Wool fibre is measured by its diameter in micrometres, or microns. Fine, super soft fibres have a smaller diameter and therefore a smaller micron count. Finer fibres have lower numbers, coarser fibres have higher numbers. I use fine and superfine merino wool between 16 and 21.5 micron for beautifully soft creations.
This gorgeous 21.5 micron merino top wool fr
om Ashland Bay and it is what is included in all my needle felting kits. I also sell this wool by the ounce (or pound if you felt like me!). It is incredibly soft, clean, and felts beautifully.
Felting needles, foam work surfaces, and leather finger protectors are also available.
Felting needles come in three basic shapes: spiral, star, and triangle
The number of barbs on felting needles varies: the more barbs the quicker the felting, while less barbs will give you more accuracy in fine detail work.
The gauge refers to the diameter, the higher the number the finer the needle.
Star felting needles have barbs on four sides.
36 gauge – used with coarse wool for joining, firming, and sculpting
38 gauge – much like the 36 but used with fine wool, and for more detail – generl use needle, good for both larger sculpting and fine details
Spiral (Twisted) felting needles have barbs that wrap around the needle.
38 and 40 gauge – for finishing work, best for smoothing the surface, a quick felting needle
Triangular felting needles have barbs on three sides.
32 gauge – sturdy needle good for working with coarse fibres and firmly attaching pieces
36 gauge – used for attaching pieces and working in larger pieces, or attaching parts
38 gauge – for sculpting and detail work, use with finer wool (not good with coarse fibres)
40 gauge – a fine needle for detail work and surface smoothing
42 gauge – a super fine needle used for adding fine pieces of wool (wisps, hair, lettering, decoration)