Mystery foam block - needle-felting surface

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A felting surface is a must when needle felting to stop your needles from breaking and becoming blunt. A high-density foam block is the most commonly used needle-felting surface but it’s not very environmentally friendly – the foam is not recyclable, it will develop craters over time with repeated use and eventually need to be binned and replaced.

I’ve found a planet-loving hack by sourcing foam offcuts from a local supplier that are one step away from landfill. I slice the individual blocks myself with an  electric knife and leave as much of the foam intact as possible to avoid waste. They’re not as pretty or symmetrical as the ones you’d normally find in shops – surprise! – but they’re just as useful.

Blocks vary in thickness depending on the type of foam; length and width vary too but are roughly the size of a postcard.

If you need a smaller piece of foam, try using a foam stress ball or cut a large block into smaller pieces. For an even more environmentally friendly option, make your own felting surface from a hessian bag filled with dry rice.

Needle felting, aka dry felting, transforms wool fibres into felt. Want to see how it’s done? Modern Mending the book includes more than 20 pages of detailed needle-felting instructions, tips and inspiration. Combine this item with Corriedale wool fleece and felting needles and get started needle felting right away.