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heidifeathers

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A Guide to Felting Needles

Gauge

The gauge of felting needle refers to the diameter of the needle. The higher the gauge the finer the needle and the smaller the barbs.

Number of Barbs

The greater the number of barbs the quicker the needle will felt. The fewer the barbs a needle has the greater the accuracy of the needle. So to start a project you might want a 36G star needle as this has 8 barbs and to finish adding fine detail you might use a 42G triangular needle as this only has 3 barbs

Correct Handling

Felting needles are brittle, and are therefore easily broken. To reduce breakages use the needle in a straight in, straight out motion. The needle is best not bent, wiggled or put under a lot of pressure. As a general rule if the needle will not enter a surface with ease do not force it. Possibly change the gauge needle you are using to a finer needle / higher gauge. There are lots of helpful videos online with useful techniques on reborn hair rooting.

Colour Key for Heidifeathers Needles

Needle Gauge Number of Barbs Colour Felting Reborning
32 Regular 9 (3 each edge) Silver yes yes
36 Regular 9 (3 each edge) Green yes yes
38 Regular 9 (3 each edge) Red yes yes
40 Regular 6 (2 each edge) Blue yes yes
42 Regular 3 (1 each edge) Gold yes yes
Needle Gauge Number of Barbs Colour Felting Reborning
36 Star 8 (2 each edge) Cream yes no
38 Star 8 (2 each edge) Black yes no
Needle Gauge Number of Barbs Colour Felting Reborning
38 Crown 3 (near the tip) Pink no yes
40 Crown 3 (near the tip) Brown no yes
42 Crown 3 (near the tip) Yellow no yes
46 Crown 3 (near the tip) White no yes
Forked None Natural metal no yes

Regular Felting Needles

These needles have three sides with regular spaced barbs at different points on the needles.
32 Silver – This is a needle to use with coarse fibres. It will define outlines quickly and can be useful for attaching felt to felt such as an arm to a body. Rooting with this needle would give a thick head of hair
36 Green – This is a good starter needle. Use it for outlines, heavy shaping, and joining felt to felt.
Rooting with this needle would give a thick head of hair.
38 Red – This needle is good for starting, firming up your felt and shaping. Rooting with this needle would give medium coverage of hair.
40 Blue – This needle is good for finer, lighter felting. It is good for finishing, removing felting holes made by thicker needles and adding detail.
Rooting with this needle will give a light covering of hair.
42 Gold- This needle is for finishing touches, working with a few wisps of wool, adding eyes, shaping ears etc. Rooting with this needle will give a sparse coverage of hair.

Star Felting Needles

These needles have 4 sides, with regular spaced barbs 2 a side.
36 Cream – This needle is fast to felt with, a good starter needle, good for firming up felt, easy to work on firmer felt with and joining felt to felt.
38 Black – A good follow on needle from the cream for continued firming and shaping.

Crown Felting Needles

These needles have three sides, with a barb each side all level near the tip
38 Pink - When rooting this needle will give a fine covering of hair.
40 Brown - When rooting this needle will give a fine / thin head of hair.
42 Yellow – When rooting this will give sparse coverage, useful for eyelashes.
46 White – When rooting this will give very sparse coverage working with a hair or two at a time again useful for eyelashes.

Forked Needles

It has no barbs instead it has a fork at the end and the hairs are caught in the middle of the fork then pushed into the dolls head.
42 forked – This needle is good for very fine rooting working with one or two hairs at a time.