Felting is an ancient old craft-making approach. The process involves continuous stabbing of the wool by a special barbed needle until the wool fibers interlock with each other and the desired form or effect is achieved. A variety of wool materials are available for felting like Merino & Mohair. |
Plush, though, has become an ‘in’ thing in felting. It is a textile having a cut nap or pile similar to fustian or velvet. Originally the pile of plush consisted of mohair or worsted yarn, but now silk by itself or with a cotton backing is used for plush. Modern plush are commonly manufactured from synthetic fibres such as polyester. One of the largest users of plush is in the production of stuffed toys and materials.
Felting and plush goes well together as seen in a whole variety of felted products commercially sold nowadays. You can see it in garments, accessories, toys, office and school supplies, and even furnishing. Felting could be very tedious and time consuming. Especially when working on a large and intricate sculpture, one will have to spend months of working on a project. This is why felted materials are expensive. But in using plush, one can create a nearly the same figure without much effort and time especially when aided by stuffing, making each project relatively cheaper and commercially competitive. Wool can come in varied colors but plush which comes in more distinct shades and colors makes the finish product more attractive and sleek.
Anyone can go into felting and plush project as materials are affordable. There are a wide variety of felting materials and of varied brands depending on quality and manufacturing. The outcome and the cost of a project depend on buying the right materials from the right source. It is best to secure felting materials from craft stores to ensure getting the specification of materials like quality, color, and size. Online craft stores are a convenient option as most do door-to-door deliveries.
Plush, like wool, can come in various brands and quality. Felting needles come in varied sizes that range from 36g to 40g and are available on sale in packs. A more detailed work require smaller needles which are of higher gauge, the smaller the gauge the bigger is the needle. Most felting needles are triangular in shape but some are four-sided called star. They are all extremely fragile and sharp thus must be handled with utmost care and with a thimble to avoid injury. Needle holder is also an essential felting material as it holds more than one needle at a time and makes felting wider areas faster. A foam pad is also essential. A cut piece of pillow can serve as a foam pad but it can also be bought in crafts stores or online. A felted sculpture requires a ‘base’ which is usually made of wire. For animal sculptures and stuffs, glass eyes can also be bought in stores or can be made using paint. Stuffing also requires a good pair of scissors, long straight ruler, adhesives or glue, and synthetic wool.
felting and plush
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