Instructions for needle felting

Needle felting comes in two types: appliqué needle felting and sculptural needle felting. While both types involve tangling a wool piece with another, the design is not as similar. Appliqué needle felting attaches the felt or wool to another wool fabric, whereas sculptural needle felting constructs a three-dimensional form using wool roving. Barbed needles are used to achieve both types of needle felting. The needle is used to catch the fibre and drag it from one piece to the other. If you want to learn how to do it, start with appliqué needle felting.

Place your needle-felting mat on a flat working surface. Lay the base fabric over the mat, placing the area for appliquéing right over its bristles.

Get the felt and place it onto your base fabric. Use your felting needle to start poking through the felt and your base fabric. Your felting needle has barbs that catch the wool fibres and push them down to your base fabric.

Continue punching the needle until the fabric looks like you want it to. The more you poke or punch the needle, the more firmly the felt becomes attached to your base fabric.

Remove or add more wool fibre as you wish.


You may choose to trace out the design of your base fabric using a marker before poking the felt and fabric with your needle.

Things You'll Need

  • Needle-felting mat
  • Base fabric or fibre
  • Felt
  • Felting needle
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About the Author

Based in Marlboro, New Jersey, Karen Miller has been writing business- and health-related articles since 1980. Her work has appeared in “Business Week” magazine and “American Health” magazine. Miller holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and theater from Mount Holyoke College.