My Needle Felting Process

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!

The Story of the Black Swan

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.