New to needle felting? Well by now you've probably poked yourself and drawn blood more than once, and it's probably safe to assume you've broken at least one needle. Welcome to the club! Today I share some tips that will help you avoid needle breakage and self-inflicted needle felting pain.
It's important to know that the tip of a needle felting needle is thin and inherently brittle. It's a needle felting fact that, just like unexpectedly jabbing yourself, needle breakage happens. Here are some basics which when followed help reduce breakage and sudden gasps of surprise while felting.
- Use a foam felting pad or thick sponge for your felting surface so the needle does not come into contact with something hard like a table or something with nerves like your thigh.
- Be sure to withdraw the needle in the same direction as it was inserted. For example, if you poked it straight down into your fiber mass then withdraw it straight up. Withdrawing it on an angle increases the likelihood of snapping the tip right off leaving you with a broken piece in your felted fiber mass and hunting for a new needle.
- Creating a bendable figure and felting wool that's been wrapped around pipe cleaners or wire? Take extra care. If your needle hits the metal there's a good chance you'll get breakage.
- Lastly, this one is a no-brainer but is worth mentioning because whenever I've poked myself this is why. Many people find needle felting addictive, meditative or both and either get overly enthusiastic or zone out. Either way, if you get poked, refocus, slow down and keep your eyes on what you're doing and you won't have bandaged fingers to explain. Finger guards are not practical all the time but are good to have on hand for non-exacting work like felting a core, large areas or flat felting.
Any other tips? Feel free to share them below.