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How to do wet Felting for beginners

 

What is wet felting and is it different to needle felting?

wet felting balls

 

Wet felting uses wool roving / tops, soap, warm water, and friction to make felt.

Needle felting uses wool like roving / tops and a felting needle to make felt.

 

How do you wet felt?

wet felting

The basics of wet felting are to use unspun wool like wool tops or batts, etc and add moisture and friction.

Wool has barbs along the shaft of the individual strands, the warmth, and moisture of your hands with the friction makes the wool fibres barbs tangle and link together making felt.

You can wet felt small amounts of wool just using your fingers or hands and rubbing the wool.

wet felting ball

Most wet felting is done using wool, warm water, soap, and friction.

 

Is it easy or hard to learn?

Wet felting is a quick and easy craft to learn.

 

Does wet felting take a long time?

cats2

It takes about two hours to make a small vessel or simple picture.

 

Which wool is best to use?

merino wool tops

You can use any unspun wool for wet felting, though wool tops will felt together easiest and merino is popular because it has fine fibres and is dyed in many colours. For more on which wool to use, please see this guide to wool.

 

Which fibres can you wet felt with?

curly

 

angelina

Other fibres will not felt together without wool. You can add any number of fibres into or onto your wool. Popular fibres are silk, Angelina fibre, curly wool locks and nepps.

 

What materials do I need to start wet felting?

wet felting kit

3 essentials for wet felting

  1. Wool – to make the felt
  2. Soap – to help the fibres link together
  3. Warm water – to remove air and get the fibres close together

Five additional useful tools

template plastic

  1. Bubble wrap – to keep the water in and add friction
  2. Voile / netting fabric - to cover the wool while felting to stop it moving too much
  3. Sponge or cloth – to add the soapy water to the wool
  4. Bamboo mat or fulling block – to add more friction. This speeds up the process and increases the ease of felting
  5. Template plastic – to use in the middle of 3D objects to stop them felting together

 

Can I make 3D items?

wet felting vessle

Wet felting is good for making hollow 3D items like vessels, purses or slippers, and also solid jewellery like beads, cords, and flowers. (The above vessel was wet felted over a tennis ball)

Please click here for how to make wet felted baubles ideal for the Christmas tree.