I want long, straight,
curly, fuzzy, snaggy, shaggy, ratty, matty, oily, greasy, fleecy,
shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen, knotted, polka dotted,
twisted, beaded, braided, powered, flowered and confettied, bangled,
tangled, spangled and spahettied. As long as God can grow it. My Hair(from the musical film, Hair)
Well, that pretty much sums it up! We have fun choices for your needle felted hair.
Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair... ~Susan Polis Shutz
Hair is such a fun part of needle felted doll-making. Any style you can imagine can be achieved with wool and other animal fibers. I hope my guide to needle felting hair inspires you to go wild with your doll hair.
Wool roving that has been combed out is known as Combed Top. It's my first choice when it comes to straight hair for my dolls. And besides wool - mohair (from angora goats,) alpaca, silk and even plant fibers such as bamboo are prepared into combed roving. And all of it can be used for needle felting hair.
From short hair to long - it's all up to you! Roving can be braided, cut and styled nearly like real hair and the end result is nothing short of delightful.
Combed Roving is a PERFECT choice for your FUN Needle Felted HAIR
We offer Combed Merino Roving in small quantities to accommodate the needs of needle felted doll makers.
A 16" length of Roving is enough wool for hair for an average 12" doll. Unless your doll is like George; then it takes a little less!
Combed Roving can be used just as it is or it can be blended. It's important to keep the fibers long and orderly as you blend.
For Li'l Jessica's hair, the real Jessica requested dark brown hair layered hair with highlights. I blended long strands of gold merino roving into the brown merino roving before attaching it in layers; starting from the bottom, working my way up. The most visible highlights are on the top of her head but you can see them glistening.
There are subtle differences in Li'l Ellen DeGeneres' & Li'l Marilyn Monroe's hair colors. Marilyn's bright blond is just plain yellow merino roving. But with Li'l Ellen, I blended wisps of gold, pink & white roving to get this great shade.
So, I've covered blondes and brunettes - redheads are quite fun - we have great shades of oranges and reds that can be blended to achieve all kinds of colors and effects. Li'l Conan's hair is Burnt Orange.
Attaching Merino Roving is a breeze! I use my double yellow 40t with great results, attaching the roving in layers starting from the hairline and working my way up. A quick cut and style is always in order once the roving is attached. If you don't like the final look, just tear it off and start over; no harm done! I get some of my heartiest laugh-out-loud moments when putting hair on (and pulling it off) my dolls.
You can achieve any kind of hairstyle you can imagine and Merino Roving is a fast and fun way to get there!
There was a little girl, Who had a little curl, Right in the middle of her forehead. When she was good, She was very good indeed, But when she was bad she was horrid. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Curly wool locks make such great hair! Perfect for curly hair styles on your needle felted dolls. Or try curly locks for curly breeds of needle felted dogs!
We have Curly Locks that come from Gotland Sheep (wool) and Angora Goats (mohair) from small farms here in Oregon. The locks have a lustrous sheen and are hand dyed in a great array of colors that are simply perfect for your needle felted projects. And the natural un-dyed colors will make your creations very realistic.
We Have Great Color Choices for Doll Hair!
The locks arrive rather matted together with lovely curled tips. Generally, there are two methods I use to attach curls.
The first method is to just leave the curls matted together and pile the curls right on the head.
Starting around hairline I tack the whole 'wig' right down to the
head with my yellow 40t needle.
The second method is for long curly hair with locks that dangle.
The first challenge is to separate the locks. The best way I've found is to tug the individual curled tips right out of the batt. If I try to separate the matt any other way, I just wind up destroying the curl structure.
Once I have a nice stack of separated locks I begin attaching them to the head, again with the yellow 40t felting needle. Like the wig, I start around the hairline, but with individual locks, I work my way up in layers. And using multiple colors of locks is fun too! Just layer the locks together for some really interesting hair.
A trick I use is to securely attach pierce through the curls into the head and twist the needle in one direction just until I start to feel resistance. Pull out the needle and repeat in a random pattern over the head. This twisting motion locks the curly fibers deep inside the head. You needle felted hair won't fall out!
From a 5:00 shadow to a full Santa beard, your dolls may very well demand a little facial hair.
Each face is different challenge but my general rule of thumb is that I use the same type of wool I used on the head. I attach it the very same way using the yellow 40t needle for every application.
Li'l Bono (from U2) was a challenge. He is rather vaguely bearded- I simply cut brown merino roving into very short bits, sprinkled them on his face and gave a very light needling where I needed it to stick. It worked!
And don't limit yourself to hair on faces & heads!
Needle Felt Some Hair Today & Let Your Imagination RUN Wild!!!
I hope you enjoyed my abbreviated introduction to needle felted doll hair.
I demonstrate needle felting doll hair in several Felt Alive Video Workshops.
The most in-depth look is Felt Alive Needle Felted Dolls - a 10 hour long video workshop.
I show you some fun techniques in Felt Alive Santa Workshop - a 5 hour video workshop.
Funny Faces is a a 2 hour workshop & we touch on hair at the end.