How to use the grinder for felting

How to use the grinder for felting. The basic rules of dry felting:

This method is the final one when working on the surface and helps to put a clear pattern on the wool. The wool is also an excellent imitation of animal hair. The process of extending itself is quite simple, but requires some time, as on the whole surface of the work to be secured a lot of woolen strands. A similar effect can be achieved by working the surface with a reverse needle, but when you start to fluff up the work and take out the wool from the inside, the color will be duller, because it mixes with the base. In addition, processing with the reverse needle makes the surface look more like fluff.

The technique of building up wool

We separate a piece of wool and wrinkle it into a lump. Fix the desired shape with a needle 6. We hold the lump and poke the wool over the entire surface repeatedly until it no longer crumples. Extend the wool on the workpiece. Cut off pieces of wool from the tops.

We separate a small even strand (photo 2a) and attach the wool to the workpiece (photo 2b).

Piling the wool with a coarse needle, trying to make a puncture close to each other.

Fold the strand in half in the right direction and pass the needle in the place of attachment a few more times to fix the wool.

We separate a piece of wool of another color (photo 5a). Pile it on the workpiece, as close to the first row as possible (photo 5b).

In the same way felting a few more rows of wool, depending on your idea (photo 6a). Each row must adjoin to each other as close as possible so that no empty spaces are left (photo 6b).

Let’s cut the blank. It is possible to leave one part of the strands short, the other. long.

For more details on how to felting we will read Bumblebee Brooch Felting Masterclass.

The toy “Cat”, made in the technique of building wool. Author. Diana Bartz

Types of felting (techniques)

In felting there are two basic ways of felting. dry and wet.

Dry felting

Dry felting is for three-dimensional things: toys, figures, jewelry, or something similar. With the fingers the piece of wool is given the desired shape, and then many times pierced with a special needle. The result is that the wool is pulled tightly together to form a homogeneous material.

Wet Felting

Wet felting. For applique, garment, cloth for bags, shawls, plaids, etc. д., That is for flat workpieces. The wool is first laid out in a certain order on the work surface and then moistened with warm soapy water. The fibers weave together to form a dense fleece.

Creating a picture with the method of wet felting

The finished picture by wet felting

woolen watercolor

The wool watercolour technique is a very interesting one. It is used to create amazingly beautiful textured paintings. Colored wool is laid out in very thin strands, resulting in a smooth watercolor transitions.


Nunofelting is an unusual technique with an unusual name. Using it, you can “paint” with amazing wool patterns and abstracts on silk, chiffon and other expensive delicate fabrics. The result are unique and very elegant accessories.

Tools and accessories for dry felting

Dry felting needles differ in length, thickness, and sectional shape.

They have numbers, the thicker the needle, the smaller the number. The coarsest needle is 9, and the thinnest is 2. Dry felting uses different needles for different stages:

grinder, felting

Needles may have different sections, but in dry felting, triangular and star needles are most commonly used.

Needles can also have forward and backward notches.

Almost all needles have straight notches. Thick, straight-cut needles bind the top wool fibers deep into the workpiece, thereby forming a dense, strong lump.

Thin needles with straight notches are designed to work on the surface, they smooth out roughness, holes from a thick needle or wool fibers, which are poorly fluffed.

Needles with backward notches are designed to create a fluffy surface at work. They pull the wool fibers from the depths without damaging the workpiece.

In dry felting, triangular thick needle 6, star needle 8, reverse needle 8 are most commonly used.

To speed up the felting process, relieve tension in the hand and work with multiple needles at once, use special holders for the needles. applicators.

They come in plastic, wood, and metal. In holders insert up to 6 needles at a time, but to work with them is not always convenient. The distance between the needles is quite large, so it is difficult to control the work of each needle. In one place the wool may over felting and the workpiece may become too hard, in another place the fibers may not fel, making it difficult to work.

Therefore, for comfortable felting, use 1-2 needles in the holder.

The wool must be fluffed up before starting work. This is easily done with a brush with hard, metallic bristles. To get acquainted with the technique of dry felting, even a thick kitchen sponge will do.

Very often for dry felting backings are used. These are special brushes, which differ from each other by the size of the working surface. For dark and light wool it is better to have different substrates, as lint can stay on the surface and get entangled in the wool of a different color.

At the final stage of felting on the brush put a piece of dense cloth or felt, so that while processing one side of the second is not fluffed on the hair brushes and did not get tangled with the bristles substrate.

In dry felting, wire is used to make voluminous, long and thin parts of toys. Most often choose chenille (with bristles) and copper, which holds good shape.

grinder, felting

To fix the wool, eyes, decor or accessories use glue. It must be durable, transparent and soft.

