Adding Long Fur
One of the reason's I wanted to start a blog, was so I could share the tips & tricks I've learned for felting animals.
I wanted to post about adding long fur to your felted animal today. I recently started making them with long fur, which I feel adds a little extra realism.
Making an animal with long fur is definitely more time consuming. Piece by piece you add small tufts of wool, until they all come together and form one pelt for your animal.
The animal I am making currently (a wolf) is going to have a long fur coat.
As you can see from the picture, he doesn't have all his fur yet. In this photo I am felting on his chest & belly fur. Here are some pictures of the steps I take when felting long fur onto an animal.
You can use any type of wool for long fur, although, I prefer to use a top coat (merino based) wool for fur coats. It all depends on how you want your animal to look. Try a few different kinds of wool and see what you like best.
I start by cutting the wool into 3 inch strips:
I usually start by adding the wool to the neck/chest area, starting from the bottom and working my way up; layering the strips of wool: one on top of the other. When felting the wool strip on, I lay the wool at an angle and felt it in the middle, making sure it is firmly felted into the animal.
It should look something like this afterward:
Keep adding small strips until the whole area is covered. After you have felted on all your fur, you then should take a pair of scissors and give your animal a hair cut. Cut at an angle, not straight across (I usually cut in a vertical motion, snipping small amounts off at a time). Make sure you have some reference photos to use, so you can see where your animal's fur is either longer or shorter in certain areas.
If you are making an animal with distinct color markings, I find it easier to add them after felting on the animal's primary/majority colors. So, for example, if you are felting a gray wolf; you may notice they are primarily gray and white with small amounts of brown and black in various spots. I would felt on the white and gray first (covering the animal entirely) and then go back and felt in the markings.
Hopefully this is helpful to some!
Happy Felting! - Danielle