Felting Needles, Tools and Nuno Silk gauzeThere are 21 products.
These are an industrial product that has been adopted by hand felters. In the industrial machines they are mounted on plates up to 3 metres wide with thousands in the plate. The technical specifications are meant for this situation not hand felting. The needles design is matched to the micron count, fibre length, fibre type and end product when thousands of metres are being produced. The end products can be fine clothing felts, geo-felts for ground stabilisation, sound insulation for the car industry and loads of other industrial uses.
It is too easy to read these specifications and too closely apply them to hand work. Which is in fact very slow and imprecise in comparison to the machines. The result is technical jargon being quoted that is not appropriate. It can sound impressive but really does not apply. In general the gauge of the needle is the size of the hole it makes and 2 or 3 sizes of needle are useful. The shape of the needle is not that critical, despite what we have read elsewhere, as the specification as already stated is based on high speed use.
Felting needles are designed to entangle the fibres by pushing and pulling each individual fibre. To do this they have a series of barbs along the working edge that grab the fibres and move them around. They do not break the fibres just entangle them.
They are produced in different thickness gauges, the thicker the needle the bigger the barbs. Also the thicker the needle the hole left by it is bigger. This hole does tend to close up as the work relaxes. But for fine work a fine needle is needed. We consider the 36 gauge to be the general working needle. Good for getting the work started. You then may choose to use a finer needle when working on fine details. Its often the choice of those making 3D figures to do the facial details with a 40 gauge.
We sell and label them with the International gauge standard sizes. We do not use any obscure colour codes or alternative names that can easily confuse.
My needles keep breaking. Our comments
These needles are made for industrial machinery that runs at over 800 strokes per minute, so they are very tough and durable. However, a machine will always insert and remove the needle in a straight line and never make a mistake. Unfortunately us humans are a bit more... well... human.... and as such we don't always get that up and down motion dead straight. Because of this the needles may occasionally snap, especially if you're new to the craft. Once you've got the knack you'll find they rarely break. In the industrial machines they run for so long that the barbs wear off rather than the needles breaking.
Beware of cheap far eastern versions which do not have the same quality and durability. Also be aware that expensive needles are just that expensive, a very high price does not make them better in quality.
They can be used singly or in groups in small hand felt making tools. In a group in a tool they can be used to place decorations precisely on pieces of pre-felt. The decoration is placed on the felt and stabbed into place with the barbed needles. It will stay in position when the normal wet finishing process is carried out. Three dimensional work can also be carried out. In this case it is usual to work with a single needle to sculpt shapes and not to wet felt at all.
Finally needle security, these are sharp implements and care should be taken as with all needles. We pack them in high quality secure slide lock boxes that help prevent accidents, not loose or in flimsy tubes. It is strongly suggested that you do not store loose needles and always keep them in the original slide locking boxes.
GUIDE TO FELTING NEEDLES
19 GAUGE TRIANGLE. A thick strong heavy duty needle. Most suited to very heavy fibres, jute, flax, horse, cow
32 GAUGE REVERSE BARB TRIANGLE. The barbs point backwards which has the effect of raising the surface as it felts on the upstroke. Good for a textured surface on 3D animals made from the coarser wools.
36 GAUGE TRIANGLE. A very good general purpose needle that works well for most fibres. The most used of all the types.
36 GAUGE CROWN. Barbs at the very crown of the needle. Mostly used for rooting dolls hair.
38 GAUGE STAR. This has 4 working edges. It can be faster to work with this. It is also a finer needle so good for finer quality wools.
38 GAUGE CROWN Barbs at the very crown of the needle. Mostly used for rooting dolls hair. Being a fine needle it produces small holes.
38 GAUGE TWISTED/SPIRAL. A finer triangle with a twisted blade. It can be easier to insert and may make smaller holes in some fibres.
40 GAUGE TRIANGLE. A fine triangle type often favoured for making 3D animals and small objects
40 GAUGE REVERSE BARB TRIANGLE. The barbs point backwards which has the effect of raising the surface as it felts on the upstroke. Good for a textured surface on 3D animals. Being a fine needle it is good for small delicate items made from fine wools.
40 GAUGE TWISTED/SPIRAL. A fine triangle profile with a twisted blade. It can be easier to insert and may make smaller holes in some fibres.
43 GAUGE TRIANGLE. A very fine needle for delicate work, most often used for the more detailed features on faces.
46 GAUGE TRICROWN. A superfine specialist needle for the very finest of work. It only has a double row of barbs at the very crown of the needle.
All felting needles are described by their correct industrial gauge system. We do not use made up names or strange colour codes.
All the needles except the 19 gauge will fit the various makes of felting tool
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