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To draw the wool pattern on the toy, highlight the mouth and eyes, emphasize the recesses, use dry pastels, textile paints and special markers.

Rinsing and drying

After you have finished topping up, remove the rest of the soap lather from the cloth and rinse it several times under running water.

It is not recommended to squeeze the felted cloth, it may deform. It is better to leave them on a rack to let the water drain off. When the soap has been rinsed out and the water has drained off, you can sprinkle the felt with water one more time. If the surface of the water appears in separate drops, it means that the fabric is well felted. This effect is also called “felt tears.

After that the piece is straightened and dried on a terry towel. If the product collapsed on the form, it is dried on the form or stuffed with paper. A slightly damp item may be steamed with an iron.

What a felting machine is better to choose?

Masters of modern felting every day to adapt to their work a lot of tools. And, of course, no one is to blame for the fact that in the instructions to the vibratory sander there is no section on the use of wet felting. Not only that, the HSM should not be in contact with water, it immediately rusted bearings and the machine is automatically “out of warranty.

But who’s afraid of such trifles? We did, we do, and we will continue to do it!

Needle Felting a Squirrel FULL TUTORIAL easy to follow for beginners too

Are you sure that you work effectively with the machine??

Time after time I look through various master classes, which use a VSM, read forums and Комментарии и мнения владельцев of masters of varying degrees of GURU. And I constantly come across the pointlessness of using a vibratory sander. It feels like the masters are divided into three camps. Some have realized that the IM machine is more of a nuisance (sound, vibration), have given it up, and are happy to work with their hands. Others actively use the CMM in their work and don’t see the point of working without it. And finally, the latter reminds me of “tambourine dancing”. It feels like they only go through the VSM for a special felting ritual. Because right after the machine they start rubbing felt with their hands. What’s the point of buzzing then?? If you’re going to use a machine, you need to get the most out of it.

So I’ve done a little muckraking, and now let’s get down to business.

The felt lapping machine is a very effective tool if you work with it properly.

The machine’s motor is at the top. Consequently, if you do not bathe it in the bathtub or pour water on top, it will not electrocute you. And also the machine should not be turned upside down wet sole.

It is possible to work both “live” and with the thinnest sheeting. The greatest efficiency of work and the fastest lapping, of course, when working on the “live” layout. But in this case, it is desirable to follow some rules:

If you do cover the layout with foil, use the thinnest one (garbage bag or building material). I would not cover with bubble wool, ikea, or use these materials to attach to the sole of the HSM. The reasons are described in my previous post, but I’ll repeat. Bubbles and bubbles pile up the felt point by point, leaving the space between the bubbles unrubbed. They also pull the wool fibers apart and contribute to the formation of holes. So, only backing, only hardcore.

In my opinion, the machine is needed for initial lapping of felt (to speed up the process and not to kill your hands) and for lapping “heavy” materials. Т.е. if you work with it, then up to the moment when the product is removed from the template and has a quite stable appearance. It can be felted in a roll or by hand and it won’t sprawl into individual fibers.

As for complex materials. Some fabrics are virtually impossible to felts without a machine. If we do a layout, put this kind of fabric on top, and wrap it all up in a roll, the wool itself will pile up faster than it will catch on the fabric. Т.е. in this case, the machine is the only means to work with some materials.

When you put the CMM on the layout. from the vibrations should form a white soapy foam (but without splashing). This is the perfect environment for instant fiber buildup. If there is no foam, not enough soap. If the wool rises behind the machine. not enough water/soap. If the machine is “floating” in soapy foam and/or water, that’s not good at all. For both the machine and the layup, piling will be very slow as.к. The wool spreads out instead of bonding.

Many people do this. They cover the layout with foil, run it through the TAB (for 2 seconds each), then remove the foil and rub it down with their hands through the mesh. This is the apogee of the pointlessness of using a CMP. If you need to squeeze. use your hands, a towel or take a brick or something How is the CMM better than a brick in this case? And if you’re lapping everything with your hands after the machine, why did you take it out in the first place??

Achtung! And then these people complain that nothing sticks! That bags separate, and fabrics live their own lives And how can they melt, if you have already clutched all the surface fibers with one “quick” move of the BSM?

