Why Teachers Love Felting in the Classroom

Most teachers can relate to the struggle to find new ideas and projects to keep themselves and their students engaged in learning and making. As a maker educator with 20 years of experience teaching as a homeschool teacher, in out of school programs and festivals, I love kids and have tons of respect for teachers! One thing I've seen, is that teachers love to learn and explore too, but are often so busy that they don't have time to explore and take part of creative communities outside of work hours. Many of the projects at the Magic Trout Imaginarium have their roots in open source and maker culture and artistic communities all over Canada and the US.

Teachers love felting in the classroom because its earth friendly, stress relieving and it's incredibly easy to adapt projects to suit all ages and abilities. Over the past 7 years, we've taught teachers all over Canada the art of stabbing, poking, rubbing and felting wool and they absolutely LOVE it! 

A student wears a felted unicorn headband she made at Magic Trout Imaginarium's workshopcloseup of 3 felted animals in a hand: a penguin a blue bear and a hedgehog all holding felted heartsNeedle felted guitar and keytar

What is Felting?

There are many different techniques of felting, but at Magic Trout Imaginarium we focus on 2 main types of felting: wet felting and needle felting.

An image of hands holding a needle and Needle felting 3D vs wet felting hands rubbing wool in a ziplock bag for a 2 D project

Wet Felting

is a simple and safe way to explore wool without many additional supplies. Just soap water and wool into a ziplock bag and use your hands and fingertips to agitate and roll then plastic bag until your wool is felted into a 2 D felted masterpiece. Wet felting is great for younger children or students with disabilities who may find it difficult to safety use a felting needle. At the introductory level, most students will use wet felting to create 2D landscapes, images or scenes, but it's also quite easy to wet felt acorn and ball shapes..

A closeup of the wet felting process: wool in a ziplock bag is agitated and rubbed by one hand and held by the other

a wet felted 2d landscape created by teachers on the sunshine coast after our felting workshopWet felted meadow scene from the book Taan's Moon. A bear sits in the foreground and a rainbow in a blue sky

Once you get more advanced in your wet felting, you can start using foam or wooden forms to create hats, slippers or other clothing and jewelry. You can also sew pieces of wet felted wool(often called simply 'felt')  together to create clothing!

Wet Felted Hat: Zee a light skinned woman with red glasses wearing a blue red and yellow silly wet felted hat with knobby shapes on the sides

Needle Felting

is the art of stabbing and poking wool fibres with a barbed needle to create 3D (and sometimes 2D) creations. Needle felting requires wool roving, a special felting needle, a felting surface like our re-usable jute felting bags

Closeup of needle felting process: a hand holds a needle and pokes the wool into a shape like a green monster while the other hand holds the wool on a felting surface.

You can start out felting a simple shape like a ball and, then move on to learn cylinders, and cones, how to attach shapes to one another, add and mix colors, or even add armatures for stop motion animation!

Impact of Felting on Animals and the Environment

People often ask, "Does Shearing Wool Hurt the Sheep?" The answer, is the case of Magic Trout Imaginarium's wool, is no! In fact sheep like to be sheared because it cools them down and keeps them healthy!

Here at Magic Trout Imaginarium, we get our wool from Ashland which is in New Zealand. The reason for this, is because sheep in Canada are raised primarily for meat and dairy and as such, are not treated early as well as the sheep bred exclusively for their fibre. Sheep bred for their wool are kept indoors during bad weather, are fed high quality feedstock and are regularly sheared carefully. In Canada and the US specially, sheep's wool may be available, but the quality is not as high and the fibre production is not as reliable because wool and yarn is often a side business to meat and dairy.

Save Money $$

We also know teachers spend money out of their own pockets for supplies, so we'd love to work with you to help you save money! Fill out an application to become a part of our Wooley Wonders program and trade video, lesson plans and photos for free wool! We can also supply you school PAC (Parent Advisory Council) with a presentation explaining wool wool is so awesome, so you can get additional support and funding for your fun classroom activities!

Don't Know How to Felt? 

That's ok!, we're excited to teach you because its super easy and fun! We've got you covered with our Online Felting Course for Teachers and Beginners which is a workshop we filmed with the UBC teacher Education Program in 2021.

If online learning isn't for you, email us to book a virtual workshop! We've taught tons of people to felt both in person and virtually.

Magic Trout Imaginarium's Online Felting Course for Teachers and Educators Cover image. Hands holding a felted planet earth to the right is a bunch of colorful wool roving

How Do I Integrate Felting into my Lesson Plans?

To help you save time, we've created some fantastic resources. Now, each purchase of a classroom sized felting kit comes with free lesson plans created by teachers like you!

 Teachers stand in a group holding their completed Creepy Creatures on a a Plaque felting projects

What Do Teachers Who Have Worked With Us Think?

"Great Ideas, simple and lots of room to modify and customize projects for different groups" -Melissa SD60

"Just wanted to say ‘thank you’ for a really fun felting workshop today!  It was EXACTLY what so many of us needed  I’ve always wanted to know how to do it, and now I do! You made a lot of peoples’ days! -Kaia SD46

"Fantastic Workshop! I love how they incorporated the growth mindset into making! I came struggling with confidence regarding the idea of the project and left with a fun, completed project! Thank You!" -Sarah SD38

 A teacher holds her felting project: a mouse on a plaque that looks like its jumping out at you! She is light skinned, blond hair, slim and smiling wearing a long sleeved grey shirt

 

Check out our Classroom Sized Kits or Book a Pro D Day to get started!