up. Once you’ve got your shape you then cover it with your chosen final wool details like Marino for example.
If you combine core wool with one of your course needles or multi needles it felts down extremely quickly compared to other wools.
Where Do You Buy It?
Because core wool is such an integral part of needle felting it’s easy to buy all over the world. You can buy it locally and your wool shops that do needle felting supplies or you can buy it from your local tutor if you are on a course or you can buy it online.
When starting out Amazon is a good source of wool. However, as you get more experience you will need to buy your wool in larger quantities and you may prefer to buy it from specialist sources. You may find that there are online stores is that a specific to your country. For example, we have World of Wool. You’re not limited to wool stores in your country depending on where you live. World of Wool, for example, distribute wool all over the world. I’ve just found that that can be a costly way of doing it. Another example is Living Felt in the USA while local to the USA they also post wool all over the world.
If you prefer to get smaller quantities or deal with smaller business people there are lots of small crafters that supply wool who are on places like Etsy or they may have their own websites.
Can You Get Black Core Wool?
Mostly core wool comes in white. I used the term loosely cos it’s more of an off white creamy colour as you can see from the picture. While this is great for most projects if you’re doing a darker piece it can be a bit of a pain as obviously the white may show through. It’s for this reason that you can also get your core wool in black, although it’s not as widely available. Not everyone will want to use black even if felting a dark piece, its a matter of personal preference.
What is the Best Core Wool For Needle Felting?
The best core wool for needle felting has one that shapes up quickly and easily and is easy to use. The higher quality ones can be seen on the outside of your work if you remove the vegetation.
So that’s it all I can think of on core wool if you have any more questions that I haven’t covered here please leave a comment below and I will try to answer them to the best of my ability. I hope you enjoy your needle felting projects.