Animal Felt using the felting needle

af Birgitte Krag Hansen. Foto: Claus Dalby

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There is something special about animals – something which speaks to our innermost feelings and to our protectiveness. It is so easy to become fascinated watching a young animal playing or a huge bear slowly jogging along. Grasping some of the being of such an animal in a soft felted figure is a very special and lovely experience.
Throughout my felting career it has been my experience that wool, felting and animal figures are a perfect combination. With the many different types of wool and many colour combinations the wool is in itself a great inspiration for making animals.
If you have a fleece you may, by just turning and forming it a little, see the potential of it and you may be able to see that it could become the sweetest little puppy or perhaps a lion cub. You may also have seen a picture of an animal that you would like to make or you may always have had a favourite animal that you would like to make in felt.
I have developed a felting technique that means that you can make it look exactly like the animal you imagine. The principle has been adjusted throughout many years and I have seen at my courses that it works and gives great pleasure and satisfaction. In this book I have collected my experience with animal felting so that people other than those attending my courses can get pleasure from the felted animals.
Animals have a lot of things in common. First, I show the basic aspects and then I describe typical variations.
There are many ways in which wool can be used and the book gives examples of animals made of carded wool (batts) and examples of animals where the raw wool (wool taken straight from the sheep and washed) is the most important material.
It may be a little difficult to get hold of raw wool as not all suppliers stock it as yet. Alternatively, it may be possible to get raw wool from a sheep farmer or at a sheep market. I am sure that many sheep farmers would be happy to sell their wool as they are not paid much for the wool when they sell it to buyers. There is no harm in asking.
With this book I hope that I can contribute to calling attention to this fantastic raw material that we have in ample quantities so that increasing demand will make suppliers stock raw wool.
All the animals in the book are felted by means of the felting needle – a fantastic little tool that can with its barbs bind the wool together in shapes and surfaces simply by being pushed into the wool.
For one model (the cushion on page 106) I have wet felted after having constructed the subject with the needle.

Have fun,

Birgitte Krag Hansen