Festivals & Holidays Dolls & Toys — 02 February 2012

Special Thanks to Sara Wilson for her lovely felting work photograph. Learn more at www.LoveIntheSuburbs.com

Special Thanks to Sara Wilson for her lovely felting work photograph. Learn more at www.LoveIntheSuburbs.com

The current high tech world with its synthetic surroundings has taken us far from the natural world and our historic traditions of making things by hand. We are starved for natural textures, fibers and irregular forms. I believe wool Felt connects us with our natural history in a way no other fabric can. Felting is an ancient art that’s been used by many cultures to make everything from toys and wearables to shelter.

Felting is an ancient art, dating back to the Bronze Age. Fragments of felt have been excavated and dated back 2000 years. No one is certain about it’s inception or original origin. In Asia, the nomadic people used felt to create the walls and flooring of their yurts, the homes they traveled with. Within those homes, those nomadic people also created art with their wool to protect and invoke blessings on them and their homes.  ~ The Art of Felting

Anyone can make cute and cuddly creatures from a handful of fluff and a barbed needle! There are only a few books written on the subject and most of those focus on ‘flat’ needle felting on a surface. But I have also located some books about sculptural needle felting, which means the ability to create 3-D animals and figures using the felting needle to sculpt wool.

Here is a link to some gorgeous felted art to look at and get deliciously inspired….  Nushkie Design

It is easy to master the techniques once you know how the felting needle works with wool fiber to create felt.

There are all sorts of wools one can use, and we recommend trying them all. Below is a video that shows how to blend the different colors together.

Do you have pets that have long hair that you brush? Then check out one of our personal favorites, Crafting with Cat Hair: Cute Handicrafts to Make with Your Cat. Yes… your pet hair can now be used to make keepsake toys.

Children just LOVE the felting process.  With some wool, water, soap and friction you can make your own fabric for clothes, bags, hats, wall hangings… the list is as endless and your imagination and once you try it, you’ll be hooked!

Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new. ~ Ursula K. LeGuinn

I invite you just to browse the book covers below to see the versatility of this beautiful ancient art form and to consider starting felting with your child.

Featured artwork courtesy of Love In The Suburbs

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