Q&A: What is Felting?

Here at Cloth Paper Scissors, we celebrate the many ways that you create mixed-media art. We love that our readers come from such different backgrounds: art journaling, jewelry making, sewing, and more. There are as many types of artists as there are media to explore, and I love that each artist has the same intention: to create. With that in mind, I’d like to introduce felting to those who aren’t familiar with this user-friendly fabric art.

Needle felting
Lady Sun by Cloth Paper Scissors community member Pahinojosa

So, what is felting? There are different techniques involved in felting fibers and material, such as washing machine felting and needle felting; the latter can be done by hand or machine. Today we’ll focus on needle felting (learn both felting techniques with this free eBook). Cloth Paper Scissors senior editor Jeannine Stein defines it for us: “Felting is the process of melding fibers together. Needle felting uses a barbed needle to mat fibers and fabrics together; by jabbing the needle repeatedly into the materials they begin to connect and meld. The same process can be done with special felting machines, which look like sewing machines, but use felting needles instead of regular sewing needles. All-wool knitted garments and fabrics can be felted by washing them in very hot water, which agitates the fibers and causes them to tighten.”

Pin this image to your mixed-media art or felting
board on Pinterest
for easy reference.

The results are colorful combinations of fabric that you can use to create fashion accessories as well as art elements. Jenn Mason and Julie Fei-Fan Balzer explain all of this in more detail in “Warm and Felted,” the maiden episode of The Mixed Media Workshop TV at CraftDaily.com. To celebrate the launch of this exciting new series, we’re sharing the entire video for free! Scroll down to watch Jenn and Julie’s entertaining banter as they offer tips for dyeing felt and buttons, purchasing wool that you can convert to felt, making felted accessories, and more. Watch and learn when they play “She said, She said,” a witty segment in which they challenge each other to a felting technique and compare their methods and results.

Subscribe to even more episodes at CraftDaily.com and let us know what you’re inspired to create. Post your works on Twitter, Pinterest, or the Cloth Paper Scissors gallery, and make sure you hashtag each one with #MMWFelt so that we can check them out!

Happy felting,

[view: http://www.youtube.com/v/4Ks4F1bWZr4?version=3&hl=en_US]

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Blog, Fabric Art

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