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What the fluff? Wool Guide

Who knew there were so many types of wool. Sadly, it’s all too easy to buy the wrong type! So hold tight folks, as we break down wool for you and provide a little clarity.

Wool Terminology

Carded: The word ‘carded’, in relation to any of the wools we sell, means the wool has been brushed so the fibres lay in different directions, making it much easier to needle felt. Using wool that has been carded will speed along the felting process, especially when sculpting a 3D object.

Batts: Carded wool that comes off the carder in a thick sheet or pad. It makes it easy to separate and peel into thin sheets. When using batts to start a core body you pull off strips and roll them tightly, then needle felt to hold together.

Silvers: Carded wool that has been formed into a long, thin, tubular, rope-like piece and comes in a roll. Is is particularly good for knotting and then wrapping round the knot to start off your core body.

5 Types of Wool

We sell five types of felting wool, all tried and tested by ourselves and our students in our beginner’s workshops.

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Carded Maori Batts

What is it? Our most popular and regularly bought wool. We buy this wool from DHG (The Dyeing House Gallery of Tuscany). The word ‘Maori’ is used to name their iconic blend of carded sheep’s wools that is from New Zealand. It is lovely, soft wool.

Strengths: Versatile, and incredibly easy to use. We stock the full range of 79 colours . Best used as a top coat on your 3D makes, especially when looking for a smooth finish. Wonderful for creating vivid details in your 2D creations.

Weaknesses: One of the more expensive breeds of wool we stock.

Microns: Approx. 27

Carded Maori Batts

What is it? Our most popular and regularly bought wool. We buy this wool from DHG (The Dyeing House Gallery of Tuscany). The word ‘Maori’ is used to name their iconic blend of carded sheep’s wools that is from New Zealand. It is lovely, soft wool.

Strengths: Versatile, and incredibly easy to use. We stock the full range of 79 colours . Best used as a top coat on your 3D makes, especially when looking for a smooth finish. Wonderful for creating vivid details in your 2D creations.

Weaknesses: One of the more expensive breeds of wool we stock.

Microns: Approx. 27

Carded Merino Batts

What is it? We buy this from DHG (The Dyeing House Gallery of Tuscany). Merino is a breed of sheep known for its soft and very fine wool. We stock all 30 shades available from DHG,

Strengths: Perfect for adding very fine detail to your 3D shapes, but especially
For 2D pictures and portraits. Creates an extremely smooth finish to your top coat. Once it’s needle felted into a firm density, it enhances the richness of colour.

Weaknesses: Unsuitable for core shapes. Due to its high quality and fine fibres, it is more expensive than Maori, and has a smaller colour range than our other wools.

Microns: Approx. 19

Carded Merino Batts

What is it? We buy this from DHG (The Dyeing House Gallery of Tuscany). Merino is a breed of sheep known for its soft and very fine wool. We stock all 30 shades available from DHG,

Strengths: Perfect for adding very fine detail to your 3D shapes, but especially
For 2D pictures and portraits. Creates an extremely smooth finish to your top coat. Once it’s needle felted into a firm density, it enhances the richness of colour.

Weaknesses: Unsuitable for core shapes. Due to its high quality and fine fibres, it is more expensive than Maori, and has a smaller colour range than our other wools.

Microns: Approx. 19

Carded Slivers

What is it? The majority of our slivers are from WOW (World of Wow). We stock many breeds and suggest our Natural Carded Slivers Collection [hyperlink]. Corriedale wool is used for most of our coloured carded slivers and is our coarsest carded wool.

Strengths: Perfect for core shapes! Its great price and coarse fibres make for the perfect core wool that bulks up quickly without costing the earth. For top coat, or 2D projects, it provides a slightly more natural, fuzzy finish, where individual fibres are slightly more visible.

Weaknesses: Not as easy to create fine details (but not impossible). Doesn’t provide a smooth or satin finish.

Microns: Approx. 29-30

Carded Slivers

What is it? The majority of our slivers are from WOW (World of Wow). We stock many breeds and suggest our Natural Carded Slivers Collection [hyperlink]. Corriedale wool is used for most of our coloured carded slivers and is our coarsest carded wool.

Strengths: Perfect for core shapes! Its great price and coarse fibres make for the perfect core wool that bulks up quickly without costing the earth. For top coat, or 2D projects, it provides a slightly more natural, fuzzy finish, where individual fibres are slightly more visible.

Weaknesses: Not as easy to create fine details (but not impossible). Doesn’t provide a smooth or satin finish.

