Needle Felted Gnome

Posted by Renae Bradley on 12 December, 2018 1 comment

make a felt gnome

Keep this gnome friend around to bestow holiday magic (and maybe just wrap a gift or two!). Never needle felt before? Read up on the basics -you can do it! 

needle felting supplies

Grab the supplies:
Roving in Peacock, Crimson + Latte (or your choice of skin color). 
Bits of roving in Black and White
White curls roving
Needle felting needle -the 'refill' pack is all you need!
Needle felting foam (always needle felt on foam + keep an eye out on your fingers!)

You can make our gnome friend -even if you have never felted before! You'll find it helpful to read up on the basics of felting first (you want to keep those fingers safe!) 

needle felt shapes

1. You can make your gnome any size you would like -ours are about 6-7" tall. First take a 10" strip of your base color (we used Peacock), wind tightly around a thin dowel or pencil. Gently pull off of pencil and needle felt in place. You can see from the photo the start and how you would like your finished body to look. Pro tip: Don't forget to felt in the top and bottom of your gnome body or you will end up will a super tall and skinny gnome! 

make a gnome hat

2. Then take a 10" strip of your hat color (we used Crimson) and thin out the top (you will do this by pulling out roving) to form an angle (as shown). This will help form the cone of your hat. 

felted gnome hat

3. Wind the crimson roving around the thin dowel into a cone shape and felt into place. Add in details of the hat folds. You can see the beginning felting stages on the left and the finished hat on the right. Feel free to add in more roving to obtain the desired shape. 

easy needle felt body

4. Needle felt a sphere shaped head, needle felt to gnome base. Tip, to be speedy we used a Medium Latte felt pom

roving hair

5. Needle felt just a bit of white roving into the back of the head -it's the gnomes hair!  

needle felted gnome hat

6. After the hat is attached to the head take extra Crimson roving and wrap around base of hat and head, needle felt till firm. 

needle felted gnome

7. Roll a small ball of skin colored roving (we used Latte) into a ball, needle felt until firm and attach to face, lining up right under the base of the hat.

curly roving for beards

8. Add the curls! Gently place the curls just where you would like your gnomes face to be. If needed, arrange and fold curls where you would like felting into place. 

how to needle felt a gnome

9. Take the tiniest wisp of black roving (much smaller then the photo shows!), roll between fingers to form into a small ball and felt eyes into place. 

needle felt gnome

gnome ornament

You can give so much personality to your gnomes just by adjusting the side and folds of the hat -or even how big you make his gnomes! A gnome friend will always leave good cheer! 

Merry Berry Christmas Garland DIY

Posted by Renae Bradley on 13 November, 2018 1 comment

felt ball christmas garland diy

Felt ball garlands are so easy to make -and a great way to add cheer to any holiday! In this specific garland we mix in some berry sprigs and wood beads (20mm) to make a festive christmas garland. 

Felt Berry Sprig

Let's get started on the cranberry sprigs -first grab your supplies:
-Wool felt in Evergreen, Meadow and Pistachio (also available in Benzie's Cranberry Felt Palette). 
-Felt ball berries in Cranberry, Foxglove, and Peony. We used a mix of extra small and medium size. Also available in our Cranberry Pom Palette
-20 gauge wire and wire cutters
-florist tape
-hot glue
-brown roving and felting needle (optional)
-leaf pattern, pdf or svg

how to make a felt berry hairclip

Step 1. Cut out leaves out of your favorite green felt from Benzie, it's super easy to freehand cut the leaves (use my favorite scissors!) or use our pdf or svg files as a guide.
Step 2. Cut wire to about 4" long.
Step 3. Using a glue gun to attach greenery on each end of the wire. To make the leaves more realistic I placed a small bit of glue on the top center of the leaf, pinch until cooled and trimmed the point with a scissors. 
Step 4. Fold wire in half and twist into place. 
Step 5. Cover wire with florist tape. 
Step 6. Make the berries! To make them more realistic we needle felted a little bit of brown roving into the tops. Read this if you are new to needle felting. 
Step 7. Hot glue berries in place. 

