8 Tips to Keep Your Felting Needles and Fingers Safe.

All felting needles are fragile and easily broken (rendering them useless,) plus so sharp they can pierce into skin (which is never fun.) With a few precautions, however, these pitfalls can easily be avoided so you can enjoy countless hours of peaceful, meditative and pain-free needle felting.

Here is a 20 minute video where I show you how to needle felt a basic shape while keeping your fingers safe from injury and your needles from breaking.

I hope you get the idea! Go slow, don't felt too deeply or jab too hard. Sounds easy enough but read on for my best tips. After all, needle felting is not a blood sport. (You can quote me on this, if you like;)


Tip #1
felting needles explained

Maintain a very relaxed grip on your needle while felting. A tight grip causes you to put too much pressure on the fragile blade of the needle while you are working.  With a relaxed grip the needle will slip out of your grip should you miss your mark rather than drive it in where it isn't welcome.

Tip #2
felting needles explained

Slow Down. As in life, when needle felting, faster isn't always better. Besides fewer injuries and broken needles, slowing down will give you much more control of your felting.

Super-sonic speed tend to make you felt deeper - push fibers through to the opposite side of your project and causing unnecessary wear to your felting pad is your are constantly driving fibers deep into it.

Slowing down helps you make sure that you are only piercing into your project as far as you need to.

a light grip on your felting needle keeps it from breaking
a light grip and gentle pokes will keep you and your felting needles safe.

Tip #3
felting needles explained

The jabbing motion should come from your fingers and wrist rather than from your elbow and shoulder. Delicate stabs into your work are much safer and more effective than hammering away with the full force of your entire arm.

Tip #4
felting needles explained

Get a good surface to work on. Mine is a dense, foam pad that absorbs the jab of the sharp needles while keeping my project stable. If your project is bouncing with every jab of the needle, you are much more likely to miss your mark. (I cover my pad with acrylic felt for easy cleanup and to protect the foam.)

my needle felting work surface is a dense foam pad
My felting pad - it is dense foam covered with acrylic felt.  Perfect!

Tip #5
felting needles explained

Felting Needles should never be used for tugging and prying of fibers - ever. They are meant to stab in and out of the wool, not drag and pull fibers around as you sculpt. You can stress your needles doing this causing them to snap later under normal use. I keep a strong sewing needle near my felting pad at all times.

Tip #6
felting needles explained

While felting, you can and should change the angle or trajectory of your needle as you felt, however make sure to always pull the needle out at the same angle it went in. Failing to do so can break the tip of your needle in your project.

Tip #7
felting needles explained

The most common way I break my needles when I'm working is when I poke my needle to rest in my felting pad. What inevitably happens is that I bump into it with my hand and the tip snaps off in my pad. Keeping them in some type of container with sides will keep them safe.

storing and caring for your felting needles with mick jagger doll
that's my Happy Cup! You'll see it all my videos - it protects my needles from breakage when they are at rest. (and that is li'l Mick Jagger coming to life;)

Tip # 8
felting needles explained

Relax and enjoy! I can't stress enough not to stress while you are felting. Sometimes worrying about poking yourself or breaking a needle causes that very thing to happen.      

don't poke yourself!  needle felting is fun and easy
Don't poke yourself!  With a few precautions, needle felting is pain-free, relaxing, meditative and fun.

About those colorful needles???

While felting needles are designed for industrial machines, Felt Alive Felting Needles are designed for fun!

With cushioned grips, you'll enjoy hours of comfortable needle felting. And with our special color-coding, you'll easily grab the right needle for the job at a glance.

Plus they are designed to accompany all of my videos, making it easier for you to follow along!

felting needles used in industrial machines
industrial felting needles - 'L' shaped ends are uncomfortable for hand-felting - plus all the different sizes look nearly identical.  

felt alive felting needles with cushioned grips
Felt Alive Felting Needles - with color-coded cushioned grips - 
felt alive felting needles with cushioned grips - in single double and quad
Try Felt Alive Felting Needles for Your Needle Felting FUN!  in single point, double and quads!

as a special offer for my blog readers - save 10% on Felt Alive Felting Needles -coupon code - FAFNB10 

(offer expires December 31, 2018 - good for one use only.)

Thanks for visiting my blog!  Share and help me spread the love of needle felting.

Your friend in needle felting,

Kay Petal


  1. Thanks for the advice! I think the reason why I'm not starting with felting is the fear of losing half of my fingers.

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