Microns: Approx. 29-30

Tops / Roving

What is it? These are the same thing! The term ‘tops’ is usually used in the UK and ‘roving’ in other countries. This wool is beautiful, alluring and has many uses.

Strengths: It’s good for applying a top coat of fur/hair to felted animals. We stock tops made of both natural fibres and wool, as well as man-made fibres. The natural fibres are better for the environment; however, the man-made fibres are often stronger and more durable.

Weaknesses: All fibres have been combed in one direction, making it much more difficult to needle felt into a 3D shape.

Tops / Roving

What is it? These are the same thing! The term ‘tops’ is usually used in the UK and ‘roving’ in other countries. This wool is beautiful, alluring and has many uses.

Strengths: It’s good for applying a top coat of fur/hair to felted animals. We stock tops made of both natural fibres and wool, as well as man-made fibres. The natural fibres are better for the environment; however, the man-made fibres are often stronger and more durable.

Weaknesses: All fibres have been combed in one direction, making it much more difficult to needle felt into a 3D shape.

Speciality Wool

What is it? All the other types of wool we sell fall into this category. The main types are:

Viscose - Used to create a fluffy, hairy effect.

Locks - Used for creating curls

Angelina - Many types of wool are in this group. They are used to create silky finishes or add a bit of glitz and sparkle.

Speciality Wool

What is it? All the other types of wool we sell fall into this category. The main types are:

Viscose - Used to create a fluffy, hairy effect.

Locks - Used for creating curls

Angelina - Many types of wool are in this group. They are used to create silky finishes or add a bit of glitz and sparkle.

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The right prick! Needle Guide

Anatomy of the Needle

The needles used in needle felting are no ordinary needles! They have little nicks cut into the shaft, called barbs. The barbs are what catch and mesh together the fibres by knotting and tangling it. The more you stab, the more fibres will be picked up and entangled, and the denser the wool will become.

It’s that simple, but remember safety first!


Important: The needles are quite brittle, so ensure you pull the needle in & out at the same angle. If you stab, then pull it out at a different angle, the needle will snap. They are extremely sharp!

Triangle Needle

- Barbs on three sides
- For creating 3D shapes

Star Needle

- Barbs on four sides
- Barbs are close to the tip
- For shallow felting & smoothing

Twist Needle

- Needle length is twisted
- For fast felting
- Leaves less holes in work

Needle Gauge Rule: “The smaller the number the larger the needle”

Needle felting needles are often labelled as a number followed by a G, e.g. 38G. The G stands for gauge, which means thickness. Unlike microns (that tell us the thickness of our woolly fibres), the gauge numbers work inversely. The smaller the gauge number, the larger the needle!

Our Beginner’s Needle Recommendations

38g Twisted Star

• Best all-rounder needle
• Barbs on four sides
• For faster felting
• Leaves fewer holes in work

Needle Felting Starter Set

• Has a range of gauges
• Includes Beginner’s guide
• Good for exploring and deciding what you prefer

What's in your toolkit? Tool Guide

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3 Needle Punch

3 Needle Punch

• 3x faster than a regular needle
• Perfect for speedy work on larger pieces
• Works with any size needle
• Easily replaceable
• Not for finer details

• 3x faster than a regular needle
• Perfect for speedy work on larger pieces
• Works with any size needle
• Easily replaceable
• Not for finer details

Protectors

Protectors

• Protects your fingers from needles
• Use on thumb & finger holding the project
• Heavy duty material - usually leather

• Protects your fingers from needles
• Use on thumb & finger holding the project
• Heavy duty material - usually leather

Stab Mats

Stab Mats

• Protective surface for home & needles
• Multiple types available to suit your preference and budget.

• Protective surface for home & needles
• Multiple types available to suit your preference and budget.

7 Needle Punch

7 Needle Punch

• Multi-needle tool, generally used for flat felting work or smoothing large areas.
• Quickly creates brooches, leaves, etc.
• Easily replaceable, but break easily
• Used on a regular needle felting matt

• Multi-needle tool, generally used for flat felting work or smoothing large areas.
• Quickly creates brooches, leaves, etc.
• Easily replaceable, but break easily
• Used on a regular needle felting matt

Pen Style Holder

Pen Style Holder

• Ergonomically designed needles
• Variety of option looks & behaviour

• Ergonomically designed needles
• Variety of option looks & behaviour

Awl

Awl

• Creates holes in your felt project
• Useful when attaching eyes, legs, wire, props & other accessories.
• Much thicker & sturdier than needle felting needles.

