Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Needle Felting Machine at the Great Western Alpaca Show!

Last weekend we brought a 36 inch table top needle felting machine to the Fiber Fiesta area at the Great Western Alpaca Show. We learned a lot about using alpaca fiber in the machine! Especially interesting was that Huacuya alpaca required a coarser felting needle. The fine needles caused it to back up in the machine. We couldn't find a difference with wool from using fine versus medium felting needles. Luckily I had half of the machine filled with fine needles and the other half with medium needles. I used the tan alpaca batting and when I came home I placed the needle felted batting on the rolling machine then let it full more by bouncing around in the dryer. I pole wrapped and shibori dyed a piece and dyed a few other pieces and now I am constructing a bag that will be displayed at the National Alpaca Show in Denver the weekend of May 21 and 22. The completed projects by a number of artists will be auctioned or sold with the proceeds going to programs which will further the awareness and use of alpaca fiber.