Monday, October 10, 2016

Book Recommendations for Needle Felting

Since I've been exploring needle-felting lately, I thought it might be nice to share some suggestions for books to help others get started or to explore their own felted work further.

Let's begin with a comprehensive guide...

The Complete Photo Guide to Felting
The Complete Photo Guide to Felting by Ruth Lane is a excellent place to start.  It's also a great reference book to add to an experienced felter's collection.  This book is broken into five main sections; All About Wool and Other Fibers, Preparing to Felt, Traditional Wet Felting, Nuno or Laminate Felting, Needle Felting.  It's also fully illustrated with both step-by-step instructions and a gallery of work by skilled felt artists.  You can get a peek inside the book by checking it out on Amazon.

Now, if you'd like to try 3D felting the next two books are worth a peek.
Woolbuddies by Jackie Huang is great if you are getting started with 3D characters.  This book contains 20 projects with step-by-step photos.  It has three categories of whimsical characters; Simple Woolbuddies, Moderate Woolbuddies and Challenging Woolbuddies.  You'll learn how to make everything from an owl to an elephant to an octopus!

Little Needle-Felt Animals
If you've checked out Woolbuddies and want to expand on your cast of cute characters, then Little Needle-Felt Animals by Gretel Parker is the book to go to.   Inside, you'll find 30 fully-illustrated projects ranging from a moon-gazing hare to a series of fish to a frog princess complete with lily-pad. The shapes of the animals in this book are a bit more complex than in Woolbuddies and will help you build upon your skills.

Art in Felt & Stitch
Now if 3D felting isn't your thing or you'd like to try 2D felting then Art in Felt & Stitch by Moy Mackay is the book you're looking for. 2D felting is a lot like painting with wool.  In this book, Moy Mackay provides both inspiration and technical information with this beautifully photographed book.  Some of the many topics covered include materials & equipment, color, texture, composition and techniques.  This is one of my favorite felting books for 2D felting and I highly recommend it if you are looking to explore this style further.

AJE Contributor, Jenny Davies-Reazor is also a fan of this book and had this to say about it:

"This book I purchased a year or so ago - I believe Lesley introduced me to this Scottish artist? Stunning. Mind blowing. Gorgeous work - tapestry style... and by that I mean "paintings" in fiber. This book is a treat for the eyes, and very inspirational. While my fiber paintings are no where near Moy's in any fashion - this is how I like to use felt - as painting. And then of course I want to bead it too!"

Felt to Stitch
Jenny had another book recommendation to make with Felt to Stitch by Sheila Smith.  Per Jenny:

"This was the first felting book I ever purchased and It has held me in good stead. I wanted to learn to wet felt - both "canvas/paintings" and shaped pieces. The diagrams and directions are clear and informative. In fact - that section of the book is waterlogged from having open while felting! The book goes into Shibori and nuno and other more complex forms I haven't experimented with... yet. But see? One book and every time I dive in there is so much more to learn."

In addition to the many books on the market, you can find some fantastic felting videos online. Here's a few places I recommend:

Sarafina Fiber Art (A great company to buy your felting supplies from. Click here for the shop.)

Living Felt Felting Supplies (Also has an online shop for supplies and kits).

Felted Sky Studio (Has an Etsy shop with kits available.)

If you use or have used any of these books or sites I'd love to hear your feedback on them in the comments section below.  

Happy Felting! 

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