Friday, January 23, 2009

Can You Needle Felt Firestar? The Answer is Yes!

Whenever I get asked the same question by two or more customers, I like to write about it here on my blog. I'm guessing that there are others who might have the same curiosity. The question I've been getting lately is whether or not Firestar will needle felt.

For anyone who may be less familiar with this fiber, Firestar is a sparkling nylon that is manufactured as a roving and can be spun like wool or teased apart to work with in smaller amounts. I wrote about it in greater detail not long ago in a post about Firestar Sampler Packs that I'm beginning to sell.

After being asked about Firestar as a needle felting fiber, I did what I usually do which is to experiment on my own and see what I find out. I took a small piece of Firestar and piled the teased fiber in a criss cross pattern on a piece of felting foam. Using a medium needle I worked with the Firestar to try to felt it into a circle. I didn't take the time to work in every last fiber. Firestar is light and a little more "fly away" than a wool would be. I wasn't going for perfetion, I merely wanted to see if it would felt and how much effort it would take for it to felt. After just a few minutes, I'd say less than 10, I had this circle formed. I was very pleased by how easily it felted. I was even more impressed when I picked it up from the foam and gave it a tug. The fibers had a very strong hold on each other. I felt like in no time I had created a very solid and secure piece of fabric.

So the answer to "Can you felt Firestar?" is a resounding YES! The only thing I might add is that if you want a really clean finish, you might have to spend a little more time working in stray or "fly away" fibers although ths kind of furry look may be fun for some projects. You could also trim the occasional stray unless that's against the felter's code. If you've never tried Firestar, you may enjoy investigating this fiber for yourself!

I just ordered an enormous lot of Firestar for Wind Rose Fiber Studio. The First batch I dyed sold out in less than a week, so I'm increasing my volume. If you have color requests, I'm always happy to oblige and I'll be dyeing every color of the rainbow as soon as that box comes in the mail!

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