• Creates holes in your felt project
• Useful when attaching eyes, legs, wire, props & other accessories.
• Much thicker & sturdier than needle felting needles.

Tweezers

Tweezers

• Similar to the ones found at home
• Very useful for handling small objects & pulling out debris found in your fluff.

• Similar to the ones found at home
• Very useful for handling small objects & pulling out debris found in your fluff.

Scissors

Scissors

• For trimming your finished project
• We would typically suggest tearing fluff for most projects.

• For trimming your finished project
• We would typically suggest tearing fluff for most projects.

Glue

Glue

• Essential for attaching non-fibrous accessories such as film clay, eyes, wings and wire legs.

• Essential for attaching non-fibrous accessories such as film clay, eyes, wings and wire legs.

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Which kit is your right fit? Kits Guide

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Starter Kit

What is it? Contains everything you need to start a project including wool, needles, tools, mat, beginner’s guide book (with many projects for complete beginners) and online video demos of each tool!

Strengths: Great price and quality materials.

Top Tip: We highly recommend this kit for beginners who are not wanting a specific kit to follow, but instead a great, flexible way to get started with needle felting.

Starter Kit

What is it? Contains everything you need to start a project including wool, needles, tools, mat, beginner’s guide book (with many projects for complete beginners) and online video demos of each tool!

Strengths: Great price and quality materials.

Top Tip: We highly recommend this kit for beginners who are not wanting a specific kit to follow, but instead a great, flexible way to get started with needle felting.

2D Felting Kits

What is it? Kits for felting on a flat surface, also described as ‘Painting with Wool’. Needle felt different colours of wool onto a flat surface to create a picture from your imagination or recreate a realistic portrait from a photograph. Maori wools and Carded extra fine Merino are typically used for these kits.

Strengths: Only a small amount of wool is needed. The key to getting a realistic effect is using many different shades.

Top Tip: We recommend our Maori Colour Collections with 12 mini batts in a variety of colours, for just £10.

2D Felting Kits

What is it? Kits for felting on a flat surface, also described as ‘Painting with Wool’. Needle felt different colours of wool onto a flat surface to create a picture from your imagination or recreate a realistic portrait from a photograph. Maori wools and Carded extra fine Merino are typically used for these kits.

Strengths: Only a small amount of wool is needed. The key to getting a realistic effect is using many different shades.

Top Tip: We recommend our Maori Colour Collections with 12 mini batts in a variety of colours, for just £10.

3D Felting Kits

What is it? Felting and moulding your fluff into free standing shapes, that may become animals or objects. The only limit is your imagination.  If you are making small, similar shapes then you can achieve this by using just wool. Carded Corriedale Slivers are the perfect wool for your core shape.

Strengths: Many include a high quality, detailed video tutorial. We supply kits containing all the materials used in the tutorials and the correct size felting needles. These tutorials provide a fantastic opportunity to learn from some of the BEST FIBRE ARTISTS IN THE WORLD!

3D Felting Kits

What is it? Felting and moulding your fluff into free standing shapes, that may become animals or objects. The only limit is your imagination.  If you are making small, similar shapes then you can achieve this by using just wool. Carded Corriedale Slivers are the perfect wool for your core shape.

Strengths: Many include a high quality, detailed video tutorial. We supply kits containing all the materials used in the tutorials and the correct size felting needles. These tutorials provide a fantastic opportunity to learn from some of the BEST FIBRE ARTISTS IN THE WORLD!

3D with Armature

What is it? An armature is a ‘skeleton’ usually made from bendable wire. Larger animals that need to stand up on their own often use an armature.

Strengths: All of our realistic animal kits are based on an armature and include the wire needed with clear instructions and measurements.

Top Tip: If you are not working from a kit, the best way to get the correct proportions is to search online for a diagram of the animal you wish to make, print it and bend some armature wire to match the diagram.

3D with Armature

What is it? An armature is a ‘skeleton’ usually made from bendable wire. Larger animals that need to stand up on their own often use an armature.

Strengths: All of our realistic animal kits are based on an armature and include the wire needed with clear instructions and measurements.

Top Tip: If you are not working from a kit, the best way to get the correct proportions is to search online for a diagram of the animal you wish to make, print it and bend some armature wire to match the diagram.

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Words you neet to know! Needle Felting Dictionary

We’ve compiled a guide of all the terms you need to know about needle felting as a handy reference if you come across an unfamiliar term. Click the link below to have a look!

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