Needle Felting Experiments

This week I’ve been experimenting with Needle Felting, and this is one of the works in progress.  It’s approx. A5 in size, and the pattern is inspired by prehistoric rock art, something that is beautiful in it’s honesty and amazing that it has survived so many thousands of years!

Needle felting is simple enough to do – strands of un-felted fibres are laid out in the required pattern/shape and a special ‘needle’ is used to push them through the background fabric, in this case I’ve used my favourite black felt, though many different kinds of materials can be used to do this.

I thought it would be interesting to try, a change from the use of wires to lay out an abstract pattern – there is a limit to the thickness of wire I can use because I’d be unable to bend or cut it, and the weight would no doubt cause problems with the fabric ‘ground’.  The relatively matt effect of the needle felted parts is a contrast to the shiny beads, sequins and threads that I love to attach to embellish the basic desigh; perhaps by using a more matt ‘outliner’ I’ll use more in the way of matt embroidery threads and other items.

I’m also conscious that the outlines I’ve created are quite ‘thin’, I need to experiment more with making much more gutsy and raised designs, so that beads and so on nestle in the valleys created by the needle felting.  I also need to experiment with various fibres, such as Angelina, to add shimmer and sparkle to the needle felting.  Having said that, on one of my experiments, I’ve stitched over the needle felted lines with gold thread, which creates an interesting texture.

Here’s the other two experimental pieces :

Each of these is approx. A6 in size.

2 thoughts on “Needle Felting Experiments

  1. It’s interesting to hear about the process of working out the problems, as well as see the finished work. I like the top one. Thinking about aboriginal work seen by us in Australia, I must say it didn’t do it for me (though it was beautiful and interesting.) I found the whole Aboriginal culture strange, though there are great things about it, like they walk through a landscape and do not disturb it. They were a strange people, gifted with languages, but about other races, remarkably incurious. Good luck with your endeavours.

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    1. Well, it’s nice to share! It’s coming along nicely now. Almost finished, so there’ll be a photo of the finished work on my blog either later tonight or tomorrow. The one at the top is my favourite too, the others are part of the learning process!

      It was interesting to hear of your experience of Australia and the Aboriginal people there. I must admit, my only experience of them is through Bruce Chatwin’s book ‘Songlines’, which made a deep impression on me when I read it a number of years ago. Their spiritual beliefs are interesting, I found, if weird to the western way of thinking.

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