how to string a felt ball garland

Once you have the berry sprigs made you can start stringing your garland. Basic items to make a felt ball garland are poms, floss + needle kit. Our favorite needle is a basic darning needle -it's perfect in every way for garland making! Once you string your needle -just slide it right through the poms. Some poms are little more felted and you may need to use a bit more force but most just glide through the needle! I've left some tips below on how we like to start and finish our garlands. 

how to make a felt ball garland

How to start and finish your garland:
1. Take a strand of floss the length of what you would like your finished garland to be. Fold last two inches or so of floss over and tie in knot like shown in the photo. String with felt poms. 
2. Using an awl, pierce the pom where the string comes out, making a dimple in the felt pom.
3. Pull knot down into the dimple. 
4. Trim tail. 

 felt ball garlands

Here is an example of the Cranberry Felt Pom palette used two different ways -one using just our medium sized poms and the second mixed with wood beads (20mm) and berry sprigs. 

berry sprig garland

 Happy Holidays from Team Benzie! 

Ugly Sweater Ornament DIY

Posted by Renae Bradley on 09 November, 2018 0 comments

ugly sweater ornament diy

We collaborated with Neat & Tangled and designed the perfect die for holiday crafting -the ugly sweater! Embellish and decorate with all our favorite holiday things! 

winter mint felt palette

Grab all your supplies! We used a variety of wool felt + floss colors from Benzie's Winter Mint palette, bits of glitter and metallic felt, Beads and sequins, Embroidery Floss and tacky glue. Most importantly -you'll need our Sweater Die

ugly sweater die cut

If you are new to die cutting or stitching skip down the the bottom of the page -we have included some helpful links to get you started! The first step is to cut out all your shapes -it's fun selecting your favorite 'ugly' accents! To make the wreath sweater we cut out one sweater with stitch marks and one without, a wreath shape, two cuffs, one bow, one sweater hem and one sweater collar. 

ugly sweater ornament how to

Place the embellishments on the sweater and stitch them in place using 4 strands of embroidery floss. You can be creative in how you stitch the pieces on, here we stitched zigzags and crosses. I would love to see a sweater just using straight stitches to emulate cuffs of a shirt too! The pieces are little so if you are having problems just use a touch of tacky glue to hold in place. Add glitter felt, beads and sequins to make it even more ugly! To finish it off, lightly tacky glue the back of the sweater on -this will hide all your stitches!

stuffed sweater ornament

We stuffed this ornament by using two strands of floss and polyfil. Follow this tutorial to use a paperclip to make a hanger! You'll find this tool handy! 

ugly sweater ornaments

ugly sweater craft

Here is a few of our favorite blog posts for the beginner crafter and stitcher! Let us know if you have any questions at all! 
Introduction to die cutting.
Beginner embroidery for stitch dies.
Stitching with beads + sequins. 

Snowflake Ornaments using Stitched Dies

Posted by Renae Bradley on 09 November, 2018 0 comments

felt snowflake ornament diy

We collaborated with Neat & Tangled and designed a stitchable Snowflake die with the capabilities to be simple or elaborate -using any combination of the 4 shapes included in the die! In our specific design we added a bit of our metallic felt + sequins to make a beautiful decoration for your tree, a gift topper or even a special gift. The added shimmer from the metallics and sequins makes them sparkle like snow! 

supplies for christmas ornaments

Grab your supplies:

-Snowflake Die
-Benzie's wool felt colors Silver, Icicle, Blush and Aqua
-Metallic felt in Silver and Blush
-Sequins in Silver and Beads in Silver Iridescent
-Divisible Embroidery Floss in Parchment and Blush
-Beading Needle
-Metallic floss (for ornament hanger), we used Silver
-Tacky glue

die cutting ornaments

If you are new to die cutting, read up on this post. All of Benzie's Neat & Tangled dies are wafer thin dies and will need a platform to cut on. Concerning cutting, some find it helpful to run the dies through your cutter one extra time to get a clean edge -other then that they will cut just like paper (even the metallic felt)! Start cutting out snowflakes and play around with the layers! 

snowflake ornaments

Here is an example of how we layered one of the snowflakes. The best part of the die is that all the stitch holes are designed to be interchangeable with each other -so layer and twist however you wish and it will still line up to make a beautiful ornament!

