Needle Felting for Beginners – Wool and Work Surfaces

Needle Felting for Beginners

Written by Rosie

Rosie has been needlefelting for almost five years. She used to be a doll maker but is now dedicated to learning all she can about needle felting and she also teaches felting workshops in the Leicestershire area.

August 25, 2019

At my workshops I’ve had lots of requests about needle felting for beginners, so I thought I’d explain all the basics of this. In this second post I’ll cover the wool and work surfaces options.


For my workshops I use batts.
Batts have been washed and then carded during which all the fibres are messed up so that they are all facing in difference directions. They come in chunky sheets. They needle felt easily and are great for needle felting 3-D shapes. You can pull off small pieces easily.

Tops or Roving (these are normally the same thing, the name changes depending on where you are, ie UK or USA) have been washed and combed so that all the fibres are going in the same direction. This is great for hair and beards, but can, in some cases be used like batts. Be careful though, because I’ve found they are more difficult to felt. Buy smaller amounts if you’re not sure


You can make your own surface cover out of fabric scraps.

I use rice as a filler, and I have different sizes, ie small (hand size), which is good for travelling, medium for standard sized work, and a larger for bigger pieces. (Or you can use a cushion or pillow.)
Another option is a piece of high/firm dense foam or upholstery foam. All of these methods work well and are suitable for needle felting.

If you work on your lap just make sure that your surface is thick enough, as you may inadvertently stab yourself!


If you attended my Workshops in Leicestershire you can purchase my Supplies Packs to make more of my animals and birds. Each pack contains enough to make 2 of each project.


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