A guide to Felting Needles

A Guide to Felting Needles

Safety

Caution: Needles are sharp and brittle so care needs to be taken when using them, they should only be used by adults. Please

store in the plastic case provided, away from small children.

Gauge

The gauge of felting needle refers to the diameter of the needle. The higher the  gauge the finer the needle and the smaller the barbs.

 

Number of Barbs

The greater the number of barbs, the quicker the needle will felt. The fewer the barbs a needle has the greater the accuracy of the needle. So to start a project you might want a 36G star needle as this has 8 barbs and to finish adding fine detail you might use a 42G triangular needle as this only has 3 barbs

 

Types of needle shape

There are currently three main needle shapes; Triangular, star and forked.

Triangular needles have three edges and a straight shaft with regularly spaced barbs. A (triangular) crown needle has a straight shaft with 3 barbs at the very tip. The (Triangular) twisted has a shaft that has been twisted with regularly spaced barbs.

Star needles have four edges and a straight shaft with regularly spaced barbs. With a Star twisted needle, the shaft has been twisted with regularly spaced barbs.

Forked had a smooth circular shaft with a tiny fork at the tip

 

Correct handling

Felting needles are brittle, and are therefore easily broken. To reduce breakages, use the needle in a straight in, straight out motion. The needle is best not bent, wiggled or put under a lot of pressure. As a general rule, if the needle will not enter a surface with ease, do not force it. Possibly change the gauge needle you are using to a finer needle / higher gauge. There are lots of helpful videos online with useful techniques on reborn hair rooting.

 

Colour key for heidifeathers needles

Needle Gauge

Number of Barbs

Colour Felting Reborning
32 Triangular 9 (3 each edge) Silver Yes Yes
36 Triangular 9 (3 each edge) Green Yes Yes
38 Triangular 6 (2 each edge) Red Yes Yes
40 Triangular 6 (2 each edge) Blue Yes Yes
42 Triangular 3 (1 each edge) Gold Yes Yes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Needle Gauge Number of Barbs Colour Felting Reborning
36 Star 8 (2 each edge) Cream Yes No
38 Star 8 (2 each edge) Black Yes No
38 star Twisted 8 (2 each edge) Bright Pink Yes No
36 Reverse 6 (2 each edge) Light Green Yes No
40 Reverse 6 (2 each edge) Orange Yes No
38 Twisted 6 (2 each edge) Purple Yes Yes
40 Twisted 6 (2 each edge) Light Blue Yes Yes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Needle Gauge Number of Barbs Colour Felting Reborning
38 Crown 3 (1 each edge) Pink Yes Yes
40 Crown 3 (1 each edge) Brown Yes Yes
42 Crown 3 (1 each edge) Yellow Yes Yes
46 Crown 3 (1 each edge) White No Yes
42 Forked None Metal No Yes

 

Regular Felting Needles

These needles have three sides with regular spaced barbs at different points on the needles.

32 Silver – This is a needle to use with coarse fibres. It will define outlines quickly and can be useful for attaching felt to felt such as an arm to a body.

Rooting with this needle would give a thick head of hair.

36 Green – This is a good starter needle. Use it for outlines, heavy shaping, and joining felt to felt.

Rooting with this needle would give a thick head of hair.

38 Red – This needle is good for starting, firming up your felt and shaping.

Rooting with this needle would give medium coverage of hair.

40 Blue – This needle is good for finer, lighter felting. It is good for finishing, removing felting holes made by thicker needles and adding detail.

Rooting with this needle will give a light covering of hair.

42 Gold- This needle is for finishing touches, working with a few wisps of wool, adding eyes, shaping ears etc.

Rooting with this needle will give a sparse coverage of hair.

 

Star Felting Needles

These needles have 4 sides, with regular spaced barbs 2 a side.

36 Cream – This needle is fast to felt with, a good starter needle, good for firming up felt, easy to work on firmer felt with and joining felt to felt.

38 Black – This needle is fast to felt with, a good follow-on needle from the cream for continued firming and shaping.

Star Twisted Felting Needles

38 Bright Pink - This needle is good to use from start to finish, and it's fast to felt too.

 

Reverse Barb Felting Needles

These needles have the barbs pointed the opposite way as regular felting needles, so pull the fibre outward instead of pushing and felting fibre inwards. These are typically used for making a furry (as opposed to smooth) surface for 3D forms.

36 Light Green -  This needle is good to pull a lot of fibres out at a time, good for fur creation.

40 Orange  -  The needle is fine and good for pulling fine wisps from the felted item ideal for fluffing or revealing a second colour hidden under the top coat.

 

 Twisted Felting Needles

38 Twisted / Spiral - The working area of the needle has been twisted to create a firm and smoother piece of felt, use as you would other 38 gauges

40 Twisted / Spiral - The working area of the needle has been twisted to create a firm and smoother piece of felt, use as you would other 40 gauges

 

Crown Felting Needles

These needles have three sides, with one barb on each side, all level near the tip.

38 Pink - When rooting this needle will give a fine covering of hair, and when felting will smooth surfaces fast and firm.

40 Brown - When rooting this needle will give a fine / thin head of hair, and when felting tidys stray hairs neatening the surface without creating a dent underneath.

42 Yellow – When rooting this will give sparse coverage, useful for eyelashes, when felting creates a smooth surface.

46 White – When rooting this will give very sparse coverage working with a hair or two at a time, again useful for eyelashes.

 

Forked Needles

It has no barbs instead it has a fork at the end and the hairs are caught in the middle of the fork then pushed into the dolls head.

42 forked – This needle is good for very fine rooting working with one or two hairs at a time.

To buy felting needles click here  for reborn needles click here