Once you have found how you want to layer your snowflake -thread your needle. We used 3 strands of floss for most of our snowflakes. We added beads and sequins last with one strand of floss. Don't forget you will need a beading needle for this! Read up more on stitching with beads + sequins here! To finish the ornament off, we lightly tacky glued a second snowflake to the back and including a metallic floss hanger. This hides our stitching mess too! 

snowflake ornaments to make

We love the different varieties that we were able to make with just 4 colors of felt -the additional two shades of metallic just make it shine! All were stitched with just one color of Parchment DMC floss

embroidery snowflake ornament

Here is a more simple snowflake that highlights the embroidery -adding some sequins makes it so delicate and pretty! We used 4 strands of DMC floss in Blush for the embroidery and just one strand to stitch on the beads and sequins. 

snowflake christmas ornaments

handstitched snowflakes

Have a happy winter! 

Stitched Dies, Unicorn Mobile

Posted by Renae Bradley on 14 September, 2018 3 comments

Unicorn mobile diy

We are so excited to partner with Neat & Tangled to develop a set of stitchable dies! What is so special about these dies is that the stitch marks are etched right in the die -making stitching a total breeze! All your embroidery will be perfectly spaced and just gorgeous! These are great for children and adults just getting into felt crafts or embroidery. But the experienced hand sewer will love how everything is cut out with one swift roll of the die cutter!  

rainbow unicorn crafts

I wanted to pass on a couple of resources you may find helpful! For those new to die cutting read this blog post. All of Neat & Tangled dies are wafer thin dies and will need a platform to cut on. Concerning cutting, some find it helpful to run the dies through your cutter one extra time to get a clean edge -other then that they will cut just like paper! Also, if you are new to stitching we talk about 3 different ways you can stitch up these dies! 

Where to buy wool felt

Supplies (all available at www.benziedesign.com):

  • Stitchable dies by Neat & Tangled + Benzie! We used two sets to make this mobile, the unicorn and the cloud set. 
  • Benzie Felt, we used the colors Peony, Coral, Peach, Guava, Mint, Julep, Sky and Periwinkle. We love how our 6x9" sheets fit perfectly in our die cut machine!
  • Embroidery Floss in coordinating felt colors. This floss divides into six strands; we used three strands for this project.
  • Iridescent 4mm Sequins: We used Amethyst, Citron, Jade and Rose Quartz.
  • Seed Beads: We used coordinating beads to the sequins and also black for eyes! 
  • Ink, we used the color Rose Coral, Splash and Chambray
  • Needles (if you are using beads make sure you utilize a beading needle), here is a great basic needle and here is our favorite

Wafer thin dies with felt

Here is a close up of the dies -can see all the little stitch holes?! After you pick out all your favorite felt colors -get to cutting out your pieces! Don't forget to cut a front and back piece for the unicorn and clouds! Read more about die cutting here. 

die cut clouds for felt

The cloud die is a great die for the beginner stitcher. After you have cut out all the pieces, thread your needle. We used 3 strands of coordinating floss, lined up the front and the back felt pieces and used the running stitch. You can read more about the running stitch here! We also added some fun shading to our clouds -with ink! Lightly tap the ink pad over the areas you would like added color! 

unicorn crafts with dies

For the unicorn we like to stitch on all embellishments first with just 1-2 strands of floss: cheeks, eyes (we used a seed bead), sequins and felt accents. Read more about stitching with beads and sequins here! Then match up both sides of the unicorn together using the running stitch with 3 strands of floss. Don't forget to stitch in the tail or mane! As I stitched, I filled up the unicorn with polyfil using a stuffing stick (or a small pointed scissors) to help fill the small crevices such as the legs! 

