Needle Holders – why would I use one? what do they do? and which should I get?
Here’s a quick overview for you about them with a few recommendations from my own experience. Please do let me know if you have any questions 🙂
SINGLE NEEDLE HOLDERS
You can just simply hold a needle between your fingers and thumb and stab away for hours sculpting your wool, but it can get a little uncomfortable after a while. So it is well worth getting a needle holder which has been designed and shaped for you to grip it easily and with more comfort.
You may only need the one, especially if you have a favourite go-to needle (for example I love the 38G star needle and can pretty much do most if not all of an animal with that one needle), but as you experiment and come to like other needles too for the different stages of your piece you may want to buy a few holders.
I think it’s a good idea to buy a set (which works out cheaper per holder) so you don’t have to keep changing the needle in the holder each time you swap to a new one.
There’s so many holders out there to choose from. You can buy wooden ones, rubber moulded ones, plastic ones, or you can even make your own if you wanted to.
Keeping your needle in a holder can make the needle last longer especially if it’s a holder where you can insert the needle the other way inside the handle when not in use. Also if your holder is a certain colour or pattern which is different from the others you’ll hopefully not forget which needle you are using.
I love these wooden ones by Heidifeathers.
You can keep them plain, or you can varnish, paint or even decorate them with decopatch paper (hmm…that gives me an idea for a future tutorial!).
You can keep the needle inside the handle when not in use for safe keeping or for travelling.
For times when you want to speed things up a bit and hold more than one needle at a time, a multi-needle holder is perfect for this.
My absolute favourite is the Clover Needle Felting Tool. It’s a bit like holding a pen and it has a lid to protect your needles when not in use.
It can hold one to three needles at one time but with 3d animal sculptures I often just like to use two at a time for firming up wool, adding long fur, and attaching limbs.
I will use three needles if wanting to make small flat animal features e.g. ears or feathers. Then when I want to really get going at pulling out fibres for a fluffy look, using 2 or 3 reverse needles at a time in my Clover tool really does the job! – have you ever tried it?
If you want to use even more needles for larger flat pieces for example bat wings or when making lots of leaves (I made leaves for a dormouse nest) then I would recommend the Heidifeathers wooden multi-needle tools (there’s a 4 needle handle or a 6 needle handle) or the Clover 5 needle holder. (click the image to purchase)
Do you like using needle holders? If so which do you prefer the most?
I have included links for where to source these needle felting tools. Please see Links disclaimer in the right side panel for more details.