Wednesday, June 21, 2017


 Cross cut Merino wool batts are often touted as a time saver over wool strands of wool roving.....and I have quite a collection of beautiful colors.  However, I've never been completely successful working with them.  Some projects seem to work, others don't.
 This is an example of the problem I've experienced.  The layers don't felt together in all areas.  In this case, some of the edges have split apart and no amount of elbow grease were able to bond them.
 A friend gifted this felting machine to another pal who passed it along to me.  It's like brand new.  Thank you Patsy and Val!!
What the heck....with 5 needles, this sure beats needle felting by hand.  So...I was off and running.  This should be a no brainer, right? Yet,  I managed to break all 5 needles in a short period of time.  I installed 5 new needles and broke all of those too....fortunately by then the layers were beautifully felted together. 
It was worth the effort....the 9"w x 3" tall piece is now perfectly felted.

Anyone else out there have some tips for me?  My only thought was the layers were too thick/dense....however it easily fit beneath the plastic needle shield and the machine never stalled or slowed down.  Just snap, snap, snap as the tips of the needles broke.


The Idaho Beauty said...

Am glad to see you finally got that machine out and gave it a whirl. I think you got some lovely results. I've never used one but have heard stories of how easy it is to break needles. I believe people were saying you have to be careful about moving what you are felting too fast or jerkily. But I'll let others with experience give you the tips you need.

Ruth Lane said...

I am assuming that this piece was already wet felted and thus fairly dense? The needle felting machines work best on roving or something that hasn't been felted much. Otherwise, the density will snap the needles especially when you're moving the piece under the needles.

The Inside Stori said...

A clarification from Mary......yes, the bowl had been wet felted but I couldn't get some of the layers to bond....esp. on the that's when I decided to needle felt it. I actually got my hand needle felting supplies out and then thought.....dah....I've got this great new machine. It was time to try it out.

After breaking a total of over 10 finally held together like it should have in the first place. I suspect I may have moved the 'fabric' too quickly....or jerky....which caught some of the needles at an odd angle....breaking them since they are super thin. As I initially said, I suspect the layers were too dense for this type of machine....but ultimately it did the job.

Thanks to all who shared their thoughts and tips!

Robbie said...

I also think it has to do with moving the roving too quickly under the needles. Just like FMQ, you have to develop the technique! You go girl!!!

margaret said...

not sure what was going wrong, have only broken a needle once on mine but that did cause another to break, was advised to remover a broken one before continuing with the felting. I think maybe it was the way you were moving the fabric like you have suggested, don`t give up as it will save you lots of time and stop arm ache with the wet felting

Marybeth said...

I was told to work in small areas...not hopping from one space to the other and to go slow until you get your own rhythm with the movement of fibers and the speed of the needles (just like what people say when I struggle with machine quilting!)