Hooked on Needle Felting | Almanac.com

Hooked on Needle Felting

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A year ago, my wife and I attended a local craft show. It wasn’t long before she spotted what she called a “must see, must have” product: Lorna’s Wool Needle Felting Kits. Having been judged the best new product of the previous year’s show, this item had an exhibit that was buzzing with activity.

I was bewildered. Why were these craft kits getting so much attention? I had never heard of needle felting and didn’t see the attraction of it. But what do I know? Obviously, not much about needle felting!

Unknown to me, this is one of the hottest new crafts today. This is all the more interesting because it turns out that felting has a long history. It’s one of the oldest fabric-making processes known to man. Felt is nonwoven cloth that’s created simply by pressing or binding together woolen fibers that naturally cling to each other.

This simplicity is one of the secrets to its popularity because almost anyone can felt! It’s very accessible and easy, even for children. They love needle-felting projects!

What’s Inside the Felting Kits?
Lorna’s Wool Needle Felting Kits include everything to create two fuzzy friends: felting “eggs” (explained below); colored wool; felting needles; skewers; and user-friendly directions with detailed, full-color, step-by-step photos.

Even if you’ve never needle felted before, you’re almost guaranteed to create a handcraft that looks just like the soft, adorable examples depicted on the instruction sheet. My wife sat down with the Gnome Kit, and within an hour she had needled the wool pieces into a charming little guy. Needless to say, she was hooked!

What Is Needle Felting?
Needle felting uses a specialized barbed needle that is poked through loose wool into the wool felting eggs in a repetitive jabbing motion. The barbs grab the fibers as the needle passes through and tangles them into a soft felt that can be sculpted with amazing detail. (Please note that these kits contain sharp needles, so adult supervision of and participation in any needle felting project is necessary when children are involved.)

Lorna McMaster, who created these kits, combined her passion for wool and her experience as a fiber artist and educator. After leading workshops for a number of years, she developed her original “felting egg,” which is a handcrafted, prefelted core that enables beginners to make a woolly creature quickly and easily. These felting eggs launched Lorna’s Wool Needle Felting Kits.

(Lorna has since sold the business to Kelly Corbett, owner of Romney Ridge Farm in Woolwich, Maine. Lorna “hand-picked” Kelly as her successor because their business methods, farming, and ways of life were so similar. Kelly is excited to carry on the business with new designs and different methods of marketing.)

Felt Your Own Woolly Keepsakes!
After I brought these kits into my own store, I placed finished samples on the shelves next to the felting kits. People fell in love with the felted frogs, birds, pigs, gnomes, rabbits, and sheep. They want to buy them off the display, but these samples are not for sale. We want them to take a kit home and discover for themselves the joy and satisfaction that come from needle felting their own woolly keepsakes.