Little Sloth Tutorial – Needle Felting a Peaceful Sloth

People love sloths. It’s a fact. We’re a sloth loving generation. Maybe it’s the peaceable zen-like face, the curled branch-like arms ready to embrace, the dense fur, the innate ‘floppiness’ of them, or it could be the fact that we envy a creature that is allowed to sleep for 21 hours a day. Who knows?

I’ve only ever made one sloth before, created in a ball form, all rounded and smooth to the touch. That little dude sold quite a long time ago, so I thought I’d make another. Many of the latest sculptures I’ve made have been getting bigger and bigger, and this little guy is no exception.

I started with the usual core of blended course fibres which gives the sculpture a bit more of a solid feel. It’s probably not too noticeable to someone else but I do find that using a core makes the sculpture much more substantial. Then I began to wrap a fawn-caramel Norwegian wool around the core, building up the layers to hide the core colours.

I feel like there are two features which make a creature – the nose and the eyes. The eyes are always the last thing I do. I try to shape the nose early on, as the pointed-ness of it and the placement on the face quickly dictate the other features. I’m not sure what that says about me – that I shape a whole little animal around its nose! My mam always did say I had a fascination with noses!


My aim at the start is to get the shape pretty near to the final result so that when I start layering colours I don’t have to worry about the shape underneath. Once you know you’ve got the overall form, you can use layers of fibre like you would watercolours, creating a gentle wash of tones, shade by shade. With this little sloth-y fellow I layered some darker caramels and rich chocolate browns, and used darker browns to create little simplistic folk style claws. I wanted to use the same colour palette, so I added soft vanillas, the deepest browns and a touch of pure white for his eyes and facial features.

And there he is – a new Knittynudo sloth! I’ll list him in the Knittynudo shop in a couple of days. Hope you like him!
Caroline x

2 responses to “Little Sloth Tutorial – Needle Felting a Peaceful Sloth

  1. First off I would like to say great blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask ifyou do not mind. I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your head prior to writing.I have had a hard time clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out there.I do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like thefirst 10 to 15 minutes are generally lost simply just trying to figure out howto begin. Any recommendations or tips? Appreciate it!

    • Hi!

      It’s a difficult one, sometimes it’s a lot easier than others! It always takes a while to loosen up, so I try not to worry about what I write in the first 5 minutes or so as it’ll probably be rubbish!
      If I’m running short of time and I don’t have the luxury or being able to play around, I find sometimes that doing a doodle first helps. I’ll draw a little creature or something and it’ll help me centre myself in my subconscious a bit more. Hope that helps!
      C x

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