“What color of wool would you recommend for making needle felted foxes?”
Customers often come to me with questions such as this one, and I love helping them find the perfect wool roving and batting colors to fit their unique felting projects! One of the reasons I’ve selected the wool roving and batting I sell in my shop is because these preparations of wool have beautiful variegated colors that give the appearance of having blended two or more colors together when it is really just one color! This gives the finished felted surface a wonderfully rich depth.
Since the wool I offer in my shop is the very same wool I use in my own needle felting practice, I’ve sampled nearly every roving and batting. And even when I don’t have the exact color match on hand, I love taking the opportunity to blend some colors to get the perfect tone. My formal training is in painting, so this love of experimenting and layering with color is something I have taken with me and continue to use and share with my customers.
But sometimes, I do have just the right color on hand. For example, when I get the question about the perfect color for a fox (which, of course, happens all the time, because who doesn’t love foxes?), I always recommend the color you see in the photos above, Amber wool batting. This is one of my favorite colors, and has a beautiful autumnal warmth with its harmony of yellow, orange, rust, and brown.
I often get questions about how my needle felted animals are built. Are they made from just a single piece of wool? Do I put many pieces together? Is there wire or support inside them? How do I add the flowers on their surfaces?
So, I decided to share some progress photos and steps of a recent project that I did, a needle felted black swan with flannel flowers. Below is how all of my projects begin; I start out with some wool roving or batting, felting needles in a variety of sizes, and a foam pad for support.
My needle felted sculptures are made out of solid wool. I don’t use wire or any other supports inside my sculptures unless a customer requests that they be posable. I build up different parts of the animal body in separate pieces. Below you can see the bulk of this swan’s body. The head and neck were made separately and then attached. You can also see a couple of pieces of a wing waiting to be attached.
In this photo, I have already added the beak and eyes to the head with small bits of orang and peach colored wool, and I am now attaching one of the completed wings to the body. Pieces are attached by placing one piece of wool over another, and making repeated jabs with the felting needle. There are tiny barbs on the needles that catch on the wool fibers and cause them to interlock so that these two pieces of wool are now stuck together.
Flowers and other felted details are attached in the same manner, just with smaller bits of wool.
And here is the completed needle felted black swan with her flowers. She is 100% wool; and while she is very lightweight, she is fairly firm to the touch. It’s important to me that my needle felted soft sculptures hold up over time, so I work very hard to tuck in stray fibers and create a smooth, uniform surface with my fine felting needle towards the end of the felting process.
Thank you for stopping by!
A Story from Australian Aboriginal Dreamtime
All swans were once white until the day when two swans landed on a lagoon inhabited by eagles at the foot of a mountain. The eagles were angered by this intrusion, and proceeded to pick up the swans, carrying them all the way to the southern coast of Australia. In flight, the eagles pulled the swans’ feathers out, dropping them along the way. After being released from the eagles’ grasp, the wounded swans were found by some crows who kindly offered them some of their black feathers so that they should stay warm and soon be able to fly once again. Their former white feathers later sprouted from between the rocks where they had been dropped as delicate flannel flowers.
I am so excited to announce the launch of my first Needle Felting Kit!!! This is the first in a line of kits I am designing for those who wish to learn the craft of needle felting.
In the first of my beginner level kits, you are provided with everything you will need to make your own felted bee, including a full color instructional booklet with clear step-by-step instructions and over 45 photos.
This is a wonderful, fun introduction to a craft that is both relaxing and rewarding. I hope you’ll try it!
Hello! I’m Erin Gardner, the owner, designer, and maker behind Grey Fox Felting.
From a very young age when my mother would organize craft projects for my sister and me using materials from around the house and our backyard, creative making has continued to remain an important part of my daily life and my very being.
When I started Grey Fox Felting, I had been needle felting for several years. I was then a new mother, and I wanted to build a career for myself that would allow me to stay at home with my child. I realized there was potential to share my love of this craft by offering a selection of quality materials to other makers wanting to learn the art of needle felting. In my online shop and at craft markets, you will find my handcrafted needle felted sculptures, as well as the same carefully selected supplies that I use in my own artistic practice.
I now stay at home with my own two daughters, organizing craft projects inspired by our outdoor adventures and materials we find on our walks. I so enjoy being able to witness someone learning to craft something beautiful with their hands, whether it’s at home with my children or when I’m teaching a workshop. I am also currently developing a line of needle felting kits so that I may continue to share with wonderful craft with other makers.