Felting is a process that uses heat, moisture, and friction or, in the case of needle felting, just friction, to open the scales so that they will interlock and act as barbs, making felt.
Generally, these are good for small projects, but if you are going to be doing a lot of felting, you will still probably want a machine that is dedicated to that task.
While pieces of felt can be purchased at most craft supply stores, many people prefer to practice the art of felting wool, a craft that dates back many centuries.
You can do another type of needle felting to make three-dimensional objects, such as dolls and animals; patterns and kits are very helpful in making these items.
If you have experience with a sewing machine, felting by machine will feel very familiar; a felting machine is operated in a similar way to a sewing machine.
Generally, if you are a beginner, you will need fewer features than if you are experienced and using more challenging felting techniques and designs.
Needle felting, when applied to fabric, lends itself to simple line art that can be copied from a variety of sources or drawn by the needle felter.
More often it consists of a thick felting of silk, either spun in one continuous piece into a globular form, as in the Aviculariidae, or composed of two plate-like pieces, an upper and a lower, united at the edges and lenticular in shape, as in some of the Lycosidae.
These properties of fur constitute its essential value for felting purposes, and mark its difference from wool and silk; the first, after some slight preparation by the aid of hot water, readily unites its fibres into a strong and compact mass; the others can best be managed by spinning and weaving.
Hair having a property of mutual cohesion or " felting," which depends upon a roughened scaly surface and a tendency to curl, as in domestic sheep, is called " wool."