Needle felt Mandala Instructions
If you looked at fleece under a microscope you would see thousands of little ‘scale’- like points. It is these points which lock together if agitated – with warm water or a felting needle – and produce felt.
Felting needles have barbs on their ends, by repeatedly stabbing the fleece these barbs pick up the scales and form the fleece into denser material. Please be careful of the needles they are very, very sharp and ALWAYS felt into the foam block and repeatedly stab gently but firmly.
Lay your piece of felt onto the Hessian mat and place your chosen mandala design on top. It can help to plan your mandala a little in advance - or just go for it and follow your creative flow! - some colours will work better together than others and some combinations will be more vibrant, more calming etc.
Choose your first colour and pinch some strands off the fleece - it is better to work in small amounts and add - rather than needle felting huge chunks and struggle to pull it out if it goes wrong!
Lay the strands on the design and stab into the wool along the outline. Don't panic if you can't see the patch of design you are working on - fold any fibres straggling over the lines back into the design.
Keep stabbing the wool and gently guiding it to follow the first section of design - it sometimes helps to stretch the fleece along to the next part of the design you are working on and felt along the line it makes.
Repeat the process for the other sections of the design. It can be a very time consuming process - depending on how symmetrical you want your mandala to be!
When you are happy with your mandala, cut around the design carefully. Dip it into cold water for a couple of seconds, or run it under a tap. Be sure to rub all the paper off , as it can leave a sticky residue.
Enjoy your creative masterpiece!