Needle felting: wildlife by The Gentleman Felter

Needle felting is a technique that allows you to felt fibres, either plant or animal ones, in a somewhat sculptural way. Loads of fiber artists and hobbyists take a liking to this creative activity as you need is just a few tools to work with – fiber,  a needle and base for felting – and to create pieces that are bursting with detail.

Like in the case of Simon Brown, also known as @thegentlemanfelter. An extraordinary needle felter that brings wildlife with incredible animals to life. Owls, foxes, robin redbreasts and hares. Some napping, some jumping and others chirping. All with a striking beauty and realism. Unworldly and fairytale-like. They look like they’re going to come to life any minute.

Needle felting and the mix of Maori fibres 

We had the opportunity to work together with Simon who agreed to create some of his animal friends for us. Simon chose our Maori, a mix of wool from New Zealand which is designed specifically for needle felting. Whereas the subjects are a pair of cute owls snuggling up to each other in the snow and a cheerful hare taking a giant leap.

Needle Felting Pad 10x20
10x20x4 cm
1 pc. € 3,47
Medium Needles
Medium Needles
5 pcs. € 3,99
20 pcs. € 13,41
50 pcs. € 27,93
Carded ´Maori´ Wool - Raw Colors
Natural White
100 g € 2,43
€ 2,70
500 g € 9,73
€ 10,82
Carded ´Maori´ Wool - The Classics Collection
100 g € 3,44
€ 3,82
500 g € 13,55
€ 15,06

Now let’s get to know the The Gentleman Felter better. He’s going to tell us a little bit about his world and how he found working with our Maori. Simon is easy-going with a really sarcastic sense of humour and loves the surrounding nature. At least that’s what impression we got. What about you, what do you think he’s like?

The Northumbrian wildlife for The Gentleman Felter

My name is Simon, but most people tend to know me as the gentleman felter on Instagram. I have been needle felting for well over 6 years now, although my spine would tell you it feels like it’s been 60! I’m not really sure how I got into it, but having always been creative I like to try a new craft every year and I ended up buying so much wool that I couldn’t justify ever stopping this particular one.

I’m fortunate enough to be surrounded by wildlife in my little corner of Northumberland, hares, barn owls, squirrels and foxes are always within walking distance so there is an endless supply of inspiration waiting to be discovered on my early morning walks. Whilst out walking, usually before dawn, I like to imagine the animals around my village living in their own little world sharing usually unseen encounters with one another! This is something I love to explore in my needle felting work, and with the help of my amazingly talented illustrator (and now needle felting) girlfriend Katie @sprawlingpuppy, we try to create pieces that people can lose themselves in, letting them witness hares or foxes sharing a tender, human like moment together between the twisted bristles of vintage, aged brushes that double up as fields or long grass in our world.

I have loved using the wool supplied from DHG. I’ve been trying to find the right type of fibre to add some subtle wiry texture to my pieces for some time and the Maori wool did just that, breathing new life into my pieces and adding just the right amount of depth and interest to the wool.

If you liked finding out about how The Gentleman Felter used our Maori wool to create his needle felt works, we suggest taking a look at all these articles that talk about how to use or create pieces with Maori wool too.