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Dilu Posts: 8,574

Is it possible to felt too much,

I want to get something really really stiff and then it seems like I go to far and it gets softer.....

Anyone have this problem?

Am I obsessing about stiffness and ruining my pieces in the short run?

Is there anyway to fix it?

sometimes I only have a tiny bit of the wool and I surely do hate to see it ruined.


kbonsall Kim-Bee Bears
Posts: 5,645

I pretty much felt until I get my shape and all the annoying "fuzzies" are gone.. I dont go for firmness - I tried that once and it seems to start acting funky

purelyneysa Purely Neysa
Indiana, PA
Posts: 105


you can needle until the needles won't go in. I felt pretty hard, it makes a more stable piece. Getting softer as you go??? Judi any suggestions?


Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

Gosh Dilu. 

I felt to a firm finish like Neysa..and like Kimmy, I like all the "annoying fuzzies" to disappear.  I have not experienced any problem with my work getting softer as I go. 

HHHHMMMM.... Are you needle felting onto mohair?  If so, perhaps your wool is being pushed very deeply into the stuffed mohair head, or paw, or what ever part you may be working on?

Just thinking out loud here.    Do you have a photo you could share with us?

Dilu Posts: 8,574

No no photo.....I am making legs and arms for teddies and gollies-  I felt to firmness, but then think I can go a little firmer....or I think the arm needs to be a little smaller around or in length and as I keep working past this wonderful firmness where i KNOW THE LEG WOULD SUPPORT WEIGHT but when I try to make it just a little smaller around or in length then its like the fibers that were wonderfully mushed together start breaking into such small pieces that they can't hold themselves together any longer...

I am experiementing with getting the piece almost there, and then stopping and spraying it with water. and squishing  it smaller, and then if it looser I will needle it just a wee bit more.

It seems to have a positive effect-the piece doesn't swell like I was afraid it would, and it still seems pretty tight.

But it does seem that we can felt to the point that we have really destroyed the integrity of the fiber.  When the leg fell apart there was this sea of minute wool particles falling down...sigh

I am using merino and this is straight felting- this isn't felting on to mohair.

I still have to re-do the eyes, Judi,-  but I have been studying eyes and I am understanding better, so I think the needle felting on that bear will go better.

thanks ladies


Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

Thanks for sharing with us Dilu.  I find that very interesting how the fibers have broken apart for you.  Could it be the type of wool you are using?  I never knew wool fibers could break apart like that.  HHHHMMM. 

Has this happened to anyone else?  Neysa?   I sure would be interested to know.

I am glad to hear you are studying eyes, Dilu.   I still study eyes in every kind of expression on real life animals and people.  It helps me to visualize what I need to do to get a certain expression.

Very cool!

Dilu Posts: 8,574

I have added something seems to help......if my piece starts getting looser instead of tighter, but still isn't the size I want I had a very very thin layer of roving wrapped around and refelt.....its like the new fresh unbroken fibers give the needle something to work much to learn  bear_original .

tinybear The SleepingElf
Posts: 115

hope you don't mind me joining pet love is wool , I love to use the raw product , I find it much easier to use than processed wool
can I ask
What type of wool are you using ?
it could be your problem ..I think what could have happened is ....

there are certain parts of a sheeps fleece that will not felt (I had a diagram once but I lost it when my PC crashed )
and wet felting impossible ,
but as needlefelting is such an aggressive way to felt the wool , you can normally do it
but  bear_ermm
I had a Jacob fleece once ,

it was my first raw fleece , someone told me to be careful of Ticks when I got it ..I was pertrified !
so I boiled it !
I used hot wash and dye it ...the water  was too hot and it felted the wool -
it didnt lup togeather , I was very carefull of not rubbing it ..but
hot water will open the scales on the wool shaft ...
if the scales are open .like with hot water .and friction is not applied ...the wool just stops with the open scales and its very , very hard to make it felt some cases , like mine ,it will not needlefelt - that is what happened to my fleece ...
this batch of wool would break apart after it was needle -felted - because the scales are already open so they cant..well.. felt for the want of another word , it just wouldnt stick togeather properly ,
it was almost lumpy and bits would just come off
it was dreadful to use , so I ended up stuffing bears with it ..I suspect it could be the wool you have could have been over heated in the cleaning process or from a part of the fleece thats just very hard work to felt

or it could be the type of wool you are useing  bear_cry some wools are just nicer to use than others
I use my friends rare breed fleece off her farm ,and it is just stunning I love it  bear_wub
and I hate using Merino ...I find it too slippy ...there are just different  bear_whistle

and the Tick problem bear_happy
when the fleece has been off the animal anyway for a few weeks ...there are no Ticks , they live off the animals blood so they cant just live in a fleece I panicked for nothing
did have a few HUGE beetles though bear_cry

Dilu Posts: 8,574

We love that you are joining in Tinybear!  Welcome again.

I am using priamarily Merino wool rovings.  I had this happen really badly when I used Corriedale rovings....but adding fresh rovings seems to help....

tick story amused me, but probably only because we have ticks and do tick checks routinely....

I think your description of Merino as being slippery is apt.....when I am doing regular felting I muss it up so that the fibers are going all different directions......


tinybear The SleepingElf
Posts: 115

I'm scratching now  bear_grin
its funny now bear_grin  but at the time my family wasn't laughing
it was June or July a few years back
I had 2 very smelly dirty Jacob fleeces arrive, it had been hot for days ...
my mind was thinking .... TICKS I dragged the fleeces down the garden and hit them with the hose  full blast

Hot sun ...cold water on smelly fleece ...they began to steam in the sun ...the smell was horrific LOL
THEN just to make my family and neighbours even happier started to rain ...warm summer rain ...dirty smelly wet fleece everywhere  ...I dragged them into my Husbands shed ...were they steamed for days ,he was far from happy
and I had to keep rushing out grabbing a hand-full and boiling it to death ...because it may have ticks

we live and learn ...I Boiled into oblivion 2 fleeces ...then the penny dropped about Ticks
found various lady bugs and beetles ...and realised this wasn't the way to treat fleece LOL ...I have a dozen outside now , I keep it in boxs or sacks ,the smell has almost gone form a lot of the older wool , so it makes cleaning much easier , so I grab a bit at a time now ...much easier to dry  bear_wub
today I have to brave the cold and go and drag some in  bear_flower

Dilu Posts: 8,574
Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

Great point about the scales opening up .  That makes so much sense.

Another way to rid wool of ticks is to put your wool in the freezer.  I have never used raw fleece so I have not had to deal with these wee beasties but maybe it would be  better for the wool to freeze it instead of boiling.

I found that even putting wool in hot tap water semi felts wool too.

I would really like to try some raw wool sometime.

Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568

I felt very firm and find that if I keep poking at it with too big of a needle I end up breaking chunks of wool off. I only did that once. I do "felt 'til I can't felt no more"!!!! Never has what I'm working on then gotten softer though!! Humf. (Scratching head.)

fredbear Fred-i-Bear
Posts: 2,243

bear_grin  bear_grin
reading some of these comments and I just had to have a good chuckle

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