Have you ever had your wool sweater shrinking to 2 sizes smaller after taking it out of the dryer? Not only is the shrunken sweater smaller, it is also harder in texture. This is exactly the process that turns wool into felt.
Using a high-powered microscope, you can see there are numerous scaly cuticle cells that make up its fiber structure. When water and pressure are added, the fibers align in opposite directions and become entangled. This is how felt is made from wool.
What is Needle Felting?
Needle felting is a unique handicraft. First roll up a small amount of wool into shapes you like. Then, using a specialized needle with a hook on one end and tiny barbs on the other, stab the wool so the wool pulls into itself. When the wool becomes hardened, you’re able to create different shapes. For example, animals, people, food objects, paintings…etc. You will need felting needles of different sizes and a tack board as a base for this felting process.
What is Wet Felting?
Place the wool on a flat surface and moisten with soapy water or any liquid that can be foamed. Rub the wool so the fibers become entangled and hardened. This is exactly how your sweater shrinks after washing it in the washing machine.
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