Care for your needle felted wool sculptures is pretty simple, because they are made from wool (which is pretty awesome stuff). To keep them like new for many, many years, use these tips:
1) Display them in an area with light (out of the direct sun) and fresh air. Keep them dust-free and the bugs won’t pay attention to them!
2) BUGS: Essential oil is a great deterrent to pests. Cedar/Cedarwood, Lavender, Eucalyptus, Lemon (or any citrus), and Peppermint are all great at keeping little bug and insect invaders away. I don't recommend putting essential oils directly on your sculpture, as the oil will draw dirt and quite probably cause a stain over time.
I like to put a few drops on a cotton ball or small felted piece of wool, and tuck it out of sight near my sculptures. For magnets, on the back works great. Just be sure to test any surfaces to be certain the oil won't hurt it. If you don’t have essential oils, a cedar shavings or a citrus oil or scent works nicely.
3) HANDLING: Given that it is a hand needled "soft" sculpture, the fibers will tend to come loose on the surface with too much handling, so keep that in mind. You can trim any loose fuzz with small scissors, like manicure scissors, to maintain the smooth surface.
4) ALSO, the more you handle it, the more your natural skin oils will transfer, which attracts dust and turns it more into dirt, which is difficult to remove. Some pieces won't be harmed much, but light- colored pieces can become darkened from body oils, so use your best judgment on how much to handle your wool sculptures.
5) DUSTING: The best ways I've found, from experience and research, is to either gently vacuum your piece, or use some kind of gentle air source to blow the dust off. For the vacuum, use an attachment hose or extension, and put a thin sock, nylon stocking or something similar over the vacuum (and use a drapery setting if you have one; if not, it still works well, just don't set the vacuum hose right on the sculpture). I've read some people love using those little keyboard vacuums. I haven't tried that, but it makes sense. Let me know how it works for you, if you try it!
The other method (and my preferred choice) is blowing the dust off. It's a popular solution, but some argue it can blow dirt deeper into the sculpture, and that could be true if you use pressured air. I’ve found that if you keep it a fairly gentle air stream and not blast it straight into the piece, it works fine, especially for light dusting.
You can either use canned air, like for cleaning out computers and small machines, or, my personal favorite, a manual air blower for cleaning camera lenses. I have a Rocket Air Blaster (I bought online at Amazon.com for a few dollars), and it's a manual air "puffer" that can shoot out nice, quick bursts of air, and I use it all the time. Makes it a quick (and fun) way to clear dust.
If you have any questions, please feel free to post a comment or send me an email.