The CMM is a tool, and any tool has to WORK. If you lapped a smooth-smooth, flat-flat felt, then just methodically move the machine from place to place. If you find even the slightest napps or any other irregularity in the layout, try to pass the machine around this “napps” and stand on it for a long time. The same goes for lap fabrics, silk cocoons and any difficult materials. The wool is instantly meshed by the machine, but the more complex the decor, the longer it needs to work and more actively “roll” over the topography of the decor from heel to toe. For finishing lapping and securing the result, I allow myself to gently “iron out” the entire laying area with the tire iron. I hope you remember that my sewing machine is closed by the backing, so it glides smoothly over the felt.

grinder, felting

The Makita BO3711 is value for money. It has several speeds, makes almost no noise (a gentle whirring noise) and does not vibrate in the hand. But keep in mind that it has a very powerful vacuum cleaner and as soon as water gets inside, the bearing quickly rusts and needs to be replaced. You can’t just close the holes in the sole plate, because the holes in the bottom of the machine are too small.к. The bearing overheats and also deteriorates.

However, it is always useful to have in your arsenal the cheapest machine from Leroy Merlin. its name.

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Of course, compared to the Makita is a monster.

The screaming and vibrating beast. But it is lightweight, unbreakable and you quickly get used to it as if it were your own.

A little bit about wet felting tools and their use

Looking through the master classes on felting, I always pay attention to the improvised materials and tools that the masters use. And since I’m a very practical person, I always pay attention to a few things that I think could be improved. All written below. my own deductions, observations and experiences. You can agree with it, argue with it, or question it. In case anyone needs it. I’ll be glad)))

An air bubble film

Once upon a time, after reading the first felting tutorials on the internet, I bought a whole roll of it and started using it fondly. I had enough, not for long 🙂 quickly emerged a complaint about this material:

Water gets trapped in the bubbles and the film cannot be dried.

The bubbles burst, and the felt falls into the “hole”, deforms and does not fail.

If you put it with the smooth side up. The product slips if it is air bubbled. There is a risk of holes, especially on very thin items.

When rolling it up in a roll, the last one is very thick, and all the time it tends to unroll, it has to be tied.

With such accusations, the film was sent to the balcony and safely forgotten, to replace it I chose a carpet pad for laminate. Why?

It does not have the above disadvantages of “bubble wrap”

It doesn’t slip like regular polyethylene, but it’s still a little rough. Ideal for the initial lapping of the thin felt.

If you think about using it. choose carefully. It’s best to use a film that’s 2-3mm thick. and as less ribbed as possible.

Why not IKEA bubble wrap?? Because it is: firstly, small, and secondly, still “bubbly” and its effect is more rigid than that of the substrate. It’s very good to use for lapping the felt that’s already hardwired.

For a very long time I did not like this tool and all rolled on a washboard. But I recently had an insider’s tip, and I figured out what it was all about. And the thing is that the roll made my hands very sore, I simply beat them off (I mostly do very thin felt and do not use the bubble wool). After I started using a plastic tube instead of a wooden rolling pin or a shovel handle, working with a roll became much more pleasant. Cushioning. is power 🙂

By the way, I never tie the roll. First I roll it in a sandwich with two garbage bags, then I take it off the template and roll it without the bags. With the optimum amount of water and soap product sticks to the tube and does not untwist (even mittens, which are only half the width of the tube).

And in order to roll faster, and the roll did not slip, I put a towel (in the case of bags) or an IKEA mat (without bags and without a pattern)

I recently opened a book and saw a picture. The layout is “fenced in” with towel rollers on all sides, so we practically built a basin 🙂 In my opinion, has long been known that a large amount of water is not necessary for work, and often even interferes (fur floats away). Therefore, thin items (dresses, shahs), I handle with a spray gun, a fishing line here that elephant in the china shop. But for coats or jackets the watering can is good, the very thing))))

VSM (vibratory sander). Now used the name of PSM (flat sanding)

There are craftsmen who don’t use it, and there are those who do, just in a weird way. Let’s get this straight.

So, if we do use the machine, it is advisable to get the best result with minimum effort.

The WSH is not designed to work with water, but even if you cover the sole plate, the spray is flying in. So it is not always necessary to cover the soleplate, but without films the productivity increases many times over. It is worth to cover the soleplate if machine has too big suction holes (Makita, Interskol) and if the soleplate itself is metal (and therefore smooth). For protection and good felting a piece of laminate liner will do (optimal ratio of smoothness to roughness), not suitable polyethylene bag (it is too smooth and the machine will lose much performance) If the holes in the soleplate is small and the vacuum inside is not so powerful (cheap machines, for example Hrathal), then the sole does not need to cover.

When choosing a machine, take into account that the expensive models have less recoil in the hand and noise level than their cheap counterparts. And watch out for “velcro” on the sole:-)

And to avoid electrocution, do not throw it in a full bathtub and do not turn it upside down. The motor is at the top of the machine and during normal work (even with live felting on wet felt) splashes do not reach it, but if you turn the machine upside down, then the water can get inside and the short circuit still happen))))

Maybe for many people this is all “Captain Obviousness”, still I hope that my experience will help and simplify the hard physical side of our milling work))))

Materials and tools for felting

First of all, you need natural wool for felting. We have sheep wool available, but camel wool, llama wool, alpaca, angora and cashmere wool will also do.

