If you like to see it done just scroll to bottom for video tutorial!
I was a couple of years into needle felting before I tried a reverse felting needle and now I wouldn’t be without it. The special effects you can create are endless and super cool, taking your needle felting to a different level. A reverse needle does exactly what it says and instead of felting and compressing the wool it pulls the already felted wool back out, creating dramatic, or subtle effects. It adds instant character to a project and is simple and easy to use.
I love the subtle effect it created on top of the head of the head of this moon gazing hare, giving it a dreamy fuzziness.
I use two sizes of needle; 32 and 40 gauge. As with standard felting needles, the higher the number the finer the needle and the more subtle the effect.
I have used the size 32 most recently (although a size 40 would have done the job just as well), on my bee brooches to create the fuzzy body and eyebrows. I also used a contrasting white core for more effect and visibility.
When I made this brooch the eyes looked a little lost so I used the reverse needle just above the eyebrow to pull out some of the core white wool.
You can watch the full bee broch tutorial HERE
Shop bumble bee brooch WOOL PACK
I repeated on the other eye then trimmed it back. As you can see, the effect is great and those eyes really pop!
I wanted to create a similar effect all over the body to create that lovely fuzzy effect. Repeatedly use the reverse needle until you have pulled all the lovely wool through then trim quite short to create a neat finish that allows the white and dark to compliment each other.
When I decided to needle felt my first pig I really wanted to create the coarse top layer you see on a lot of pigs that sits on the peachy skin. I used a Romanov wool core but any coarse dark will do; grey Jacob is perfect and one of my favourites. It created exactly the look I was aiming for using a 32 reverse needle.
There’s no limit to what you can use it on and I think the hedgehogs were crying out for a reverse felting needle makeover. I know you can get the realistic spikes but this was much more fun. I created a grey Jacob core with a brown Shetland carded top and went at it quite fiercely with a 32 reverse needle. You can watch the full hedgehog tutorial HERE
See how I have picked up the grey I pulled through plus a little of the brown. Give it a twizzle for instant spikiness and a gorgeous ‘Prickle’ of hedgehogs; yes that is the actual collective noun for a group of hedgehogs. My heart… 🦔
So, there you have it. Just a few of the cool things you can do with a reverse felting needle. Experiment on your own projects and just have some fun with it. Happy felting!