Clover Needle Felting Tools Review
Posted in Product Reviews on Wednesday the 10th October 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
Hello again! I’m thrilled to be back on the Minerva crafts blog, this time I am sharing my experience of using the Clover Needle Felting Tool and large Needle Felting Mat. These are quick and easy tools for adding applique to a base fabric of your choice. Although I have tried needle felting in the past, I hadn’t ever tried applique using a needle felting tool so I was very keen to have a go!
The needle felting tool has 5 barbed needles which catch the wool fibres and push them into the base fabric, quickly and easily attaching your design without the need for glue or thread. The brush-like mat allows the fibres of the design to be easily meshed with the base fabric with little resistance, and the open bristles of the brush help to reduce the attachment of the felted fibres to the mat.
I decided to test out the needle felting tool and mat by adding applique designs to some tote bags. On the package instructions for the needle felting tool, wool is recommended as a base for applique, but other woven fabrics will also work. I used some tote bags made from 100% cotton and other bags made from recycled polypropylene, as I wanted to see how the tool would work on different base fabrics. For my applique designs, I used a combination of wool roving and felt sheets (both available from Minerva crafts). I used a Sizzix Big Shot machine to cut out some flower shapes from felt sheets, which I first attached to the bag, then added a wool roving centre to each flower. I also tried some freehand designs using a combination of wool roving and felt sheets.
The needle felting tools were very quick and easy to use. The needles in the felting tool are very sharp and I was glad that the tool has a plastic guard around the needles, to reduce the risk of injury. This is a great design feature as it makes the tool safer to use. I also liked the fact the guard can be locked to cover the needles when the felting tool is not in use. I found it much easier to remove the base fabric and my design from the brush-style needle felting mat compared with my experience of using foam felting mats (which tend to become quite easily attached to the item being felted). It's important to make sure the tip of the needle felting tool does not reach the base of the felting mat during use, as this could lead to breakage of the needles. I was very pleased with the speed of felting and ease of use of the needle felting tool and mat and I was happy with my finished designs. One thing to note is that as the felting mat is quite large, it can be quite tricky to fit it into small spaces such as into the corners of a bag. I found I was able to work around this, although smaller mats are also available if required. I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to securely apply my designs to each bag using the needle felting tool and mat, and I found this worked equally well with both the cotton and polypropylene bags I selected.
The possibilities for applique using the Clover needle felting tool and mat are endless, and the tools should work well on most woven fabrics. Wool roving is fairly inexpensive and is available in a wide range of colours. Minerva Crafts also stock an extensive range of felt sheets as well as handmade felt embellishments which could also be used for applique designs. With correct and careful use, the needle felting tool and mat should last for a fairly long time (replacement needles are available if necessary). If you are feeling creative and fancy trying something new, why not give needle felting a try?
Thanks so much for reading, I hope to be back again soon with another product review!
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