Unicorn horns out of felt

There are a couple of different ways to finish off the magical horn! The front one is bedazzled with sequins and beads, the middle one has floss wound around the horn and the last one is just left alone! You can also use some tacky glue to secure.

Unicorn mobile

diy unicorn mobile 

Unicorn and Cloud diy decor

String your cloud and unicorn together! Then hang from a mobile, dowel or embroidery hoop, it's magical! 

pink unicorn mobile

Sewing with Stitchable Dies

Posted by Renae Bradley on 04 September, 2018 2 comments

how to use stitch dies

Have you used stitchable die cuts yet? Traditionally used by paper crafters; these wafer thin dies include holes for stitching, ensuring that each creation is sewn evenly and neatly! Perfect for beginners or kids -but fun enough for advanced stitchers too! And we love how wool felt seems to be made for these sort of dies -sew stuffies, ornaments and appliqués super easily! Just roll them through your die cutter and start stitching. If you are new to die cutting we suggest catching up on our tutorial first where we explain the differences between dies and how to use them

Stitch Dies

We are going to introduce you to three different stitches you can use: Whip Stitch, Running Stitch and the Blanket Stitch. But first gather your supplies: favorite stitching die (we love Neat & Tangled!), Benzie wool blend felt, embroidery floss (we love classic DMC floss) and an embroidery needle 1/5. DMC floss is a divisible floss, meaning that it can be split into 6 parts. In this particular cloud die, we liked how all 6 strands pop on the cloud! If you are looking for a more subtle look use just 3 strands. Let's get started on the easiest stitch first, the whip stitch!

How to Whip Stitch

how to easily stitch felt

Whip Stitch
Step 1: Thread your needle and knot the end of your floss. Begin by bringing your needle in between the layers of felt. Stitch through the top layer of felt, the knot will remain hidden between the two layers of felt. 
Step 2: Line your layers of felt together -it will be easy to see the premade holes this way! Bring your needle to the back of the felt and stitch through the next set of holes, bringing up the needle to the front of the design. 
Step 3: Continue stitching, whipping the thread around the edge of the felt, always starting the stitch from the underside and ending on the top. The premade holes help to keep your stitches nice and even! 
Step 4: You will begin to see a succession of angled stitches, finish up the design by hiding the knot in between the layers of felt. 

how to blanket stitch

Blanket stitch for felt

Blanket Stitch
The Blanket Stitch builds on what you learned in the Whip Stitch but in addition to 'whipping' the floss from back to the front you stitch through the previous stitch before you head back around -this adds a more decorative edge to your finished piece.
Step 1: First thread your needle and knot the end of the floss. Start by bringing your needle in between the layers of felt nestling the knot underneath the top layer. 
Step 2: The blanket stitch uses a one time 'start stitch'. Just take your needle and stitch a loop around the felt; come back through the same place the knot is nesting in. It will be easy to locate the prepunched holes when the felt is lined up to each other.
Step 3: To finish the 'start stitch', go back through the floss loop you just made. This will position your thread just right for the blanket stitch!
Step 4: Bring your needle through the back of the felt and stitch through the next set of holes. 
Step 5: Right before tightening up the stitch from step four -run you needle through the loop you just made. You have made your first Blanket Stitch! 
Step 6: Continue to bring your needle from the back to the front.
Step 7: Don't forget to stitch through the previous loop! Gently pull to shape before moving on to the next stitch
Step 8: Continue to stitch, you will see the Blanket Stitch coming together soon! Finish by knotting floss around your first stitch and hiding the thread end between the felt layers.

