Two-dimensional needle felting is often referred to as painting with wool. A variety of colors of wool can be used as paint, and the wool is needled on to a base fabric that is the canvas. Any subject can be painted with wool.
Multineedle tools are often used when making wool paintings to speed up the process and to cover more surface area than can be accomplished with a single needle. The fabric used for a base for wool paintings is the foundation of a piece. When making a wool painting from start to finish, choose a simple design to start and work up to more complex designs.
Learn how to make this two-dimensional needle-felted postcard with this how-to.
There are numerous devices or handles that allow the use of more than one needle to be used at one time.
The main reason to use multiple needles is to cover more surface area with one needle action, which lessens the time needed to completely needle the fiber to a surface. Multineedle tools also work well to tack down a design before wet felting a piece.
When considering which device to purchase, it helps if you are able to hold different handles to see how they fit your hand. Make sure that the needles are interchangeable so that when a needle breaks, you can replace it. Some of the mechanisms available have a safety guard and a springlike action that assists in moving the needles in and out of the wool. With these devices, the needles are pushed down and then pressure is released and the needles spring back out of the wool automatically.
To make a multineedle tool, the simplest method is to use a rubber band to bind two to three needles together at the shanks. These needles can then be used like an individual needle. This use of multiple needles can be used with two-dimensional or three-dimensional works.
The multineedle tools that hold five or more needles generally work best with two-dimensional works. They
can be used for large figures but tend to overwhelm smaller pieces. Use 36- to 42-gauge needles in a
multineedle tool, depending on the breed of wool being used. Multineedle tools are also helpful when making flat pieces in three-dimensional works such as leaves.
This needle-felting article is excerpted with permission from "The Complete Photo Guide to Felting" by Ruth Lane and published by Creative Publishing International.
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