I discovered felting five years ago and jumped in with two hands, and a lot of hot water. Always a sewer of clothes, decor, and then quilts as a hobby, I discovered the wonders of wool at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Show. Since retirement I have explored the ways wool can be manipulated. Best of all, I don’t have to meet seams.
Felting is an ancient craft. The key property of wool that creates felt is its structure. Wool has tiny barbs that hook onto each other when wet felted or needle felted. To wet felt, wisps of wool are laid out in several layers on a textured surface, often a length of bubble wrap. Then the whole lot is sprinkled with hot soapy water, rolled around a tube, a dowel or other implement and rolled for hundreds of times until it is a whole cloth. Needle felting is what is used to create three dimensional figures. Using barbed needles punched repeatedly into unspun wool locks the fibers into the form one is aiming for.