How to use the Reverse Felting Needle

Using the Reverse Felting Needle:

The reverse felting needle feels very different to a normal felting needle. The notches face the other way, and so instead of pushing fibres in, it pulls fibres out. Here are some tips:

  • It looks a mess until you trim!: Don’t panic, it starts to look awful with the fibres long and tangling around the needle. Take some small sharp scissors and trim the fibres to the required length, effectively tidying it all up with a neat haircut.
  • Action: Whereas normally you would use a stabbing action with a regular felting needle, with the reverse needle, it is more like a gentle plucking, flicking or combing action.
  • Depth: Using the coarse reverse needle you do not want to go in too deep, as you will find it hard to get the needle back out each time. It is better to use a more shallow technique and build up the amount of fluff gradually.
  • Angle: For a smoother look, try to imagine the way the feathers / fur / hair would naturally lie, and use the needle to pull out fibres in that direction. For a super fuzzy look, pull the fibres directly outwards from the body.
  • Direction of work: Start creating the fluff at the tail end and work your way towards the head—this will allow the layers on the mid-body to sit on top of the previous layers on the tail end, and so on. You will find that you can comb the needle through the previous layers as you pull out new fibres, to combine the layers.

 See the Reverse Felting Needle in action about 40 seconds into this Fluffy Chick video: