If you have a wool allergy or if you follow a vegan lifestyle then you may be wondering if needle felting without animal products is a possibility. We certainly don’t want anyone feeling left out whenever we post content related to needle felting. Lucky for you, there are a number of vegan alternatives that can be used for needle felting so you can join in on the fun!
Needle Felting without Animal Products: Natural Alternatives
Plant-based fibers offer an exciting alternative to wool products because they are sustainable to produce, biodegradable and 100% cruelty free. Often times, these fibers will actually felt faster than animal fibers and they’re not any more difficult to work with. So don’t view them as second rate!
Today we’ll be talking about the exciting possibilities of Egyptian Cotton, Hemp, and Flax. Each of these fibers has a unique sheen and texture. Combining them together will breathe new life into your needle felted animals and add unique depth to your needle felted landscapes.
One quick note before we dive in, all of the plant-based fibers that Living Dreams offers are Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Certified, which means they have been tested for harmful substances. You can read more about oeko-tex certification here: https://www.oeko-tex.com/en/our-standards/oeko-tex-standard-100
Cotton is soft and shiny. It is so smooth that you may think you would have trouble felting it, but that is not the case. The short fibers are especially well suited to reproducing the look and feel of animal fur. Living Dreams carries only the best Egyptian Cotton.
The name doesn’t just refer to the place where this special cotton is grown (although it is grown in Egypt on the banks of the Nile). The name is also a gold standard of excellence that can only be applied to this exceptional cotton varietal! You can learn more about Egyptian Cotton in one of our previous blog posts.
We have many shades of dyed Egyptian Cotton to choose from and we also sell it undyed if you would prefer to dye it yourself.
Hemp fiber is made from cannabis plants. It was actually the earliest plant to ever be cultivated for fiber. It is very strong and durable. Hemp is one of the quickest felting plant-based fibers. The fibers can quickly become quite dense and compact, so it is well-suited to sculptural needle felting.
Living Dreams offers many exciting shades of dyed Hemp fiber as well as natural undyed Hemp which is a nice light brown color.
Flax A.K.A. Linen
Flax fiber, made from the stem of the flax plant, is one of the oldest fibers available. You may know it better by its more common name, Linen. It has long been prized for its durability and breathability. When you felt with flax fibers, it is recommended to have all the fibers running in the same direction so that they can connect more securely with each other.
It is more coarse than cotton but finer than hemp. So you might just find that Goldilocks “just right” fit with Flax for your next needle felting endeavor. The other nice thing about flax is that it takes dye beautifully. The rainbow of Flax fiber hues that we offer are some of our most vibrant shades!
Vegan Grab Bag Fiber
If you’d really like to let your imagination run wild, then you are going to love our latest product offering. This grab bag of mixed fibers is completely vegan. It’s actually extra eco-friendly because these odds and ends of fiber leftover from mill production would otherwise go to waste.
This satisfying assortment of vegan fiber can include cotton, nylon, hemp, flax, synthetic and fiber blends. Each bag has a different composition of fibers. You never know what you’re going to get, but we make sure to include as many different colors of fiber as we can! Colors may be any combination of natural, muted, or bright colors.
Needle Felting Resources
Are you ready to start on your needle felting journey? Lucky for you, we have an entire page of Needle Felting Resources to aid you on your quest. The page includes a quick demonstration video of do’s and don’ts, a list of fibers suitable for needle felting, and a few sources of project inspiration including a project gallery.
If you make something using one of our products we would love to consider it for inclusion in the gallery! You will see the option to submit your project for review just below the project gallery.
You can also share your projects with us in our Community Facebook Group or tag us on social media @livingdreamsyarn