High density foam is super important when needle felting. It should be at least 2” thick. I use pieces that are 8” x 10” and 2 ½” thick. It’s dark gray in color and is very firm. Being very firm helps create your piece. If your foam is spongy it will mush (don’t you love the technical terms?) and your needle felted piece will take longer to work.
As you are creating, remember to move your roving on your foam – don’t leave it in one spot! You will find if you do that the roving will become a permanent part of the foam or the foam will be imbedded in your roving – either is NOT GOOD.
Needle a bit, turn the piece over or move it – you’ll have great results this way.
Eventually the foam will wear out. Don’t throw it out – not all of it anyway. As I said, I work on an 8” x 10” piece, but I park my needles on a 5” x 5” piece of foam. Using an electric knife, I cut down a worn out piece for this purpose. I will cut the rest of the piece into cubes. I use these pieces as armature and erasers (my technical terms).
Having a place to park your needles is great. You know where your needles are and they aren’t parked on your working piece of foam. If you are working with one set of needles and another set is parked on your working foam you will notice that the parked set “wiggle” while you are felting – this can bend or break that set of needles.
If you have created a bear and you are going to attach the second leg, putting an armature block between the legs is like having another hand to hold the leg in place and make attaching it easier. If you are felting onto a sleeve or pant leg, a long armature piece is a must. Whether you are flat felting or sculptural felting – foam is a must!
If you have created something on your foam using black roving, you don’t want that blending in with your next color. That’s where the “eraser” comes in handy. Take one of the pieces you cut from your worn out foam and “rub” it on your working foam surface. You can do a circular pattern or back and forth – it removes the roving that is left on your foam so your colors don’t mingle.
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