Everybody loves a good bit of free advice, right?! Especially when it has to do with something we feel passionate about, and really enjoy doing. I know I certainly do :o)
So, I am going to offer a hopefully somewhat regular series of Tips and Tricks for you needle felters out there! I posted a great tip a few weeks ago... did you see it? If not, you can take a look here. It was all about how to NOT regularly break your needle felting needles during your crafting sessions. I got some feedback that people liked what I had to say, so I am going to keep it up.
Todays Tip & Tricks topic is:
What fabrics can I needle felt onto?What a great question! This is one I am often asked when teaching classes on FLAT needle felting.
What is "Flat" needle felting? Flat needle felting is what you see in the image above. It is when an image is needle felted onto a backing fabric. I also refer to this type of needle felting as "painting with fiber", because that is basically what we are doing. We are using loose wool roving (the paint) and with sharp barbed needles (the "paint brush") we are creating an art image on a backing "substrate", which will be suitable for hanging on the wall, or on clothing, or on home decor items.
What fabrics can I needle felt onto? The basic rule of thumb is this: Any natural fiber fabric will work. So, a 100% wool, 100% silk or 100% cotton fiber backing should take the action of needle felting with little resistance. Please note: silk and some delicate fibers will pull as you needle felt, so it's best to try your project first on a scrap piece of fabric to make sure you are not bothered by the result.
Why is it so hard to needle felt onto a fabric I found at the thrift store? I thought it was 100% natural. Generally, if the fabric you are needle felting onto provides you great resistance, it is most likely a mixed fiber fabric, with synthetics in the mix. The needle felting needles will not felt into synthetics, also that is probably the root of your trouble. Best to give up on this fabric for needle felting - hey, you can paint on it instead! And keep looking for a 100% natural fabric. Read those clothing labels to double check.
More soon on felting your own wool to use as a fabric base. So, stay tuned and check back regularly!
PS. Don't forget that my Hello Felt online classes will be ready very soon in my Etsy shop. Click here to check the current offerings, or click here to be added to a mailing list so you can be among the first to know when the classes are ready to go live (scroll to the bottom of the page). Also, newsletter subscribers will be given specials and discount codes... hint hint!