Running Stitch and Felt

Basic stitches for stitching dies

Running Stitch
Both the Whip Stitch and the Blanket Stitch wrap floss around the edge of your felt  -but the Running Stitch stays on the felt and can end up looking like the more fancy Back Stitch -but simpler for beginners! 
Step 1: First thread your needle and knot the end of the floss. Start your first stitch in between the two layers of felt, hide your knot in the top layer of felt. Then line up your layers of felt so you can easily locate the holes.
Step 2: Stitch down into the the next hole. This completes your first stitch. 
Step 3: Bring your needle back up through the next hole. 
Step 4: Continue to 'run' to the next hole, stitching down then up chasing each hole in succession. You can finish your feltie just like this or go for round 2! See the next step! 

how to stitch felt with stitch dies

Step 5 & 6:
You can also choose to keep on stitching, just continue your up and down motion, this time filling in the spaces that were left. This gives your design a continuous floss border that resembles the Back Stitch but fully finished on both sides of the felt.

Additional Tips:
-Use all six strands of your floss -or just use a few! We like using just one to three strands when stitching on embellishments. If it's easier -just use tacky glue! 
-Line up the layers of felt to clearly identify prepunched holes - if you are still having problems identifying the holes use the eye the needle to clear the holes of any felt that did not come out during the die cut process.
-When making stuffies -don't forget to leave a couple of inches open to fill with polyfil. Once filled, finish stitching. 
-Be gentle with your stitches, if you pull too tightly the felt will ruffle! 
-Embellish! Use variegated floss, glitter floss or add beads and sequins (just make sure to get a beading needle!)

Clothespin Doll Mermaid

Posted by Renae Bradley on 12 July, 2018 2 comments

Mermaid clothespin doll

We really love mermaids (check out this sparkly banner or our beautiful costume tail) and had to make up some dolls too! Utilizing basic wood pieces, Benzie felt and beginner needle felting techniques -you'll have a gorgeous collection of 'maids and 'men in no time! 

felt supplies for dolls

Supplies needed, click to buy at www.benziedesign.com

Wool Blend Felt -we used colors Pink, Rose, Swan, Sky and Lilac
Wool Roving -we used the colors Rose, Peacock, Nightingale, Vineyard and Thistle
Wood Clothespins and heads
Needle felting pad
Needle felting needle
Fabric Marker (we like that this one doesn't bleed on the wood!)
Ink -we used Chambray, Plumeria, Dark Peony and Spa
Tacky Glue
Pattern, PDF or SVG

clothespin mermaid

Step One:
Print off your pattern and cut out your felt shapes! You can do this by printing on regular printer paper, pin to your felt and cut out the shapes but we find the freezer paper method our favorite way! And for those of you who have a Cricut Maker -we included the cvg file -note that the smaller shapes can get a little choppy on the Maker and may need to be cleaned up with scissors!

Mermaid doll craft

Step Two:
Gluing part! Grab your clothespin, fill the head up with glue and attach. Then take your coordinating tails (note there is a front and a back, and a straight and a curved tail). Glue the tails onto the doll making sure the fins line up. You don't need a lot of glue -just enough for the perimeter. Then add tail details such as the scallop top. Feel free to cut down the tail for a merman! 

Mermaid hair crafts

Step Three:
Take out your roving! If you have never needle felted before you may want to read this beginner tutorial -but playing with this mermaid hair is perfect for someone wanting to get a taste of roving! We suggest using the felting tool to form the hair but you can always forgo this step too! Gently pull apart about a 1 1/2 x 12" inch piece of roving. You can make it any length you want but I think mermaids look best in long hair! I also added small wisps of other colors of roving at this time as mermaids love long and colorful hair!

clothespin mermaid hair

Fold the length of roving in half. Using the doll head, form the roving to the head.

how to style mermaid doll hair

Remove roving from the head and use the needle felting needle and foam pad to style the hair in place. I love felting in a side part! You will form the mermaids wig prior to attaching it.