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Wet Felting Tutorial. Bag

Materials and tools for felting


There are the following types that we will need:

  • Wool wool. cardacz, is ideal for felting because its fibers are already mixed together;
  • A combed ribbon is a combed ribbon of wool with straight long fibers;
  • The sliver is only suitable for the inside, as the base of the product, in order to save material. This is a coarse raw wool.

For example, for a toy of large volume you can use foam rubber instead of sliver.

Natural wool is not the cheapest material and it is better to use it efficiently. So it should start with a sketch. It is better to think in advance what handicraft you will start your creativity to buy wool of the right color. And most importantly. think about what size your product will be. The fleece of wool decreases by a factor of three to four when piled

To fleece any piece of work, all you need are 3 special needles.

  • A triangular thick needle for the main piecing.
  • A medium star needle for the intermediate work.
  • Fine needle for working out fine details.

The needles have special serrations that entangle the fibers and pile up the wool, turning the shapeless wool into a voluminous work.

It is the work with sharp needles requires caution. It is worth a little thought, distracted by the TV and injury is not avoided. Therefore, dry felting is an activity for strong nerves. And certainly not for children, who have no patience at all.

Although, of course, children should definitely be involved in any creative process. In the case of felting they can participate in the decoration of the finished object.

It is imperative to work on a backing for safety. It can be just a felt material, a brush with coarse bristles or a foam thick sponge.

The choice of materials for felting

As with any manual labor, the choice of felting materials is important. You do not need a lot of materials to get started, but you should choose wisely and not buy the first things you see in the store.


Backing is an important aspect of felting safety. It should protect both your fingers and the surface of your worktable from possible punctures. You can buy a thick felt backing or a special plastic brush for felting in a craft store. As an alternative, an ordinary bath sponge made of thick foam rubber will do.

Felt and foam backing, needles, unspun wool

Needles for felting

It is in the special faceted needles the secret of transformation of a shapeless skein of wool into a solid and graceful figure. Needles for felting are made of hardened steel and have special serrations that cling to the fine hairs of unspun wool, firmly intertwining them with each other. For the work you will need several needles, which vary in both thickness and type of section.

Memo: Today there are 2 standards for felting needle numbering. According to international marking, a larger needle number corresponds to a thinner needle, by domestic classification, it is vice versa.

Needles with a triangular cross section are usually thicker and suitable for the initial stages of felting, star needles. for finishing and work on small elements.

You will need at least 3-4 needles for the work (the numbers are given according to the international classification):

  • Thick triangular needle 6 (for initial felting)
  • medium needle for the intermediate stages of work 8
  • Star needle for finishing 0

Memo: be careful when working with needles, needles are sharp and fragile, and can not only easily break at the tip, but also damage your fingers. At first, you can cover your thumb and forefinger with adhesive tape to protect them from possible punctures.

Felting wool

Needle felting wool: carding (grey) and felting band

For felting you will need natural not spinning wool in different colors (sheep’s wool is usually used). To date, there is a very wide range of different wool options in stores, over time you will be able to pick up options that are convenient for you.

The main types of wool suitable for making figures:

  • carded wool is combed wool, which looks like absorbent cotton with chaotically mixed fibers. Very easy to work.
  • Rowing belt. woolen belt aligned in one direction of the fibers. Suitable for felting toys, though less convenient than carding.
  • Thin and semi-fine wool is often used for decorating and making accessories.
  • Coarse wool. coarse fluff, used only to create the base of the figure.
  • Sliver. raw, rough wool. Used only for felting the inside of the toy to save material.

Decor and accessories

It is the decor and accessories that give your work a mood and a unique look.

Use as a decor can be colored sheet felt, buttons, beads, ribbons, various accessories. Do not forget about ready-made plastic or glass eyes for toys. Decoration can be sewn, nailed or glued on, depending on the material.

    – forum of masters who felts wool products. here you can ask for advice, share experience, look and discuss other people’s craft topics there are several detailed lessons with photos and videos in the “Felting” section master classes and useful articles on felting here you can learn how to felts and accessories.
    – Original step by step felting lessons of wool toys the playlists “Felting Toys” and “Painting with Wool” you can watch master classes of felting school on her channel the expert in felting shares secrets and techniques of wet and dry felting a channel with detailed author’s felting lessons.
    – a “” group, where you can see ideas for felting, share your handiwork, and chat with the participants the owner of the blog on Instagram teaches felting, tells about her personal experience and reveals the secrets of felting to beginners.

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