All felting needles are fragile and easily broken, 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.
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. Also, a relaxed grip allows the needle to slip out of your grip should you miss your mark rather than drive it in where it isn't welcome.
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.
Tip # 3
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.
Get a good surface to work on - my felting pad 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.
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.
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.
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.
Felting Needles come in many different sizes for many different industrial applications - none are manufactured specifically for hand felting so needle felters have narrowed down a range of sizes and barb configurations that tend to work especially well for various hand needle felting applications. Here at Felt Alive we offer hand felters the felting needles they need to bring their ideas to life.