mermaid peg doll instructions

Place glue on the head and place the mermaid hair over the top. Finish styling the hair in place added details such as stars or flowers. 

mermaid peg doll

Step Four:
Finish off the doll by adding eyes with this marker (it doesn't bleed on the wood!) and gluing on felt cheeks cheeks! We also applied a little ink in to their tails -it adds a bit of depth to the felt! Alternately you can use a q-tip to blush up their cheeks with the ink. 

merman doll

To make a merman I used Benzie's Ginger felt to make a crown and added a beard! 

mermaid doll kids craft

Make a swim school of magical mermaids for yourself or with your favorite ocean princess -kids will love this! Share what you make with #benziefelt on Facebook or Instagram!

Easy Felt Monstera Leaf

Posted by Renae Bradley on 23 May, 2018 3 comments

DIY Monstera leaf

This big leaves from the Monstera plant are so easy to make! Cut out a single large leaf for simple accents or make yourself a whole vase of them! They will brighten up any corner in your house! 
 monstera leaf making

Things you will need:

Wool Blend Felt from Benzie Design is perfect for this project -I used 12x18" sheets in Kelly and Emerald. But feel free to use yards for really big leaves!

Freezer Paper (or regular paper) & Scissors (or use the Cricut Maker)

Spray stiffener 

Glue (tacky or hot glue will work)

Florist wire, 18 gauge 

PDF Pattern or SVG Pattern -scale as needed.

 felt monstera leaf directions

First -get your pattern ready. We provided a couple of different sizes but feel free to scale the print to the size you want. The most basic way to transfer the pattern to the felt is to print the pattern on basic copy paper to the size you would like, cut out, pin pattern to the felt then cut out. You can also use freezer paper to transfer the pattern (read about that here) or the Cricut Maker. Save your felt scraps -we will use them later!

How to make felt stiff

Grab your spray stiffener and spray down your leaves over some scrap paper or cardboard. The more you spray -the more stiff the leaves will be. If you want more floppy leaves -spray less. Wait till dry. We talk more about spray stiffener here

how to make tropical leaves

Cut out oblong vein shape out of your leftover felt.

diy tropical leaves

Use the vein to glue the florist wire in place. To make extra long stems -twist two wires together. 

how to make tropical leaves

Arrange in a vase! You can a few leaves or make a whole leafy plant! Add in a few poms to hold them in place. Happy Crafting!

How to stiffen felt




Magnolia Flower Wreath

Posted by Renae Bradley on 19 April, 2018 1 comment

 magnolia flower diy

We all love the magnolia - here is our favorite leafy wreath! Today we are going to focus on the blossom, the petals fold out to full blooms to create a circular wreath or garland that seems full of the scent of magnolia!

Felt Flower Supplies

Supplies needed:

How to cut out felt for flowers

First, get started by cutting out petals and leaves! Using our pattern as a guide free hand cut or trace out using freezer paper. You will want a variety of sizes of magnolia petals and a few leaves as well. Second, we love to accent our petals with just a bit of pink ink -it makes them so lifelike! Gently ink to build up the color you would like your petals to be.  And third -form your flat petals into cupped beauties! To do this hot glue the two bottom notches together. To cup the top part of the flower add the smallest amount of glue (you will want a narrow tipped glue gun for this!) to the top and center of the petal and use your fingers to pinch together. This will result in a fold of the felt, use your scissors to smooth out the fold. 

how to make a felt flower

I start a bloom by taking 3 small petals and gluing the bases together in triangle like shape then finish it off by attaching a felt pom. Try out different colored poms -I would love to see this in our light butter yellow color or orchid pink! This is your base for all of the magnolia flowers. 

felt flowers diy

Continue to add petals to the base. Add more for a full blossomed bloom -or less for those littlest flowers. Our fullest flower includes 9 petals and uses a medium sized pom. Our medium flower includes 6 petals. Our closed bloom includes just 3 petals and uses a small size pom. 

