So you were drawn to the sparkle, you thought your fairy could use a dress, your clouds needed to shimmer… and now you’re wondering what to do with that Angelina Fiber you found here! Wonder no more!
Angelina is a synthetic, light reflecting and light refracting fiber, and it comes in both heat bondable and non-heat bondable varieties depending on the color. It is a trademarked fiber and therefore is not identified, but we believe that it is Mylar. It can be spun, woven, layered, trapped, bonded, and you even carded in with your wool right in the beginning! Its applications in patchwork, felting, textile art, embroidery, papermaking, papier maché, modelling, card and candle making are endless.
Some colors of Angelina bonds to itself when ironed on low between two pieces of parchment paper, and people often use this fabric-like material for garments for their needle felted creatures. It can even be washed, dried, or dry cleaned, and once it’s fused it can be cut into any shape without fraying! In our store, we have attached blue and pink bonded Angelina to some Christmas lights, and it adds a nice touch to our display cases.
When you are wet-felting, we recommend sandwiching the Angelina between layers of wool so that it does not pull off your final product. If you do add it on top and this does happen to you, it is okay to pull it off. In one of my most recent mishaps, I made a journal cover and added large piles of Angelina as an afterthought. As you can imagine, it did not entangle very well with the wool, and I ultimately cut off those loose ends with scissors. The journal cover certainly sparkled, but it did not look as finished or professional as I would have liked.
If you are going for a more subtle look, we recommend spreading it thinly across your project, because it will be more visible once your piece is entirely fulled. Otherwise, keep in mind that Angelina does count as fiber, and areas with more fiber will shrink less. There is more to lock into, and the fibers do not have to travel as far! I did not know this when making the infamous journal cover, so it was warped and had uneven edges. (At least I tried!)
When needle felting with Angelina, be sure to mix it in with the wool before attempting to add it to your project. The Angelina fiber does not have barbs itself, so the needle will rip it or tear it into small pieces. Carding it into your wool ahead of time saves you some effort later. You can use hair brushes or pet brushes for this process. Check out our short tutorial here!
Most importantly, enjoy experimenting with the magical material. It really does take your already-beautiful project to the next, shinier level!
If you are looking for more information, I recommend reading Art in Felt & Stitch by Moy Mackay and Uniquely Felt by our owner Christine White. Or you can just stop by and talk with Trish!