Hello my name is Ruth Packham and today I’m going to show you a tutorial on how to needle felt using non wool fibers. Today we’ll be using some Cotton fiber and some Ramié and some Hemp and some Linen. There are a number of reasons why you might want to try and using them non wool fibers in your work maybe you have some moral objections using animal fibers maybe you just want to see how the fibers perform differently to wool fiber or maybe you just looking for some fibers that give you a different effect on your needle felting projects. Hopefully I’m going to clear all that up today and give you some tips and stuff and how to use these in your needle felting. So now let’s take a look at the fibers themselves So each fibers has its own merits and drawbacks but overall I would say that if worked carefully all of these fibers needle felt a little bit faster than wool fiber So we will start with cotton. Cotton fiber is very soft and it has a very short and fiber length it also has a really good shine and these fibres are perfect for animal fur effect so for either for a cotton creation or used on top of wool fiber. So here we have an very lovely owl, so the owl is solid cotton with a wire loop for feet. Here’s the moth that we made with the colours that I showed you and it gives you a really nice soft feathery effect and it’s quite hard you know it’s very firm. Here we have a fox cub that I made so there’s no wire in this one it just stands up by itself and here we have the cotton howling wolf. This fibre is very versatile you can make lots of different things using needle felting and cotton. Now we look at some Ramié it has a very long lustrous shiny and staple fiber which is very strong it’s the most unusual of the fibers that we’ll be working with today just in the way in which it binds together and felts so when needle felting it it becomes really hard especially when the fibers cross over. It’s probably the one that it’s most likely to snap the needle when you’re using it. It’s very very hard. Ramié when it’s finished and I’ve given it nicer loose kind off feathery effect on the outside. It’s very very firm the Ramié when it’s needle felted and to prove this we have a flower which actually holds its shape and this is just needle felted so not even with that not much fiber to be honest. And here we have the howling wolf in Ramié. Hemp fiber so you can see just by looking at it that it is very very coarse. When you pull the fibers out they are very long and there are some thicker and some thinner fibers It has a slight shine to it and it sort of feels more sort of grassy than like animal fibers. The hemp becomes strong very quickly we also similar to Ramié in this way when the fibers start to cross over this is when it’s there is a danger to break the needle so just beaware of this don’t stab to fast. So now I’m going to show you some projects that I’ve made created using the hemp fiber. So we have crazy owl, to start with as you can see it works really well to kind of give this have this sticky out effect and it will stay in place you just have to tease it out and it’s very hard. This one has an wire armature and then I’ve just wrapped the wire in the hemp to give it that sort of finish and then we have the tortoiseshell butterfly, so I mean it’s not so easy to make detail using the hemp fiber as it is with wool fiber but you can see you can get fairly detailed and I’ve made sort of antennae which are fairly fiddly and we have another crazy bird part woodpecker part Kingfisher. Again he has wire in his feet and then we have the howling wolf so it’s very hard the hemp when it’s finished so you have to be very careful not to snap the needle. Linen it’s has a duller kind of appearance than maybe the ramié so it’s doesn’t have the shine and the fibers they’re very long and when you open them out them seem quite mixed with some coarse fibers mixed with soft fibers very similar to like a Welsh mountain woll or something that’s got a lot of hemp in it. So when you’re working with it it’s good to try maybe break it up a little bit before you start needled felting. In terms of needle felting with it, it’s probably a good idea to kind of keep the fibers moving in one direction because it kind of produces quite messy looking needle felt and it’s strong and it does bind together very well. And now i’m going to show you some of the projects that I’ve made using linen fiber, so we have the wolf howling into the moon so again it’s very very hard and you get that really lovely it works well dogs, wolves and anything that you want to have texture on the outside. We have the moth it’s a lot more flexible than the ramié, it has a nice finish, I have the daisy, so then I have bound it together with some more linen on the back to hold it all in place and then we have the butterfly to sit on the linenn flower. Okay so I hope that I’ve given you some sort of insight into how to use these non wool fibers and maybe inspired you to have a go, DHG stock all of these fibers many many different colours so you don’t have a problem with finding the right fiber for your project and so even if you just want to use wool fiber and some maybe hemp on the outside or cotton give it a go, give it a try and enjoy. Thank you.