magnolia flower diy

These large felt petals can get floppy and flat. To help the flower lay as they would in nature I used my glue gun to carefully 'tack' petals to each other enhancing the lay and fold of each bloom. 

how to make a wreath for felt flowers

Once all your flowers are made and some petals cut use your coiled wire to make a wreath. This wreath is 12" wide -I wrapped the wired twig four times around to give it it's width. I intentionally left the ends run free to give the wreath a more natural appearance. You can also use this wired twig for making a garland. 

 flower wreath diy

Arrange the finished flowers on the wreath using hot glue to adhere. Place the leaves on as accents. Use the wire twigs that we left sticking out of the wreath as places to add small bloom or leaves. When forming the wreath -I bended in a few more wild twigs as I love the natural free style look!

how to secure flowers to wreaths

To make the large flowers extra secure attached some felt ovals with hot glue to the back of the wreath. 

diy anemone wreath

magnolia wreath

I made two different wreaths. The top one is more full and includes 2 large, 2 medium and 5 small blooms. The second one is more simple and includes 1 large, 1 medium and 2 small blooms. You can make them however you want to fit your style and decor! Be sure to check out our leafy magnolia wreath too! 

felt flower tutorials

Introduction to Wool Crafts

Posted by Renae Bradley on 20 March, 2018 1 comment

introduction to wool crafts

The more I delve into wool crafts -the more I learn about how wonderful this world of fiber arts is and wanted to share a little with you! Many of you are much further ahead in your journey and know so much more -but the following is great place for curious novices and crafters!

what kind of wool felt should I use

Let's first talk about the sheep! Like many animals -the breed of sheep determines the coat or characteristics of the wool. Two common breeds used for their wool are Merino and Corriedale. Merino sheep's fleece is thin, soft and smooth whereas Corriedale wool is know to be a durable medium weight fiber. After sheep are sheared their raw wool is cleaned (all debris is picked out and washed) and carded (a combing process).The finished product is can be called batting, sliver or a roving (but to simply, we will refer to the raw fibers as roving). These raw fibers or roving are the basis for all our wonderful wool products. 

history of felting

The secret behind wool is that its fibers have the amazing capability to lock and bind together -this is called felting! There are quite a few fun theories of how the process of felting was discovered. Some fables tell of saints lining their sandals with wool fleece prior to a long journey -but once they arrived they discovered the raw fibers had become more like a sock around their feet! The act of walking along with the sweat of their journey matted the wool! (Ewe!!) I love that felted wool was one of the first textiles known to man -it predates even weaving and knitting! Even today, nomadic countries use felted wool to line their saddles, use as blankets or even utilize for their homes -commonly known as yerts. 

Even though wool got it's start in more utilitarian means -I am excited that it's used by crafters today! I will introduce you to our four favorite crafting supplies made with wool fibers: roving, yarn, felted wool and wool felt.

understanding wool crafts

Roving is the basis of all wool craft supplies so it's smart to talk about it first! At Benzie we sell Corriedale roving -a perfect breed for those getting started in the fiber arts. It's multifunctional fiber for wet felting, needle felting, weavings or spinning. We talk a lot more about needle felting here.

felted wool or wool felt

Second, roving can be spun into a yarn or a thread. This yard can be knitted or the thread can be woven into a fabric. This leads us to number three: felted wool. Often confused with 'wool felt', 'felted wool' is woven wool fabric. It is thick, soft and pliable and does not ravel like other woven fabrics. You can see in the above photo the woven nature of the fabric. 

types of wool felt

Fourth and finally, everyone's favorite at Benzie -wool felt! Wool felt is essentially made by pressing, rolling and felting raw fibers together to make sheets of compacted non-woven wool. Manufacturing technology allows for a dense and even felting process to achieve desired thickness and size. And oh, all the colors! Today there are several kinds of felt (not just wool!) and we explain the differences here. Wool is a pretty incredible, multifaceted fiber. Thank a sheep!